This Hoisin Beef Bowl has to be my family’s favourite chinese style beef. It’s flavourful and comforting and the fresh, crunchy salad makes a welcome change to cooked vegetables. It’s SO easy to chow down this meal in minutes. And even with the three separate parts to this bowl, you can still get it on the table within 40 minutes.
This beef bowl is super adaptable for different family members. You can make it more grown up with spring onions which really finish the bowl off perfectly, and a sprinkling of sesame seeds too if you like. For younger children and fussy eaters, you can serve it without the toppings. Using mince beef is also great for little ones, particularly those who struggle with chunks of beef. I’ll tell you how to tweak & serve to younger children and babies below.
How to Cook My Hoisin Beef Bowl
Watch me make this Hoisin Beef Bowl step-by-step here, before or as you cook.
Hoisin Beef Bowl Ingredients
Go for 5% extra lean mince / ground beef as the healthiest option. We are also going to drain the excess fat off once the beef is browned.
The key flavour ingredient here is Hoisin Sauce. I usually use Blue Dragon Hoisin Dipping Sauce, but you can use supermarket own brand or even a hoisin stir fry sauce, which you can get for a really reasonable price.
Chinese 5 Spice
For the Chinese 5 Spice, I like to use the Schwartz brand but again, supermarket own brand will be fine, and cheaper.
You can skip the salad completely and go for cooked vegetables instead. Steamed broccoli or carrots are a quick alternative.
I haven’t included instructions for cooking the rice in this recipe, most people have their own way of doing it already. If you do need a rice recipe - I’ve got you! Take a look at mine here >
Pro Prep Tips
We’re going to make light work of that salad by using our mandolins. You have a few options for serving this cucumber and carrot salad. You could use the thinest, 3mm slicing attachment for very thin slices, your julienne attachment for matchsticks like I have done here, your ribbon cut attachment for ribbons, or spiralizer attachment for spirals. Or you may have a spiralizer you can use instead.
You can prep the carrots and cucumber, leave them in the mandolin and cover the top with clingflim (saran wrap) and refrigerate until ready to use. You can also prep the garlic, Chinese 5 Spice and ground ginger into a mini bowl, cover with clingfilm and refrigerate. Same with the sauce, you can measure out the hoisin and the soy sauce into a small bowl, cover and chill until ready to use.
Kids Cook Too
Younger children can get involved by helping measure everything out. They’ll enjoy watching the mandolin at work. If you like, they can also have a go at using it, provided the veg is secured to the handle and they are supervised closely by you.
Feed a Crowd
This is easily doubled, just use a saucepan or shallow cooking pot instead of a frying pan to cook the beef.
Storing My Hoisin Beef Bowl
You can store leftovers of the beef in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to 3 days (2 days + cook). The rice should only be kept for 24 hours in the fridge, and should be cooled down quickly and not left sitting out. The dressed salad will be ok for the next day. Prepared and undressed it will last 2 days.
You can freeze the beef and rice leftovers on the same day, just defrost for 24 hours in the fridge and reheat until steaming hot all the way through.
For more on safe food storage and reheating read here >
My Hoisin Beef Bowl is egg and diary-free. Hoisin Sauce may contain soybeans, wheat flour, sesame seeds, nuts and peanuts - check the label before you buy.
Adapting My Hoisin Beef Bowl For Your Family
Eating together is beneficial for families of all ages and stages, for a multitude of reasons; nutritional, behavioural, psychological and for healthy family functioning. This section will show you how to tweak this Hoisin Beef Bowl recipe for sharing with a weaning baby, toddler or a fussy eater, to help make it easier for you to eat together as a family.
Keeping Younger Children & Picky Eaters Happy
Keep theirs simple. Don’t add spring onions or sesame seeds to their serving. You can always ask if they’d like to try them but don’t push if they say no.
If your child doesn’t like salad with dressing on then set aside some of the prepared cucumber and carrot for them before you dress it for everyone else.
See more from me on fussy eaters here >
Add On’s for Adults
All I can say is - don’t skip the spring onions! They really round off this dish. The sesame seeds are totally optional.
Making My Hoisin Beef Bowl Baby & Toddler Friendly
I already don’t add salt into this dish because I just don’t think it needs it. Switch the beef stock to low-salt beef stock if eating with a baby, and also you can use reduced salt soy sauce.
How to Serve My Hoisin Beef Bowl to Babies & Toddlers
Serve the beef on top of the rice, or mixed in. For the carrot and cucumber, serve prepared age appropriately:
6 - 8 months
While you are cooking, steam either a whole carrot or half a carrot (sliced lengthways) for little one. For the cucumber, they can have it with skin on, cut into finger size strips.
9 months +
The carrot and cucumber can be served as prepared using the mandolin as thin (3mm) ribbons.
Put their beef into your stick blender pot or food chopper if it purées. Add a little rice and undressed carrot and cucumber (set some aside once you have prepared it). Add a little warm boiled water to loosen as needed and whizz into a purée.
Put some beef in the mini food chopper along with a little rice and some of the undressed, prepared carrot and cucumber. Slowly pulse until everything is finely chopped. Add some warm water or low salt stock to loosen as needed.
Pulse their beef, some prepared carrot and cucumber in your mini food chopper briefly. Transfer to their bowl and mix through some rice.
1 Year +
Serve their beef as is, either top their rice with it or mix it in. Serve their salad undressed alongside.
I’ve also added these notes to the bottom of the recipe so you have them to hand when you come to cook.
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HOISIN BEEF BOWL
FOR THE SALAD
- ½ large cucumber
- 2 carrots peeled
- 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
- ½ tablespoon vegetable / sunflower oil
- ¼ teaspoon white sugar ideally caster / superfine sugar
FOR THE BEEF
- 1 tablespoon groundnut / vegetable / sunflower oil
- 500 g extra lean beef mince 5% fat
- 2 garlic cloves finely chopped / crushed
- ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon Chinese 5 spice
- 100 g hoisin sauce
- 100 ml beef stock
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- Bunch spring onions thinly sliced, to garnish
- Sesame seeds to garnish, optional
FOR THE RICE
FOR THE SALAD
- Top and tail the carrots and chop off the end of the cucumber. Then cut the cucumber and carrots in half horizontally. You’ll need a mandolin to slice them, you can either choose the thinnest slicing insert (3mm) to slice the carrots and cucumber into very thin slices, use the julienne attachment to slice into matchsticks, ribbon cut attachment for ribbons or spiral attachment for spirals. You could also use a spiralizer. One at a time, attach the pieces of carrot and cucumber to the handle spokes and work them back and forth on the mandolin (see video for help).
- Then tip the carrot and cucumber into a medium bowl. Add the vinegar, oil and sugar and toss well.
FOR THE BEEF
- Heat the oil in a frying pan over a medium heat. Add the beef and fry, stirring often for 5 minutes, or until browned. Use your spoon to break up chunks. Drain off the excess fat if any, then put the pan back on the hob.
- Add in the garlic and spices and fry for a further minute.
- Add in the stock, hoisin and soy sauce stirring well and allow to bubble. Then turn down the heat to low for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- To serve, garnish adult and older child portions with the spring onions and sesame seeds if you like.