Chinese Spiced Braised Beef Shank

I love summer when the weather is warm and sunny…happy days! It’s especially a great time to prepare my all time favorite appetizer of Chinese Spiced Braised Beef Shank that is so meaty and deliciously satisfying when it’s hot out. This is a traditional Chinese dish I had growing up and it’s often served cold or at room temperature. The beef is sliced paper thin and marinated in soy sauce infused with sweet spices like star anise, Sichuan peppercorns, and cinnamon which give it an irresistibly addictive flavor!

This recipe really takes little effort to make and is another one of those dump the ingredients, boil, and forget about it type things….which is great if you’re feeling lazy like me sometimes haha! The most important part of the dish is to get yourself a really nice piece of boneless beef shank also known as beef banana shank because it kinda looks like a fat banana I guess. This cut of meat is inexpensive and has just the right combination of lean meat and tendon that’s very important to achieve the right texture of the final dish.

The first step to make this is to clean the beef thoroughly and remove all the blood and scum by giving it a quick boil. Then you simply dump in all the ingredients into the pot, add the beef back in, and let it simmer for about an hour or so to let the magic happen. Make sure not to over cook it, most of the flavor will penetrate after the cooking process when you leave it in the sauce overnight in the fridge to marinade. Once the marination process is complete, get yourself a super sharp knife and slice it as thin you can that way you can appreciate the different textures of the meat, especially the tendon, without having a big gnarly chewy piece.

I like to dress mine with a little more of the marinading sauce, a drizzle of Lao Gan Ma chili oil, and a sprinkle of green onions and sesame seeds. Slice as much as you want to eat and the rest you can put it back in the marinade sauce and it can keep for about 2-3 days in the fridge. This is a really great make ahead dish and goes great on it’s own or with some rice and fresh noodles on the side. Give this recipe a try and let me know in the comments below!

Chinese Spiced Braised Beef Shank

Prep time: 10 min     
Cook time: 1 h 10 min   
Total time: 1 h 10 min   
Servings: 4


  • 2 lb of boneless beef shank
  • 1 cup of light soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup of dark soy sauce
  • 6-8 pieces of rock sugar (or 4 tbsp white sugar)
  • 1 inch ginger sliced
  • 2 green onions
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 tsp Sichuan peppercorn
  • 2 dried red chili peppers
  • 3 licorice root slices
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1/3 cup Shaoxing cooking wine
  • 2 tsp oil
  • 2 tbsp of salt


  1. In a large pot, place in the beef shank and top with cold water. Then bring it to a boil and cook for 5 min on high.
  2. Drain the beef shank and wash it under cold running water to remove residual blood and scum then place it aside.
  3. In another clean pot, heat the oil on medium high heat and saute the ginger slices, green onions sliced into 2 inch pieces, and garlic until golden brown.
  4. Then place in the beef shank and all the rest of the ingredients. Top with water until just covered and bring all the ingredients to a boil.
  5. Once boiling bring it down to a low simmer and cook for 1 h on the stove top.
  6. After cooking, cool the pot to room temperature and transfer the contents into a air tight container and allow to beef to marinade in the sauce in the fridge at least overnight to allow to flavors to penetrate.
  7. When ready to eat, slice the beef into very thin pieces with a sharp knife and arrange on a plate. Add a few spoons of the sauce and drizzle some chili oil and sprinkle with some sesame seeds and chopped green onions. Serve at room temperature as an appetizer and enjoy!

3 thoughts on “Chinese Spiced Braised Beef Shank

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s