It’s taken a very long time for winter to come this year and I’m not complaining.  However I have been waiting for my noodle soups; they are one of my favorite categories of food. (Have you ever thought about what your favorite food categories are, as opposed to favorite foods?) Credited for getting me through the freezing cold days, I just love wrapping my hands around steamy bowls bigger than my head. I slurp away my chills with Wonton Noodle Soup, Ramen, Pho, any noodle soup, I love them all! It seems crazy that FoodMayhem is nearing it’s fifth anniversary and yet I’ve never posted the noodle soup I grew up on: Taiwanese Beef Noodle Soup.

Taiwanese Beef Noodle Soup 4

This is a home-style dish that every Taiwanese family makes and can be found at many restaurants, so it’s one of those recipes for which you can find 500 variations. I wanted to share my mom’s version as it is simple and so good. It hits the spot for me every time. The pickled veggies are not just a garnish, they are absolutely essential to this dish and making that part from scratch does take a little extra work/time, so you can buy the pickled mustard greens at any Chinese supermarket to save effort.

A couple of extra notes on this recipe:

1. My mom taught me to make a concentrated soup for this recipe so that it’s easier to store. Then each time we want to serve it, we adjust with hot water. It may end up looking like you don’t have enough soup at the end of this recipe. That’s what I intended, as long as it’s saltier and concentrated. We think it’s practical.  If you want to make it the way you would serve it, simply add more water at the end. It will just take up a little more room in your fridge.

2. You’ll see a lot of “optional” in the ingredients list. This is mostly the spice component. Some people like it without spice; some like it mildly spicy; and, some like it really hot. It’s up to you. You can also make it without spice and just serve chili oil on the table for guests to add on their own.

3. If you would like more veggies in this one bowl meal, people often add spinach, baby bok choy, or choy sum.

Taiwanese Beef Noodle Soup 5

Taiwanese Beef Noodle Soup
~12 servings

  • 4 1/2 pounds beef shank, cut into large chunks
  • 1/4 cup raw sugar (or rock candy)
  • 1 1/4 cup soy sauce, divided
  • 3 scallions, cut into 2″ segments
  • 1 medium sized peeled tomato, diced
  • 1.5 oz peeled ginger, divided into 5 pieces and smashed
  • 3 tablespoons rice wine
  • dried red chilies to taste (optional)
  • 1/2 bulb of garlic, peeled and smashed

Pickled Mustard Greens

  • 4 cups shredded pickled mustard greens
  • 1 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • dried red chilli flakes to taste (optional)
  • 1 /2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • Chinese dry noodles medium (prepared as directed on package)
  • cilantro to garnish (optional)
  • chili oil to garnish (optional)

Instructions –

1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the chunks of beef and bring back to a rapid boil, about 5 minutes. Drain and rinse beef with cold water three times, making sure to rinse off all scum.

washing beef

2. Cut beef into 1″ to 1.5″ cubes, discarding any extra fatty parts.

3. Return to the same pot (after it has been rinsed and dried) and turn to high heat. Add sugar and toss to coat meat. Stir and brown for 2 minutes.

4. Add 1 cup soy sauce, scallions, tomato, ginger, rice wine, and chilies (if using). Stir.

beef soup

5. Add 5 cups of water or enough to just cover meat. Cover and bring to a boil. Turn down to a simmer and continue cooking for 1 hour.

making beef soup

6. Add water to taste (about 1 1/2 cups) and soy sauce to taste (about 1/4 cup) and simmer for another 10 minutes.*You want it to be a little saltier than you want your soup to be.

7. Add garlic and turn off heat. Leave covered until serving.

8. To make prepare pickled mustard greens, squeeze out excess liquid from mustard greens and discard. Heat oil in a wok. Add chili flakes if you are using. Wait 10 seconds and add mustard greens. Stir-fry. Add sugar and toss. Add soy sauce and stir. Add vinegar and toss. Remove from heat.

shredded pickled mustard greens

9. To assemble each bowl of noodle soup you’ll need cooked noodles, beef soup (with additional hot water as needed), and some prepared pickled mustard greens. Add cilantro and chili oil if desired.

Taiwanese Beef Noodle Soup 3


Store left-over beef soup in the fridge, in an airtight container. Reheat on the stove-top. *You should cook noodles each time you need some. Don’t make a big batch and store. You can store the pickled mustard greens in an airtight container in the fridge as well.


posted by jessica at 05:45 PM Filed under Chinese, Recipes. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.