Why wouldn’t anyone want this?! Deep, savory broth with mind numbing chili, melt in your mouth meat, slippery noodles and suan cai (pickles) to brighten everything up. I like to have this with soy milk to kill some of the heat. This is a dish so dear to me, I once delayed breaking up with an ex so I could finish eating. Talk about true love and dedication!
Taiwanese Beef Noodles
serves 6 with some soup left over!
(pictures depict the recipe halved, I cooked for 3)
soup (long, long list…)
800 g beef chuck + brisket (the fattiest one you can find). I like to do a 50/50 mix. or you can pick just one cut!
300 g large scallions cut into 3″ pieces
60 g sliced ginger
3 tablespoons garlic paste
1 large yellow onion diced
2 med tomatoes, halved
1/2 tablespoon rock sugar
2 heaping tablespoons ground dried chilli (you can buy it ready ground)
OR 4 dried chillies, whole
7 star anise
1 cinnamon stick (the indian variety is the best)
6 dry bay leaves
1 1/2 tablespoons fennel seeds
1 1/2 tablespoons cumin powder
1 1/2 tsp ground Sichuan peppercorn (optional)
2 tsp ground coriander
1/4 tsp five spice powder
1/4 tsp black pepper (freshly cracked)
1 large piece dried tangerine peel
7 tablespoons tomato paste
6 tablespoons doubanjiang
1 tablespoon shacha sauce
1/3 tsp of curry powder
1 cup shaoxing wine
1 cup soy sauce (season to taste)
4 tsp honey
1 tsp black vinegar
1 tablespoon peanut butter, smooth, unsweetened (optional)
spring onions and cilantro
crispy onions and roast peanuts
(all garnishes optional- usually only use spring onions and cabbage)
and of course:
8 cups good quality, unsalted stock, the best you can find. I use beef but have also used chicken! if using salted stock (i.e. from boullion cubes) reduce soy sauce according to taste.
noodles. I usually get whatever I can find, usually the yellow ones, since the soup is the star anyway.
Dice beef into large cubes and brown. I’ve seen some people brown and some people boil, but as far as I’m concerned browning is the way to go. Do this in the same pot you will be cooking your soup in- so make sure it’s a large one.
Just oil (more if using chuck, less if using belly), about a tablespoon of raw sugar (not the fine one) and salt. Caramelize the beef, remove from pot. Add a little more oil if needed, turn down the heat a little. Add in scallions, ginger and onion, cook till onion is soft. Then add garlic paste, saute till fragrant.
Now add all your spices (dried chili, star anise, cinnamon, bay leaves, fennel, cumin, peppercorn if using, coriander, five spice, black pepper, rock sugar, curry powder….) and paste (tomato paste, shacha, doubanjiang). Saute till darkened and fragrant (but not burned!!). Deglaze with a little water if needed. This is your soup base. Most of the work is over!
Add shaoxing wine, honey, black vinegar, and 7 cups of stock. Add rock sugar. Stir and bring to a boil. Pour in your soy sauce but stop to taste halfway through- depending on your stock you might need more or less than a cup. That 1 extra cup of stock left over is for you to adjust the seasoning now- some leeway if you think you’ve added too much soy sauce. Add more sugar if you’d like…
Once the taste is to your liking add in your beef (this is why I said you need a MASSIVE pot), turn down the heat so its simmering, get that lid on and leave to cook for 2-3 hours. Always keep the lid on and the heat low so it doesn’t boil over. Uncover to give a quick stir every hour. During the last hour you can cook the noodles and portion them out into individual bowls.
By now the meat should be fall apart tender. If you’ve uncovered too often or the heat is too high it WILL be chewy. In that case put the lid back on for another 30mins on low.
Stir in peanut butter last, and an extra 1 tablespoon of tomato paste if you’d like. I always do this and learned this trick from ladyandpups!
With a strainer held above each bowl, ladle the soup in. Add in the beef and garnishes. You’re done! That took a really long time! But if you’re making for friends and family, so worth it. If you’re making it for yourself, I swear I’m not judging you. Good for you!