Sunday, April 1, 2012

Taiwanese Beef Noodle Soup

One of the interesting things I get by moving my food blog to a real blogging site is that I can get to see statistics on which is my more popular posts are, with over 200 views and counting!  The 3 cup Taiwanese chicken post was the most popular getting hits from all around the world from Russia, Brazil, Germany, Spain, Malaysia, and the Ukraine.  So this inspired me to do another Taiwanese recipe: Taiwanese Beef Noodle Soup!

Most of the Beef Noodle Soup recipes I found online were not very good.  Especially on Chinese sites.  I had my co-worker help me translate and they read: take premade beef soup mix and pour it in water.  Cook beef.  Done!  Yeah it's lame.  So I used the one posted at  I'm not sure how close this follows a traditional Taiwanese recipe but I was almost able to find every single ingredient I need from Save-On-Foods so at least it's convenient!

  • 2.5 cups of water
  • 1/2 cup of soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup of Chinese white wine
  • A stick of rock sugar
  • 1 thick slice of fresh ginger
  • 3 Green Onions
  • 2 Garlic Cloves
  • 5 Parsley Stems
  • 1 Asian dried tangerine peel
  • 2 whole star anise
  • 1 Package of short ribs
  • 1 bird's eye chili pepper
  • Some Chinese 5 spice
  • Some Chinese pickled mustard greens

First I sprinkled the chinese 5 spice on the short ribs.  I basically treat it like a BBQ rub by heavily seasoning both sides and then rubbing it in.

Then I chopped up the green onions, and bird's eye chili.

Then I combined the water, soy sauce, rice wine, brown sugar, ginger, green onions, garlic, parsley stems, tangerine peel, star anise, and hot birds eye chile pepper in a pot and bring it up to a boil.

After it comes to a boil, bring the temperature down to a simmer and then add the beef.

Simmer for just over 2 hours.  Add chicken broth to replace the liquid that was evaporated during the braising process.  Pick out the beef and remove the bones, trim off the fat, and cut up into chunks.  Run the broth through a chinoise and remove the solids.  If you skim off the fat you can basically use it right now.  I found the flavours to be very bright - especially the hot chili taste.  I put it in the fridge overnight so that the fat floats to the top and solidifies (like butter) and it can be removed very easily.  The flavours also mellowed down a lot and it wasn't as hot as the night before.

To serve, cook the noodles, blanch some baby bok choy, and dice up some of the chinese pickled mustard greens.

Tada!  You're done!

It ended up pretty good.  A bit on the sweet side so I'll 1/2 the rock sugar next time.  But I thought it tasted fairly authentic and was pretty proud of myself.  You can use other kinds of stewing beef other than short ribs but I like how the bones in the short ribs basically makes a beef stock while you're braising the meat.

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