(Original Post Date: October 2, 2010)
According to my Taiwanese/Chinese husband, there are two versions of this famous beef soup in Taiwan: a slightly sweet mild version, and a really spicy/more savory version. After trying out a bunch of different recipes for a “David approved” beef noodle soup, I finally perfected the recipe into this version right here – it’s slightly sweet, but also a little bit spicy.
My favorite part of this soup is the simmered egg, another Taiwanese specialty. I love eating the simmered eggs over rice… or with a fresh mantou (steamed bread). If you aren’t a fan of simmered egg, you could omit that step, and just poach eggs in the final broth right before serving.
Update 4/29/2013: To make this more spicy (like Hong Shau Niu Rou Mian), add 1-2 tsp. Korean Chili Paste (hot pepper paste, a.k.a. Gochujang). It adds the flavor and red color that is more common with the spicy version.
Taiwanese Beef Noodle Soup:
- 7 c. water
- 1/2 lb. beef tri-tip or short rib
- 1 c. Michiu (chinese cooking rice wine)
- 1/2 c. soy sauce
- 1/4 c. brown sugar
- 1 medium onion
- 3-4 cloves garlic
- stems of a cilantro bunch
- 2-3″ ginger, peeled & sliced
- 1/2 tsp. anise seeds
- 1/2 tsp. fennel seeds
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 3-4 whole star anise
- 1 tsp. Szechuan peppercorns
- 3-4 Japanese red pepper pods
- 6 eggs
- 1 package Chinese thin noodles
- 1/2 lb. baby bok choy
- 2-3 stalks green onion, sliced
- cilantro leaves
1. Wash the cilantro, and chop the stems off of from the leafy tops. Set aside the leafy cilantro tops. Peel and smash the garlic cloves. Peel and slice a 2-3 inch finger of ginger. Peel and quarter an onion. Add the water, cooking wine, soy sauce, brown sugar, cilantro stems, ginger, garlic, and onion to a large stock pot over medium heat.
2. Measure out the fennel, anise, whole star anise, Szechuan peppercorns, Japanese pepper pods (torn in half), and cinnamon stick (broken into pieces). Add the spices to the stock pot.
3. Slice the beef into 1 inch cubes. Add to the stock pot.
4. Put the eggs into the stock pot and bring to a gentle simmer. After 10 minutes, remove the eggs, and peel. Add the peeled boiled eggs back into the simmering soup.
5. Cover the soup with a lid, slightly askew to allow steam to escape, and simmer on medium-low heat for 2-3 hours.
6. With a slotted spoon or tongs, remove the boiled eggs and beef into a bowl and set aside.
7. Set a strainer over a large bowl, and strain the broth into the bowl, leaving all the solids behind.
8. Cook the noodles according to the package directions, drain, and set aside.
9. Wash the baby bok choy, and halve any large pieces.
10. Put the strained broth back into the stock pot, and taste. The flavor will be a little strong, so add 2-4 cups of chicken broth or water to taste. Bring the soup back to a simmer. Add the bok choy and simmer for 2 minutes until cooked.
11. Assemble the soup as follows: Put a large handful of drained noodles into the bottom of the soup bowl. Add a few pieces of beef, one of the eggs sliced in half, and a few pieces of bok choy. Add hot broth, and top with sliced green onions and a few reserved sprigs of cilantro.