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Chinese-Style Stew with Beef/Mushroom, Sweet Potato, and Bok Choy

A five-spice mixture makes this stew. Of course, you can buy Chinese five-spice at the market, but toasting and grinding your spices just before use will make all the difference in this umami-forward dish. If you are lucky enough to bring up a haul of porcinis, morels, or other meaty mushrooms from foraging, this dish is a beautiful way to showcase them. And we have many local growers to choose from when sourcing mushrooms. If you instead decide to make the dish with meat, use 1 steak for four people.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time15 mins


  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1- inch fresh ginger diced
  • 2 cups mushroom mixture oyster, king oyster, lion’s mane, or foraged mushrooms and 1/2 cup shiitake mushrooms, chopped; OR 1 pound beef (hanger or rib eye)
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons Chinese five-spice see recipe on this page
  • 4 cups beef broth or vegetable broth
  • 2 tablespoons tamari sauce
  • 1 sweet potato peeled
  • 2 heads bok choy trimmed and leaves rinsed and separated and cut into wide diagonal slices
  • 2 green onions sliced


  • Pulse garlic and ginger in a food processor.
  • Use a vegetable peeler to carefully slice the sweet potato lengthwise into long, thin ribbons.

For the meat:

  • Trim fat from steaks and slice across the grain into
  • 1/4-inch slices. Sprinkle meat with the salt and half the garlic mixture.
  • Heat oil in a dutch oven over high heat. Brown the beef lightly in batches for 3–6 minutes. Remove to a plate using a slotted spoon.

For meatless version:

  • Heat oil in a dutch oven over high heat. Brown mushrooms with half the garlic mixture, and when they begin to release their water, remove to a plate using a slotted spoon.
  • Reduce heat to medium. Add remaining garlic mixture and cook for 30 seconds. Stir in five-spice powder, then broth, and then tamari. Add sweet potatoes, cover the pot, bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat and simmer for 2 minutes.
  • Stir in bok choy until wilted, about 2 minutes. Stir in beef or mushrooms until hot, another 1–2 minutes. Ladle into bowls and garnish with green onions.