Chinese five spice beef soup with bok choy is a flavor packed and hearty soup. Carrots, sweet potato, bok choy and red cabbage make this soup healthy and filling!
It finally got me, and got me good! You know that pesky, sneaky, winner takes all cold. Yep! My mommy immune strength has served me well as I was able to dodge the holiday cold and flu season. I even made it a fair amount into James going to daycare with all those kid germs. That poor little guy hasn’t gotten a break since he started, and he’s been sick three times already! I’m not surprised it finally caught up with me, I’m thinking those long sleepless midnight feedings, with the blue nose sucker in hand and humidifier blasting to help with babies congestion didn’t help.
Now mama needs some TLC, and nothing sounds better than some hot and savory soup! But not the old standby chicken noodle version, I need the big guns to get through this cold. I’m loading up on a beefy and more spice-tastic (I think I made up a new word) recipe from the Far East. That’s right, I’m talking about Chinese five spice beef soup with bok choy and other healthy vegetables to save the day!
This soup packs everything you need to recover while not lacking in the flavor department. If your nose is plugged up, you’re going to need more spices to taste how awesome this dish is. Tender cuts of boneless beef short rib are seared and then braised in a Chinese five spice broth. That’s where the magic is. The blend of warm cinnamon, star anise, fennel, pungent ginger, cloves, white pepper, licorice root makes a world of difference. Turning that a boring soup from a zero to a hero.
A generous amount of vegetables is packed into each bowl to get the healthy phytonutrients and nutrition you need to fight off those bugs or just eat healthy. Tender pieces of sweet potato, carrots, crispy bok choy (Chinese broccoli), thinly sliced red cabbage and green onions are like a rainbow in your bowl!
This is completely optional, but the more I make this soup I find that I like to add noodles to add a little more filling. A girls got to eat! Maifun rice noodles or egg ramen are perfect and easy additions to this recipe! Just prepare and add to each bowl, top with broth, beef and vegetables and you’ve got a hearty meal. Slurp!
I’m making this soup for Chinese New Year this week, what about you? If you are looking for more Chinese inspired recipes, try my homemade potstickers, delicious turkey lettuce wraps, savory pork and snow pea stir-fry or char siu bao (steamed pork buns).
We wish you a happy, healthy and prosperous Chinese New Year. Gung Hay Fat Choy!
What is the benefit of braising the Beef?
Braises utilize a combination of cooking methods. By first searing the meat in a small amount of oil, this adds a richer flavor caused by browning the meat, and a more attractive color of the finished dish. Water can never achieve temperatures hot enough to brown the sugars in the meat, so combining dry heat and moist heat methods provides flavor and infuses the flavors into the soup.
- 4 cloves garlic , large pieces, minced
- 1 tablespoon ginger , minced fresh
- 1 1/2 pounds beef rib-eye steak , or boneless short rib
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper , freshly ground
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 2 teaspoons Chinese five-spice powder
- 3 cups beef stock , or broth
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 12 ounces sweet potato , large size, orange flesh
- 1 pound baby bok choy
- 2 carrots , peeled, ¼sliced on a bias
- 1 cup red cabbage , thinly sliced, about ¼ inch thick slices
- 2 green onions , thinly sliced on a bias
Trim fat from beef and cut across the grain into 1/4-inch thick slices, about 2 inches long, and 1 inch wide, discarding excess fat. Sprinkle meat with half of the minced garlic and ginger, salt and pepper, stir to combine.
Heat oil in a large pot over high heat. Brown half the beef lightly, occasionally stirring, 3 to 4 minutes until just cooked, it is okay if the meat is still a little pink. With a slotted spoon, transfer meat to a bowl. Repeat with remaining beef. Cover cooked meat with plastic wrap and set aside.
Reduce heat to medium. Add remaining minced garlic and ginger to the pot and cook until softened, about 30 seconds. Stir in five-spice powder, beef stock or broth and soy sauce. Peel sweet potato, halve lengthwise, and cut into 1/3-inch thick slices and add to the pot. Add peeled and chopped carrots to the pot. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat, and then reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, trim 3/4 inch off the ends of bok choy, separate leaves, and cut the larger outside leaves down the center to make two smaller pieces. Rinse and wash well. Stir bok choy and sliced red cabbage into the stew and simmer just until bok choy is wilted, about 2 minutes. Stir in beef and cook until hot, 1 to 2 minutes.
Ladle soup into bowls and garnish with sliced green onions.