Sunday, July 11, 2010

Taiwanese Beef Noodle Soup (牛肉麵 niu rou mian)

The other day, I was having a huge craving for Taiwanese beef noodle soup after I ordered a ticket for Taiwan, where I will be in August. With that being said, will anyone be in Taiwan August through September that wants to go eat yummies with me?

For my beef noodle soup, it takes quite a lot of time to make because I love lots of beef flavor from beef marrow bones and beef itself. The main component of this dish is beef shank, which gives the soup a meaty flavor and also it has a lot of meat. It's cheap and is only $2.49 per pound. You can ask the butcher at Whole Foods or at 99 Ranch for this cut of meat.

The bones were obtained at Whole Foods and can be found in the frozen meat section. I only trust Whole Foods for marrow bones and maybe Ralphs too because I had a horrible experience with the bones from 99 Ranch.

Taiwanese Beef Noodles Soup (牛肉麵 niu rou mian)

2 lbs Beef shank
1 lb Stew beef
2 lbs Beef marrow bones
2 tbs Chili bean paste (find in Asian markets)
3 cloves Garlic
2 large Onion (I used Maui Hawaiian onions from Trader Joes)
2 Roma Tomatoes
2 Organic carrots
1 inch Ginger
1/2 cup Soy sauce
1/4 cup Rice wine
1/4 cup Brown sugar
3 Star anise
1 tbs Rock sugar
Green onions
Baby bok choy

Prep work for the stock
1. Slice 1 onion in half
2. Slice 1/2 inch ginger and smash it with the blade of the knife
3. Heat oven for 400F.
4. Pat Bones dry and roast in the oven for 15-20 minutes or until bones are brown.
5. Put bones, onion, ginger, and stew beef in a 6 Quart stock pot and fill up the pot almost to the top with water.
6. Bring to a boil and reduce heat.
7. Simmer the water for 5 hours covered.
8. Strain the stock and pick out the stew beef.
9. Chill until fat solidifies and remove the fat (I used the fat to brown the beef shank)

Prep work for the beef noodle soup
1. Peel and slice the carrots into three parts
2. Cut the tomatoes into quarters
3. Take the other 1/2 inch of the ginger and smash with the blade of the knife
4. Smash garlic and peel the skin off
5. Boil water in a large pot.
6. Throw in beef shank until it looks like the surface of the beef has been cooked (2-3 minutes)

1. Heat up a large pot so that it can support the whole beef shank.
2. Put in beef lard from the stock or 2 tbs of oil in the pot.
3. Brown the sides of the beef shank 2-3 minutes)
4. Add in brown sugar and chili bean paste to coat the beef shank and cook for another 1-2 minutes.
5. Add ginger, star anise, and garlic and stir around the beef shank and cook for another 1-2 minutes.
6. Add the rice wine and cover for 3-5 minutes.
7. Add the hot stock, including the stew beef, soy sauce, rock sugar, carrots, 1 onion, and tomatoes.
8. Simmer covered for 4-5 hours on low heat.
9. Taste the soup. It should be relatively spicy and sweet with a hint of soy flavor. If it is too salty, add a little more water. Not enough flavor, add a little bit of salt.
10. Take out the large beef shank
11. Wait until it cools then slice it into thin pieces. (These pieces can also be used for cold appetizer with greens onions, soy sauce, and sesame oil)
12. Cook some Asian wheat noodles or udon noodles according to instructions.
13. Cook baby bok choy in water.
14. Finely chop the green onion
15. Put noodles in a bowl and spoon soup into it.
16. Add slices of beef and the green onions.

I haven't had good beef noodle soup in awhile. I guess this will be my Taiwanese treat in America before I venture into Taiwan.

Also, one of the blogs I follow, Tasty Eats at Home, is giving away coconut oil. I hope I win it. Time to do lots of experimentation with this oil xD.

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