Taiwanese beef noodle soup (Niu Rou Mian)

Taiwanese beef noodle soup (Niu Rou Mian)

I am pretty sure that today’s soup I could eat once a week without getting sick of it. Mild hotness, rich taste and after eating a bowl of this soup you’re feeling full for hours. Not to forget the smell!!!

Taiwanese are also very passionate about this dish. In the country beef noodle soup is considered as national food. Every year in Taipei is held a beef noodle soup festival. During it different restaurants and chefs are competing for winning “best beef noodle soup” title.

My version is slightly different, because some ingredients are way too hard to find in my country. Also, don’t be afraid of cooking time, the longest period is simmering. You have to be patient, but the taste is definitely worth it. 

With these ingredients you will make 5-6 portions.

For spice bag:

  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 star anise
  • 1 cm ginger (or 2 licorice slices)
  • 1/2 tbsp coriander seeds
  • 1/2 tbsp black pepper (black pepper and coriander are both sichuan peppercorn substitute)
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 tbsp goji berries

For beef soup:

  • 400-500 g beef, cut into large chunks
  • 4 tbsp sesame oil
  • 13 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 cm ginger, chopped
  • 1 medium onion
  • 4 green onions, chopped
  • 2 1/2 tbsp miso paste
  • 2 tbsp chili flakes
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 3 tbsp shaoxing wine or sake (I used sake)
  • 200g cherry tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 beef bouillon cube
  • 6-7 cup water
  • napa cabbage
  • noodles ( I used rice, but wheat would be even tastier)
  • chopped green onions and coriander of serving

1. In a dry pan toast all the spices for the spice bag, around 2min or until you can smell the aroma. Place it in a bag. 

2. Blanch the beef in a large pot with boiling water (~1min) then drain and set aside. 

3. Rince the large pot and heat it on high heat with sesame oil. Add chopped ginger, garlic, onion and green onion. Saute for a few minutes.

4. Add miso and chili flakes, sugar, soy sauces, sake (shaoxing wine), stir everything together and saute for 2 min.

5. Add blanched beef, chopped tomatoes and bouillon. Stir everything together and cook for ~3-4min.

6. Pour water and add a spice bag. Bring to boil and simmer on medium heat for 1.5 hours. 

7. Before serving soup prepare noodles according to the instructions. I soaked rice noodles in boiling water for 6 min, then drained it.

8. Blanch napa cabbage in salted boiling water for 5-7 min. Set aside. 

9. Serve soup with noodles, napa cabbage and chopped green onions, coriander.