Monday, June 29, 2009

Taiwanese Beef Noodle Soup

This is the one dish I order whenever I patronise a Taiwanese restaurant. Of course the dishes are made slightly differently in one restaurant compared to another. I was tempted to try making it myself when I came across this recipe in A Daily Obsession; or I should say, when I came across the delectable picture of the dish there. I followed her advice and made the soup the day before. The next day, the soup was absolutely heavenly and the beef had absorbed the spices in the soup. The soup is very "beefy" so this dish is strictly for beef lovers. Add in homemade noodles (which is really better than any noodles you can possibly buy outside) and voila! a tasty dish to satisfy your strongest beef craving.

This recipe is adapted. The beef serves about 3 people but the soup will probably feed 4-5 people. You can increase the beef accordingly.

1/2 kg stewing beef or beef ribs, or mixture of
1 piece ginger (10g), peeled & smashed lightly
1 bunch spring onions, tied
1/4 bulb garlic, peeled
1 piece dried tangerine/mandarin peel, 2 X 2 cm
1/2 star anise
1 stick cinnamon, about 3 cm long
3/4-1 tbsp sugar (to your liking)
3 tbsp dark soy sauce (or more to intensify color)
3 tbsp light soy sauce
freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/2 tsp white rice vinegar (optional)
1 litre beef or chicken stock
Homemade noodles (cut into udon size)
A bunch of bok choy

cilantro or Chinese celery leaves

1) Cook the soup the day before serving. Cut stewing beef into small pieces, 3 x 4 cm or bigger if like. Beef ribs about 5 X 5 cm. If using ribs, blanch them briefly in boiling water, throw water away.
2) Put everything into a heavy-based pot and add a litre of water and a litre of beef or chicken stock. Boil and simmer for 2-3 hours. Leave it till the next day. Season to taste.
3) Boil a large pot of water and cook noodles, two portions at a time so that you can control the texture of the noodles. Meanwhile, heat up the beef soup.
4) Boil soup and vegetables together. Once the vegetables have cooked to your liking, add cooked noodles and cook for a short while. Quickly pour into serving bowls.
5) Top with some cilantro or chopped Chinese celery leaves. Serve immediately.

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