Taiwanese Beef Noodle Soup

Recipe adapted from: https://thewoksoflife.com/taiwanese-beef-noodle-soup-instant-pot/

Servings: one big pot, 6-8 people

Ingredients:

  • 1.2kg beef chuck steak (or beef shank $$), cut into 2 inch chunks
  • 2 Tbsp oil
  • A 2-inch piece of ginger (smashed)
  • 6 cloves garlic (smashed)
  • 3 scallions (cut into 2-inch segments)
  • 1 medium onion (cut into wedges)
  • 2 large carrots, cut into 2 inch chunks
  • 1 large tomato (cut into wedges)
  • 4 dried chilies (for mild to medium spice) – optional
  • 1 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 Tbsps spicy bean paste douban jiang
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 3/4 cup Shaoxing wine
  • 1 Chinese aromatic herb packet (lu bao) or make it as below
  • White noodles (enough for 6-8 people)
  • A small handful of bok choy for each serving
  • Scallions (finely chopped)
  • Pickled mustard greens (to taste) – optional
  • To create your own spice sachet, tie up the following ingredients in cheesecloth or large tea bag:
  • 4 star anise + 3 floating in the soup
  • 2 Chinese cinnamon stick – floating in the soup
  • 3 bay leaves – floating in the soup
  • 1 tablespoon fennel seeds
  • 1 tablespoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 2 tablespoons Sichuan peppercorns
  • ¼ teaspoon five spice powder
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper


Directions:

  1. This step is optional, but it helps make your broth clearer. Place your beef chunks into a pot and cover with enough boiling water and let it come to a boil for 1 minute, then strain out the beef and remove any scum. Rinse your beef and pot with clean water. Set your beef aside.
  2. In your large pot on medium heat, add the oil and sauté the garlic and ginger for a minute, then add in the spring onions and onion. Sauté until the onions start turning translucent.
  3. Next, add the carrots, tomato wedges, dried chilies, and beef. Sauté for a few minutes until your beef starts to brown.
  4. Then add in the tomato paste, spicy bean paste, sugar, soy sauce, and Shaoxing wine. Stir until combined.
  5. Add 8 cups of water to your pot and the spice packet + star anise, bay leaves, and cinnamon sticks to free float in the soup. Put a lid on your pot and bring it to a boil on high heat then turn the heat down to low and let it simmer for 3-4 hours until the beef is very tender (the longer you cook it, the softer the meat becomes and the more flavourful the soup will be – in fact, I think it tastes even better the next day).
  6. When the soup is ready, turn the heat off and cook the noodles according to package instructions. When the noodles are done, throw your bok choy into the noodle water and blanch for about 30 seconds.
  7. To serve the noodle soup: in a bowl, place a portion of noodles with a few chunks of beef, carrots, and a few stalks of bok choy. Fill the bowl with soup and top off with spring onions for garnish and mustard greens.

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