Try Chaoshan beef hotpot in winter

Writer: Liu Xudong, Nan Nan  | Editor: Doria Nan  | From: Shenzhen Daily | Updated: 2018-03-22


潮汕大目牛肉火锅是一家老字号的潮汕风味餐厅,35岁的肖镇根开始接手打理父辈的餐饮行当。今天,店里来了几位特殊的客人,他们是SHENZHEN DAILY的读者,来这里体验地道的潮汕美食--牛肉。

Chaoshan Damu Beef Hotpot is a time-honored Chaoshan restaurant that was handed down to 35-year-old Xiao Zhengen from his father in 2005. Today, special guests - Shenzhen Daily’s readers - come here to experience a hallmark of authentic Chaoshan food: beef.



Beef is a favorite ingredient used in Chaoshan cuisine. Chef Lan Yunfeng knows the delicate and complicated tastes of each beef cut by heart. Chuck, the shoulder of the cow where the muscles are often used, is a richly-flavored cut with an optimal balance of meat and fat, making the meat hard and bouncy with fine fibers. The smooth taste is the first choice for beef hotpot.



The tenderloin can be cut from the cow’s body with the least effort, and is soft and easy to eat. It is often used for raw mixes, stir fry and barbecue.



Beef balls are a famous Chaoshan snack. Having nearly a hundred years of history in Chaozhou City, the beef ball is divided into two types: beef meatball and beef ball with tendon. Beef meatballs are tender and taste smooth. Beef ball with tendon adds tendons, making it chewier. Shank - beef from the leg of the cow - is the most suitable meat for making beef balls.



Fresh beef is transported to Chaoshan Damu Beef Hotpot within four hours after slaughter. After removing tendons and arranging the beef cuts, the cuts are put on a cutting board and the process of making beef balls begins.

Hand-beating beef is physically taxing, but also an effective method for making succulent and chewy beef balls. In Chaozhou cuisine, two special iron bars, each weighing three pounds, are used to pound the surface of the beef. The chef pounds the meat with both hands until it is beaten into a meat pulp. Since today's special guests are novices, Chef Lan Yunfeng demonstrates the beating process with two wooden sticks.



After the meat is beaten into meat pulp, it is seasoned with salt and chicken powder, then beaten for 15 minutes more, until the meat becomes a very sticky paste. Next the chef grabs a handful of the paste, softly clenching it in his fist and forming a ring with his thumb and index finger. The meat paste is squeezed through the fingers, forming a meatball. It is then scraped into a warm pot of broth and cooked for eight minutes. To retain its flavor, the hot pot broth is made with beef and beef bone. The meat flavor of beef ball mixes with the beef broth, giving it a rich beef flavor.



When being served with hotpot, put the beef balls into beef soup until the soup comes to a boil. Add some pepper, chopped celery and shacha sauce or chili sauce. The fantastic taste is beyond description.