Recipe : Stewed beef brisket – ngau lam

stewed beef brisket

It is not often I find nice ngau lam meen. Very often, the restaurants flavoured their stewed beef brisket with too much spices because Chinese generally cannot stand the gamey taste of beef and most tried to mask the gamey smell with cinnamon, star anise and cloves. I hate those that with too much cloves flavour.

beef brisket - ngau lam

With imported cows from Australia, the gamey smell is lesser, unlike the local lembus. I usually go to the Indian Muslim butcher at the relative unknown market at Kampung Baru wet market. It is that tiny triangle piece of land at the Chung Ling traffic lights. This Indian Muslim butcher sells Australian, Indian and local beef and mutton. I like buying the frozen beef tendon from him. The other day, he recommended beef brisket to me. He said it is nice to make ‘ngau lam’. It is the muscled parts of the cow’s limb, I think.

ngau lam spices

A quick search on the net and some recipe books, some adjustments and I got these ingredients:

300 grams beef brisket
300 grams beef tendon (you can use all 600 grams brisket if you dislike the jelly-like tendon)

Get the butcher to cut these into bite pieces or your knife will not be sharp enough to cut through those sinewy meats.

1 bulb garlic, smashed and chopped
1 large piece ginger, slice
2 tablespoons of taucheo or fermented bean paste

1 small stick cinnamon
4 cloves
1 star anise
1 tiny piece of dried tangerine peel
1 tablespoon of white peppercorns,

2 tablespoons dark soya sauce
2 tablespoon light soya sauce
2 tablespoon Shao Xiang Chinese wine (optional)
1 cup water (or more if you prefer a less f


Heat a bit of oil and fry the garlic, ginger and taucheo till fragrant. Add the spices. Add meat and the sauce and water. Simmer for several hours. I used the pressure cooker so it takes about 45 minutes. However, this is best simmer in a slow cooker, overnight if you don’t have a pressure cooker. I think using normal gas fire, you may need at least 3-4 hours for the beef brisket to be tender.


I boiled some egg noodles and serve the ngau lam or stewed beef brisket with the noodle. The only thing I lack was the green vege.

The beef brisket noodle is so perfect for rainy evenings because it is so comforting to eat on cold, wet nights.

beef brisket noodle

The costs of the beef brisket and beef tendon was around RM11 per 500 grams. I bought a batch totalling RM25 and had made sup lembu and this beef brisket on two different days. You know what? The one I cooked was wayyyyyyy tastier than what I can find from any mamak stall or Taiwanese restaurants.

Post Author: Lilian

Food, travel, recipes. Chinese Malaysian, blogger, photographer and writer.