In China, this dish is normally cooked in the winter to warm up the body. If you look closely at the ingredients, most of it belongs to the 'yang' category. It also means that most of the ingredients cause "heatiness". Daikon, however, has a cooling effect and it in turn provides a good balance to this otherwise heaty treat. Besides that, daikon is more resilent and doesn't break easily, making it a perfect accompaniment in stews.
The original recipe calls for the use of "chu hou" sauce but it is quite difficult to obtain here. Hence, I did a substitute for this sauce. For those of you who have trouble finding this sauce, you might perhaps try this recipe instead.
I actually omitted the peppercorns and tangerine peel as it adds to the "heatiness" of the dish. I would advice you include it if you want that extra umph.
700 g beef brisket (ngau lam) cut into 2 cm cubes
500 g beef tendon, cut into 5 cm length
700 g radish, cut into large cubes
5 shallots, minced
8 cloves garlic, minced
3 cm ginger (about the size of a thumb), thickly sliced
4 tbsp oil
6 cups of water
4 tbsp Shaoxing wine 绍兴酒 or whiskey
1 cassia bark
2 star anise
2 bay leaves
1/2 tsp peppercorns (optional)
1/2 tsp szechuan peppercorns (optional)
1 small piece tangerine peel (optional)
2 tbsp hoisin sauce
2 tbsp oyster sauce
3 tbsp ground bean sauce
2 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp salt
3 blocks red fermented beancurd 南乳
1 tbsp dark soya sauce
1 tsp five spice powder
1. Prepare brisket and tendon. Remove any visible fats, cut and wash brisket and tendon. Blanche separately in boiling water for about 2 minutes. Remove. This will effectively remove any impurities and odours from the meat.
2. Heat oil in wok and add ginger, garlic and shallot. Fry until fragrant.
3. Add in tendon and brisket. Add seasoning and saute for a couple of minutes.
4. Add 4 cups of water. Ingredients must be completely immerse in water. Add in cassia bark, star anise, bay leaves and lastly, shaoxing wine. Bring to a boil and then reduce fire to simmer. Simmer in slow fire for 1 hour before adding radish. Add another 2 cups of water.
5. Simmer for another 1/2 to 1 hour until tendon and brisket are soft and springy. Reduce sauce before serving. If you want sauce to be thicker, add some cornstarch mixture.