There really is nothing more comforting and delicious than a big bowl of hot broth with noodles and meat. Bonus points if there is a layer of fat on top of the broth, waiting to coat the noodles with flavorful stickiness as you lift them out and up to your mouth. Gawd I love noodle soup. Except for udon.
Beef noodle soup is a popular Chinese dish with many different iterations, depending on where you get it. You can have it with dark broth, with light broth, with ox tail, with shank, with hand drawn noodles, with shaved noodles, or with store-bought ghetto noodles. My personal favorite is the dark, soy sauce based broth, with stewed beef shank and tendon. If you order it from a restaurant it’s called hóngshāo niúròu miàn (I copied and pasted that from eatingchina.com so I think it’s right). Literally translated, it means red braised beef noodle. It gets its name from the red color the beef gets after being braised in soy blah blah blah who cares. It’s effing delicious is all you need to know.
I hardly took any pictures during the cooking process this time around… I was cooking for a group of people and just didn’t have time. It’s pretty straight forward though, and you can cook it all in one pot (the best kind of cooking).
I DID however take a couple pictures of the special/hard to find ingredients. Here are the noodles I used:
You can use Wei Chuan noods too, they are fantastic.
Here is the hot bean paste I used:
And here is how to assemble:
Top with bok choy and beef chunks. Also, I added pork belly to the recipe because I’m an American, dammit.
Top with broth, garnish with cilantro and sliced green onion.
Have at it!
2 lbs beef chuck or beef shank, cut into 1 1/2″ cubes
1 lb pork belly, cut into 1 1/2″ cubes (the piece I got was still on the bone, so I threw the bone in as well. That was a good choice)
1 cup soy sauce (I used a combo of about 80% low sodium and 20% dark soy sauce)
1/2 cup dry red wine
2-3 tbsp turbinado sugar (sorry, wasn’t measuring.. start with 2, then add more to taste later on)
2 star anise
2 tsp of ground schezuan pepper
1 knob of ginger, peeled and sliced thin (about 2″ long, 1″ diameter)
10 cloves garlic, minced
2 tomatoes, quartered
6 cups of water
Wei Chuan Noodles, cooked per package
Bok Choy, leaves peeled off individually and blanched for 1 minute
Green onion, thinly sliced
Hot bean paste
Bring a large, heavy-bottomed pot of water to a boil. Add your beef and pork belly and blanch the meat for about 1 minute. The water should look a little cloudy and the meat cooked on the outside. Remove the blanched meat and reserve for later. Dump the blanching water.
Fill the pot back up with all the soup ingredients except the meat and tomatoes and bring to a boil. Return the meat to the pot and bring the heat down to low. Cover and simmer for about 3 hours.
Add the tomatoes to the pot, cover and simmer for another 30 minutes. If you want your broth spicy you can add a tablespoon of the hot bean paste at this point as well.
When the soup is done cooking, bring a smaller pot of water to boil. Blanch the bok choy leaves for 1 minute and remove. Cook your noodles according to the package (usually about 5 minutes), and place in bowl.
Place your bok choy on top of the noodles, fish out a few chunks of beef and pork belly, then ladle a good amount of stock over the whole thing.
Garnish with sliced scallions and cilantro and dig in, you animals.