Hoisin, soy sauce, chili-garlic sauce and ginger infuse this slow-cooker beef stew with tons of Chinese-inspired flavor. Although Chinese beef stew is often made with potatoes, this one features udon, a thick Japanese wheat noodle.
Put the beef in a 6- to 8-quart slow cooker and season lightly with salt and pepper. Whisk the flour and 1/2 cup water in a small bowl until smooth, then whisk in the hoisin sauce, soy sauce, tomato paste, chili-garlic sauce and ginger. Pour into the slow cooker and turn the beef to coat. Add the star anise. Cover and cook on low until the beef is tender, 7 to 8 hours.
Discard the star anise and transfer the meat to a plate. Shred into bite-size pieces, removing any large pieces of fat. Skim off any excess fat from the liquid in the slow cooker. Return the meat to the slow cooker and season with salt and pepper.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the noodles and cook as the label directs; drain. Divide the noodles and beef stew among bowls. Top with the watercress, scallions, cilantro and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar.
Photograph by Ryan Dausch
This recipe has been updated to more accurately recognize its origin or to add cultural context. It may differ from what was originally published or broadcast.