The Ultimate Taiwanese Beef Noodle Soup

Beef noodle soup is an iconic Taiwanese dish that is perfect for cold wintery nights (or any time for that matter). We had the privilege of trying out the most expensive beef noodle soup in the WORLD at Niu Baba (~300USD!!) – served in a fine bowl of china fit for a queen, perfectly cut and curated pieces of wagyu beef, atop custom noodles only used for this dish, and a rich and flavorful beef bone broth that made you question if everything else was just water. Each piece of meat was a labor intensive process that takes three days to make. Every bite of this perfectly cooked beef was so tender that it melted in your mouth. It was a feeling and taste we still remember to this day.

My once in a lifetime experience eating the most expensive beef noodle soup in the world.
Different types of wagyu beef was used to create the ultimate texture

And now back to reality…years later, we still think about that bowl of Taiwanese Beef Noodle Soup – so what are we going to do? Well, we are going to try to recreate it, and what better way to achieve perfectly cooked, tender, melt in your mouth beef than in the sous vide.

Bagged with a flavorful marinade, the beef shank and short rib were sous vide (167F (75C)/12h) to give it its rich flavour and the right balance of texture and melt in your mouth tenderness. We made our own beef bone broth and combined it with the flavorful cooking liquid to make a rich and hearty soup. We recommend using a thick round wheat noodle, and topping it with spicy stir fried preserved vegetables, scallions, and coriander. 

This dish is the ultimate comfort food luxury.

We also cut out meat into blocks like Niu Ba Ba
Use a thicker wheat noodle so it can hold up to the deep, rich flavors
We love the gelatinous texture of the tendons that runs through the beef shank

The Ultimate Beef Noodle Soup

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Chinese, Taiwanese
Keyword: beef, chinese, chinese recipe, noodles, Taiwanese

Ingredients

  • 1 Small Beef Shank
  • 750 g Boneless Beef Short Ribs
  • ½ cup Soy Sauce
  • 3 tbsp Rice Wine
  • 3 tbsp Doubanjiang
  • 2 tbsp Tomato Paste
  • ½ cup Water
  • 1 Onion quartered
  • 5 cloves Garlic crushed
  • 2 inch Ginger
  • 1-2 tbsp Rock Sugar
  • 3 pcs Star Anise
  • 2 tsp Sichuan Peppercorn
  • 2 Black Cardamom cracked
  • 1 tsp Fennel Seeds
  • 2 Bay Leaves
  • 3 inch Cinnamon Stick
  • 2 Dried Chilies

Broth

  • 2-3 lbs Beef Bones marrow preferred
  • 1 gal Water
  • 3 inch Knob of Ginger
  • 1 Onion halved
  • 2 Bay Leaves

Stir Fried Suan Cai

  • 300 g Suan Cai (pickled msutad greens)
  • 1-2 Bird's Eye Chilis diced
  • 3 tbsp Cooking Oil
  • 3-5 cloves Garlic

To Finish

  • Noodles wheat based, thick, round noodle
  • Scallion
  • Corriander

Instructions

Braised Beef

  • Set water bath to 167F (75C).
  • Heat oil in a cast iron or heavy bottom pan.
  • Brown the boneless beef short rib and set aside.
  • In a vacuum bag add soy sauce, rice wine, doubanjiang, tomato paste, and water. Give it a little mix to combine.
  • Add in the beef shank and beef short rib, along with the onion, garlic, ginger, and rock sugar.
  • In a spice bag, place the star anise, Sichuan peppercorn, black cardamom, fennel seeds, bay leaves, cinnamon bark, dried chillies. Tie it up and add to the vacuum bag.
  • Using the water displacement method remove the extra air from the bag and ensure the meat is completely submerged. Sous vide for 12 to 14 hours. We used quite a small cut of beef shank, if using a larger cut of beef sous vide for longer.

Beef Broth

  • In a large pot, bring enough water to cover the beef bones to a boil.
  • Add in the beef bones and boil for 5 mins. When brown scum surfaces drain and discard water.
  • In a large pot or pressure cooker (we used the instant pot) add the beef bones, ginger, onion, and bay leaves.
  • If using a pressure cooker, cook for 1.5 hours on high. If boiling in a pot, boil for 4-6 hours.

Stir Fried Suan Cai

  • Soak the Suan Cai in a bowl for 10 minutes.
  • Drain and wring out
  • Soak again for another 10 minutes in clean water.
  • Drain and wring out again.
  • Dice the preserved vegetables and set aside.
  • Warm a pan on medium heat, add oil, and chillies.
  • Fry until fragrant, then add the diced preserved vegetables.
  • Fry for 3-4 minutes, then add in the garlic. Toss around to incorporate, and cook for another 3-4 minutes. Set aside.

To Finish

  • Remove beef from bag
  • Strain remaining liquid in a fat separator, pressing out any remaining liquid. This will be the base of the soup.
  • Slice the short rib and shank into 2 inch slabs.
  • Boil noodles until desired doneness.
  • In a bowl, add a few ladles of beef broth
  • Slowly ladle in soup base from the sous vide beef until you reach your desired flavor.
  • Add noodles to the soup
  • Add the slabs of sliced short rib and shank. Top with a spoon of preserved veggies, garnish with scallion and/or coriander if desired.

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