Gemma Zhang - Designer

Gemma’s Aromatic Beef With Potatoes & Carrots

Back in my university days one of my flatmates really fancied to have a hearty meal for our weekly cooking rotation. So one day I did a twist to a traditional Chinese beef stew recipe, putting the ingredients into a slow cooker instead of pressure cooker. When I served the dish, it was such a success that my flatmate managed to have a few good serving, leaving me with only a small portion to eat with my rice… the dish was a small success but I felt quite hungry afterwards.


500g of beef (loin is preferred)
2-3 large potatoes
1 carrot
4 tbsp cooking oil
1/2 ginger (thumb sized)
2-3 star anises
1 bay leaf
1 small piece of cinnamon
2 garlic cloves
1 spring onion
2 dry chillies
2 tsp salt
2 tbsp light soy sauce
1 tbsp dark soy sauce
1 tbsp Shaoxing rice wine


  • Dice the beef into small chunks and cut the spring onion into 3 sections. Place beef and spring onions into a pot filled with cold water.
  • Bring the water to a full boil. Use a spoon to remove any froth on the surface. When the meat is ¾ cooked, drain the beef and place aside.
  • Dice potatoes into small chunks (keep each of them about 2-3cm).
  • Cut ginger into 3 sections. Then place the ginger, garlic cloves, star anise, cinnamon, bay leaf and dry chillies into the pan; fry in medium heat for 30secs.
  • Place the diced beef back into the pan. Add salt, light soy sauce, Shaoxing rice wine and potatoes to fry for 3 mins.
  • Add clear water and cook the meat and vegetable on low-medium heat until the water is reduced to only cover the ingredients in the pan (about 10-15 minutes).
  • Place all the beef and vegetables into a slow cooker, add dark soy sauce and stir the mixture well. After you’ve done that, continue cooking the dish in the slow cooker for 1.5 hours.
  • Serve your dish and enjoy!