Insatiable Girl

Beef Noodle Soup

Posted in cooking, food by sue on July 13, 2010

Taiwanese folks are so proud of their beef noodle soup (牛肉麵) there’s a competition in Taipei over who makes the best one.   I think my mom’s beef noodle soup is off the charts.  It’s been over six months since I last had it, so I decided to make it tonight for dinner and share the recipe with you folks.

First off, you need beef (I use ribeye steak), green onion, anise, black pepper balls, salt, ginger, garlic, chili bean sauce, olive oil, water, and rice wine… which I was out of, so I used rum in this recipe.  Slice 4 or 5 pieces of ginger, peel 4 or 5 cloves of garlic, tie one whole green onion, and dice the beef into cubes.

Heat some olive oil in a big pot and then add the chili bean sauce.  This is not the chili bean sauce that my mom uses back in LA, but it was the best one we could find here in New York.  The chili bean sauce makes a HUGE difference in this recipe.  If it’s not a good sauce, this is not going to be a good recipe.  I’d say this one is alright, whatever my mom gets back at home though is the best.  (I’ll try to find out what it is for you the next time I go home… if I remember.)  I used 2 to 3 tablespoons of this sauce and it still wasn’t spicy at the end, but it does the trick.

Stir the chili bean sauce until it becomes really fragrant and looks grainy.

Then add in the garlic and ginger pieces.  Stir some more.

After you really begin to smell that, add in your beef and stir until all the beef edges are cooked.

Add a bit of rice wine to the edges of the pot.  (Or in this case, rum!)  Why the edges?  Don’t ask me, that’s what my mom does!  You only need a bit, but if you are like me and dump in too much liquor, all you have to do is cook it for longer.

Then add in as much water as you want, 1 or 2 anises, 8 to 10 black pepper balls, and your green onion stick.

Let it all come to a boil and then put it on medium hot for 30 minutes.  If you use tougher pieces of beef or bigger chunks of beef, you have to add more time for this recipe.  The longer you cook it, the softer/more tender the beef will get.

Salt to taste and remove the wilted green onion.  Then add noodles, cilantro, veggies, whatever you want… Ta da!  It’s done.


2 Responses

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  1. Carina said, on July 14, 2010 at 11:36 am

    I’ve never seen a green onion tied like that and used for cooking. That’s so cute!

    I shall definitely save this recipe for the next time I’m craving Taiwanese food.

  2. sue said, on July 14, 2010 at 3:27 pm

    My mom ties it a lot better. It’s supposed to just make it easier when you take it out. The one I did yesterday came out while it was cooking.

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