Thai Beef Stew Recipe (เนื้อตุ๋น)

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Thai beef stew recipe is a slow-cooking wonder that’s perfect for every home cook. The chunks of falling apart tender beef are simmered in an aromatic broth spiced with a Chinese spice mix – so, so delicious! This dish pairs brilliantly with a bowl of steamed jasmine rice, perfect for a comforting meal that’s irresistible on any weekday.

Thai beef stew with clear broth and garlic and cilantro topping.

Can’t get enough of Thai beef? Try my irresistibly delicious gaeng massaman neua for a delicious Thai curry beef stew with coconut milk. Thai beef panang curry and authentic Thai basil beef are two of my reader-favorites!

What is Thai beef stew

Thai beef stew is a meaty Thai dish featuring tender beef simmered with aromatic ingredients like black peppercorns and coriander root. This beef dish combines the rich flavors and spices of Chinese cuisine with distinctive Thai ingredients.

Thai stewed beef recipe

As the cooler nights arrive in Thailand, I’m reaching for heartier, comforting dishes, and this Thai stewed beef is the best warm-me-up dish for these chilly evenings.

The broth is full of aromatic herbs and slow-cooked to perfection. The beef is so tender, it practically melts in your mouth. It’s the kind of meal that fills you up, yet leaves you feeling light.

Close-up of Thai beef stew with chopsticks lifting cooked beef shank.

The secret? It’s not just beef and spices in a pot, Thai stews are a labor of love. Letting the beef slowly stew allows it to soak up all the incredible Thai flavors.

What I love most about this recipe is how customizable it is. Whether you like a mild stew for family dinners or a spicier kick just for you, this recipe is perfect. And for those of you with little ones, keeping it mild is just as delicious.

Thai stewed beef topped with crispy garlic and coriander.

To round off this meal, I like to add a sprinkle of fresh herbs just before serving. Thai chili flakes are my staple for adding extra heat. And if you’re looking for the perfect side to accompany this stew, try my refreshing som tum Thai for delicious green papaya salad.

Best beef for stew

Selecting the most tender beef of stew is important for that ultimate melt-in-your-mouth meat.

Local Thai beef vendor presenting fresh beef.
A local beef vendor in rural Thailand with a selection of fresh beef, perfect for stews.

Beef short ribs are one of the best cuts for slow cooking, as they become wonderfully tender and fall apart.

Chuck roast is a cut from the shoulder perfect for stewing. It’s marbled with just enough fat to break down into tender bites during slow cooking. It’s also budget-friendly!

Beef shank is known for its meaty flavor and the collagen-rich connective tissue. When slow-cooked, the collagen melts into gelatin, giving the stew a wonderful texture. This is what I used.

Brisket is another excellent option for stews. This cut from the lower chest or breast of beef is known for its robust flavor and becomes exceptionally tender when stewed slowly.

Oxtail is perfect for stewing, as they pack in flavor and fat. As they cook, rendered fat from the marrow seeps out, flavoring your beef broth in the best ways.

For this recipe, you can opt for any of the beef cuts previously mentioned. Make sure to adjust the cooking time accordingly.

Chinese spice set

The Chinese five-spice set is a key ingredient for this recipe. It’s the same kind of spice set that can be used for pho soup and Thai noodle soup. In its powdered form, you can use it in khao moo dang.

Spice mix featuring star anise, cinnamon, and dried herbs in a traditional spice bundle.
Ask for a Chinese five-spice set, or Thai set for making noodle soup, at your Asian grocery store.

The spice set is a mix of everything good for soups and stew: Star anise, cinnamon sticks, cloves, black peppercorns, and cardamom.

The specific blend can vary slightly per brand, but each variation will bring its own delicious character.

Just head to your local Asian grocery store or a specialized Chinese store and ask for a Chinese five-spice set or a Thai set for making noodle soup. The staff there are usually super helpful, and they’ll steer you in the right direction.

Ingredients

For the exact measurements, please scroll down to the recipe card at the end of this post.

Ingredients for Thai beef stew labeled: water, Chinese five-spice set, black peppercorns, garlic, coriander root, pandan leaves, onion, light soy sauce, mushrooms, palm sugar, dark soy, salt, and beef.
  • Beef – For this Thai beef stew, choose a tender cut like chuck roast or beef shank to ensure melt-in-your-mouth meat. Slow-cooking the beef allows it to become incredibly tender. I used beef shank. Slice the beef into medium-sized chunks, not too thin and not too thick.
  • Light soy sauce – Light soy sauce adds a savory, salty depth to the broth.
  • Dark soy sauce – Dark soy sauce gives the beef stock a gorgeous, deep color and adds a rich, slightly sweet flavor.
  • Palm sugar – Palm sugar brings a natural, caramel-like sweetness that’s essential for balancing the savory flavors. To replicate the exact flavors of this recipe, avoid using white or brown sugar.
  • Salt – A sprinkle of salt brings out the flavors of all the other ingredients in this Thai beef stew recipe.
  • Black peppercorns – A warm, sharp, and earthy flavor complements the beef and adds a subtle heat that doesn’t overpower the other flavors.
  • Coriander root – A staple in Thai cuisine, often used in marinades and soups. It adds a deep, earthy flavor that infuses the stew with aroma.
  • Pandan leaves – Pandan leaves add a lovely fragrance. If you’re having trouble finding these, you can simply omit them.
  • Garlic – Garlic is great in just about everything I can think of. I love garlic. Feel free to add more or less to taste.
  • Onion and dried shiitake mushrooms – Onions add a natural sweetness. I’m keeping the focus on the beef, so there aren’t many vegetables here, but feel free to add some more.
  • Water – Water is the base for melding all the Thai and Chinese flavors into one delicious stew.
  • Chinese five-spice set – A mix of herbs and spices like star anise and cinnamon stick. You can find this at Asian grocery stores.

Cooking instructions

Simmering pot of broth with onion, coriander root, garlic, and fresh herbs and spices.

Step 1: Add bruised garlic and coriander root into your pot. Stir and let them sizzle over low-medium heat until fragrant, roughly one minute. Add in water, Chinese 5-spice mixture, palm sugar, salt, light soy and dark soy sauce, pandan leaves, onions, pre-soaked shiitake mushrooms, and black peppercorns. Bring the liquid to a boil.

Beef added to a simmering pot of stew.

Step 2: With the broth boiling, add your beef chunks. Bring the heat down to low and let the pot simmer. Allow the broth to simmer for 2–3 hours, depending on the beef’s thickness. As it simmers, skim off any impurities. As serving time approaches, test the beef with a fork; it should be succulent and fork-tender – indicating it is ready to be served.

Kitchen tools

  • Cutting board and sharp knife
  • Measuring spoons and cups
  • Dutch oven or stew pot
  • Skimmer
  • Ladle

Slow cooked beef tips

Vegetable options: Feel free to add your favorite vegetables like carrots, mushrooms, bell peppers, green beans, and potatoes.

Check for doneness: The beef is ready when it is easy to shred with a fork. Avoid overcooking, as this can make the meat dry.

Slow cooking: Cook low and slow until the beef is tender and falls apart. Don’t rush it.

Liquids: Use just enough broth or liquid to cover the ingredients. This ensures the beef and vegetables are cooked evenly, and the flavors are concentrated.

How to serve

Thai beef stew is best served hot. Serve it with a side of freshly cooked jasmine rice, cauliflower rice, or mashed potatoes for a Western twist. Garnish with a sprinkle of fresh herbs like parsley, thyme, coriander, freshly chopped green onions, or your favorites.

Pair it with one of my Thai side dishes like Thai vegetable stir-fry or Thai dumplings, and a refreshing drink like green Thai tea.

How to store and reheat

To store beef stew in your refrigerator, allow it to cool to room temperature. Transfer the stew into an airtight container to keep it fresh. Store the container in your refrigerator and it’ll stay last 3–4 days. Always use a clean spoon when serving.

Freezing: Let the stew cool down and transfer it into a freezer-safe container or bag. Beef stew can be frozen for up to 3 months. Thaw it overnight in the refrigerator.

Reheating: Reheat stewed beef over medium heat on your stove top, stirring occasionally, until it’s heated through. Alternatively, you can microwave it.

Frequently asked questions

Is beef stew healthy?

It can be healthy if made with lean cuts of beef, vegetables, and minimal added fats or sugars. Beef is a good source of protein, and vegetables provide vitamins and minerals.

Is this recipe gluten-free?

This recipe contains soy sauces, which usually contains gluten. Make sure to opt for a gluten-free soy sauce if you’re trying to avoid gluten.

Is beef stew low-carb?

Beef stew can be low-carb by reducing high-carb ingredients like potatoes.

Can I make this with a slow-cooker or instant pot?

Yes, this recipe is ideal for both. Adjust the cooking time accordingly.

Can beef stew be made ahead of time?

Yes! Beef stew tastes even better the next day as the flavors have more time to meld together. Just store it properly in the refrigerator and reheat when ready to serve.

Why is my meat tough?

Your meat might be tough if it hasn’t been cooked long enough. Slow, low-temperature cooking allows the tough fibers in the meat to break down, becoming tender.

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Servings: 3 Calories: 286

Description

This Thai beef stew recipe is the ultimate comfort food. Serve it up on a cold winter's day with jasmine rice.

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Add bruised garlic and coriander root into your pot. Stir and let them sizzle over low-medium heat until fragrant, roughly one minute. Add in water, Chinese 5-spice mixture, palm sugar, salt, light soy and dark soy sauce, pandan leaves, onions, pre-soaked shiitake mushrooms, and black peppercorns. Bring the liquid to a boil.

  2. With the broth boiling, add your beef chunks. Bring the heat down to low and let the pot simmer. Allow the broth to simmer for 2–3 hours, depending on the beef’s thickness. As it simmers, skim off any impurities. As serving time approaches, test the beef with a fork; it should be succulent and fork-tender – indicating it is ready to be served.

Nutrition Facts

Servings 3


Amount Per Serving
Calories 286kcal
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 10.14g16%
Saturated Fat 2.79g14%
Total Carbohydrate 13.54g5%
Dietary Fiber 1.3g6%
Sugars 8.02g
Protein 35.05g71%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily value may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Note

  • Use the nutrition card in this recipe as a guideline.
  • Chinese five-spice set: The Chinese five-spice set is a key ingredient for this recipe. It's the same kind of spice set that can be used for pho soup and Thai noodle soup. Just head to your local Asian grocery store or a specialized Chinese store and ask for a Chinese five-spice set or a Thai set for making noodle soup. The staff there are usually super helpful, and they'll steer you in the right direction.
  • Beef: For this Thai beef stew, choose a tender cut like chuck roast or beef shank to ensure melt-in-your-mouth meat. Slow-cooking the beef allows it to become incredibly tender. I used beef shank. Slice the beef into medium-sized chunks, not too thin and not too thick.
Keywords: Thai beef stew, beef stew recipe, Thai stewed beef
About Author

Praew

I owned my own Thai restaurant and have years of experience in various other Thai restaurants. I've been whipping up classic Thai dishes by my mother's and grandma's side since I was just a little girl. Now I'm sharing my deep-rooted passion with my authentic Thai recipes on this food blog.

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