I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again. I love noodles. Any day, any time. I’ll eat them for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, and even as a midnight snack!
It’s impressive to think how a piece of starch could be transformed into so many different styles and variations. Ranging from rice noodles, to pasta noodles, and everything in between.
Even for a noodle lover like myself, exploring different styles of noodles can be a large task for the undertaking. Case in point — I grew up on my Mom’s favourite style of noodles, which is the a dry Kolo Mee.
TRYING TAIWANESE BEEF NOODLES FOR THE FIRST TIME
My first time eating Taiwanese beef noodle soup was when my uncle took us out to Chef Hung’s. I opted for their signature spicy beef noodle soup.
The noodles were perfectly chewy, and the broth was nice and beefy, with hints of star anise. Paired with an order of beef roll pancakes and some dumplings, it was a delicious memory etched in my mind.
As of late, these Taiwanese beef noodles have been on constant repeat in my house. Robust, rich, spicy, and deep in beefy flavour, these soup noodles pack a punch, and keep you heartily fulfilled. Made in a crockpot, it’s a set it and forget it type of recipe. (And in my mind, the best type of recipe!)
KEY INGREDIENT IN BEEF NOODLE SOUP
Dou ban jiang is one of the key ingredients to making this beef noodle soup. It’s a paste made from fermented broad beans, soybeans and various spices.
It is what also gives it a spicy kick, but you may omit it if you’re not into spice. You can just use black bean garlic paste (Lee Kum Kee makes a good one) in place of it.
Here’s my take on Taiwanese Spicy Beef Noodle soup. Perfect for chilly winter nights, when you’re craving something rich, comforting, and warm.
Taiwanese Spicy Beef Noodle Soup
- 1 lb beef shank with bones and/or beef tendon
- 1 Tbsp oil
- 2 Tbsp dou ban jiang spicy fermented broad bean paste
- 1 Tbsp black bean garlic sauce
- 1 Tbsp oyster sauce
- 3 Tbsp dark soy sauce
- 1 Tbsp light soy sauce
- 1 Tbsp 5-spice powder
- 1 Tbsp ginger powder
- 1 large disc palm sugar about 56g
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 Tbsp garlic minced
- 1 Tbsp ginger minced
- 1 Tbsp coriander seeds
- 1 Tbsp sichuan peppercorn seeds
- 4 star anise
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 6 C beef broth
- + water as needed
- a few sprigs cilantro chopped
- 2-3 green onions chopped
- pickled veg
- 2-3 small heads baby bok choy
- Wash beef bones/tendon in cold water. Drain.
- Fill up a large pot of cold water. Bring to a boil.
- Add the beef bones to the boiling water. Let it boil for 10 minutes. Drain the beef bones and rinse with cold water.
- Transfer the beef bones to a crock pot.
- Heat up 1 Tbsp of oil in a pan (or the same pot), and saute the minced ginger and garlic until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the dou ban jiang and garlic black bean sauce and fry for another minute or so. Add the rest of the sauces, 5-spice and ginger powders, sugar, salt and stir fry for another minute. Transfer the thick sauce to the crock pot.
- Place the coriander seed, szechuan peppercorns, star anise, and cinnamon stick into a cheesecloth. Tie it up and place into the crock pot.
- Add the beef stock and cover with additional water so that all the bones are submerged.
- Place the lid on and place the crock pot on low for 6-8 hours, until the beef shank is soft and tender.
- Remove the beef shank and pick out the bones. Place the meat aside.
- Taste the soup for seasoning and adjust accordingly. If the soup has reduced down too much, add additional water.
- In the meantime, cook the bok choy in a large pot of boiling water for about 1-2 minutes. Don't overcook the bok choy, since it will continue to cook slightly with the heat of the soup. Remove the bok choy and set it aside.
- Next, using the same boiling water, cook about 1 lb of dry wheat noodles according to the directions on the package. Drain the noodles.
- Portion the noodles, beef, and bok choy into bowls. Ladle the hot soup over top and garnish with cilantro, green onions, and pickled vegetables (if desired).
- Enjoy the spicy beef noodle soup immediately.