Prepare Ingredients: Prepare Chenpi: Rehydrate the chenpi by soaking it with cold water for 15 minutes. Use a spoon to scrub off chenpi's white bitter part. Prepare Beef Tendons: For uncooked beef tendons - pressure cook tendons with a cup of cold water in Instant Pot at High Pressure for 1 hour & 15 minutes + Natural Release. Discard the cooking liquid. Rinse the cooked tendons under cold running tap water. Cut tendons into smaller pieces, then remove some of the fat if desired. *Pro Tip: Try to buy pre-cooked beef tendons to simplify the cooking process. Both chenpi or tendons are optional. So omit if you can't find them.
Brown Beef Finger Meat: Heat up Instant Pot using Sauté More function. Wait until it says HOT (~8 mins). Pat dry the beef finger meat. Drizzle the inner pot with 1 tbsp peanut oil or olive oil. Then, brown 2 sides of the beef for 3 minutes per side in Instant Pot (may have to brown in two separate batches). Set aside browned beef.
Saute Ginger & Garlic: Add crushed garlic cloves, sliced ginger, chopped shallot, and white part of green onions in Instant Pot. Saute until fragrant (~2 mins). While the ginger and garlic are being sauteed, quickly cut the beef into stew-size pieces.
Deglaze: Add pre-cooked tendon pieces and browned beef pieces (with all the meat juices) in Instant Pot. Give it a few quick mixes. Pour in 1 tbsp Shaoxing wine (or dry sherry wine/water) and completely deglaze the bottom of the pot.
Make Chu Hou Sauce: Add 3 tbsp (45ml) chu hou paste, 1 tbsp (15ml) regular soy sauce, 1 tbsp (15ml) dark soy sauce, 2 tsp (12ml) oyster sauce, 3 star anises, 2 tsp (10g) rock sugar or white sugar, and a piece of chenpi in Instant Pot. Give it a quick mix so all the ingredients are infused with the paste. Add in daikon chunks, 1 cup (250ml) unsalted chicken stock, and a pinch of salt. Give it another quick mix. Ensure all the beef are partially submerged into the sauce.
Pressure Cook Chinese Beef Stew:
Option 1 - Super Soft Daikon: Pressure Cook at High Pressure for 25 minutes (beef with some chew) - 32 minutes (melt-in-your-mouth beef), then 15 minutes Natural Release. Option 2 - Perfectly Cooked Daikon: Pressure Cook at High Pressure for 10 minutes + Quick Release to set aside the Daikon; then Pressure Cook at High Pressure for 12 minutes (beef with some chew) - 18 minutes (melt-in-your-mouth beef) + 15 minutes Natural Release.
Thicken & Season: Bring the beef stew sauce to a simmer with the "Saute" button. In a small mixing bowl, mix cornstarch with water, then mix it in one third at a time until desired thickness. Taste and adjust seasoning by adding more salt. For reference, we added 2 large pinches of salt in the end.
Serve: Add beef finger meat, beef tendons, and daikon to a serving bowl. Drizzle with the yummy flavorsome chu hou sauce. Enjoy!~ :)
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