When I'm in the need for a 'different' type of stew, far from the ones I was reared on, this Asian-inspired rich beef rib stew is an instant remedy. Like many slow-cooked meat dishes, this stew benefits from the fresh hit of chilli and coriander when serving to awaken the rich flavour. I serve this as is but it would also go well served with freshly cooked egg noodles tossed in sesame oil.


Serves 8 

  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil 
  • 2 kg beef short ribs, cut into pieces (ask your butcher to do this)
  • 6 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 4 cm piece of fresh ginger, peeled and grated
  • Bunch of spring onions, thinly sliced
  • 200 g shitake mushrooms, halved if large 
  • 2 star anise
  • 1 tsp chilli flakes 
  • 125 ml soy sauce 
  • 100 ml Chinese rice wine 
  • 750 ml beef stock (fresh or from a cube) 
  • 2 tbsp soft brown sugar 
  • 500 g diced butternut squash
  • 3 bok choy, quartered 
  • Sea salt and black pepper
  • Coriander leaves and red chilli, sliced, to serve


  1. Heat the oil in a wok while you season the ribs with salt and pepper. When the oil starts to smoke add the ribs in batches and brown all over, then remove them from the pan and set aside. 
  2. Lower the heat and add the garlic, ginger and most of the spring onions to the wok or pan; fry gently for 2-3 minutes. Add the mushrooms, star anise, chilli flakes, soy sauce, rice wine, stock and sugar and bring to the boil. Return the ribs to the pan, cover with a lif and simmer gently for 2 1/2 hours. 
  3. Add the squash to the pan and cook for a further 20 minutes until the squash is tender and the ribsa re falling apart. Add the bok choy and cook for a further 5 minutes. 
  4. Serve the ribs scattered with the remaining sliced spring onions and the coriander leaves and red chilli.