May 15, 2019

Taiwan Braised Beef Noodles 台灣紅燒牛肉麵

Taiwan Braised Beef Noodles 台灣紅燒牛肉麵

chinese, recipe, Taiwan Braised Beef Noodles, taiwanese, 台灣, 紅燒牛肉麵, noodle
By Published: 2019-05-15
Yum, yum, yummy!  This yummilicious bowl of noodles of worldwide fame, the Taiwan Braised Beef Noodles 台灣紅燒牛肉麵, is filled with comforting chunks of meltingly tender beef and tendon and just cooked noodles all nestled in a deliciously aromatic spiced beef soup.  This noodle dish first appeared in Taiwan not too long ago, sometime after WWII when the Kuomintang 國民黨 relocated to Taiwan, bringing with them many of their own regional Chinese food influences.  Since then this delicious beef noodle has become a firm classic of Chinese cuisine.  So delicious and addictive and best of all easy to make right at home!

chinese, recipe, Taiwan Braised Beef Noodles, taiwanese, 台灣, 紅燒牛肉麵, noodle

Beef shank 牛腱, Beef Golden Coin Muscle 後牛腱 and beef tendons 牛筋 are usually used for making this beef noodle.  The cut that I prefer is the Golden Coin Muscle, also known as the Heel Muscle.  It is 50/50 meat to tendon which makes for an absolutely divine contrast of texture and taste while the long braise makes for a wonderfully flavorful soup.  All these cuts have a lot of tendons and require slow braising but it's all worth it when you bite into the meltingly tender meat.  It's soooo good!

chinese, recipe, Taiwan Braised Beef Noodles, taiwanese, 台灣, 紅燒牛肉麵, noodle

The beef is first parboiled to remove the blood which will foam to the surface.  Then the beef is rinsed clean and sliced into chunky slices.  In the photo above you can clearly see the striation of the meat and tendon all the way through the muscle.  It is especially beautiful once cooked.

Taiwan Braised Beef Noodles, recipe, chinese, taiwanese,  台灣, 紅燒牛肉麵

The beef soup for the noodles is the same as the stock the beef is braised in.  All kinds of good stuff go into the stock pot: onions, star anise, garlic, ginger, bay leaves, chilies, spring onions and shallots.  And then each chef will have their own special spin on the perfect beef soup, maybe adding a bit of tomato for tanginess, or a bit of corn or carrot for the sweetness, or a couple of dollops of chili sauce to make the noodle soup fiery hot.  The finished beef soup is a deep clear brown, aromatic and oh so deliciously satisfying!

chinese, recipe, Taiwan Braised Beef Noodles, taiwanese, 台灣, 紅燒牛肉麵, noodle

The cool thing about braising is that you can just add everything to a pot and let it simmer away, just needing to check and top up the stock level every once in a while.  I like to set an alarm to remind me to check my pot as I tend to be forgetful once I'm away from my kitchen.  This kind of cooking is also perfect for a pressure cooker if you have one, just reduce the cook time by two thirds.


A couple of hours go by and your house is now filled with the aromas of something delicious bubbling away on the stove.  Everyone's stomach is growling in crazy anticipation.  The beef is cooked down to tender melting perfection and you have a pot of seriously delicious spiced beef soup.  Time to gear up for a perfect bowl of Taiwan Braised Beef Noodles!  OMGosh, so good! 

chinese, recipe, Taiwan Braised Beef Noodles, taiwanese, 台灣, 紅燒牛肉麵, noodle


Taiwan Braised Beef Noodles Recipe  台灣紅燒牛肉麵
(makes 6 bowls of noodles)Prep time: Cooking time:

Ingredients 
2 lbs beef golden coin muscle or beef shank, 900g
8 cloves garlic
10 slices ginger
1 onion
6 spring onion stalks, cut to 2" lengths
4 chilies, sliced*
3 tbsp dark soy sauce
4 tbsp light soy sauce
4 tbsp shao hsing rice wine
3 tbsp bean paste
2 tomatoes, quartered (optional)
2 pieces rock sugar (equivalent of 2 tbsp)
4 star anise
1 tsp white pepper
3 bay leaves
salt, to taste

6 servings noodles
12 stalks boy choy 小白菜
1 cup cilantro, chopped
2 chilies, sliced
3 tbsp spring onions, chopped to rounds

Directions:
Add water to a large heavy bottomed pot.  When water is boiling add the beef in for 5 mins.  The beef will shrink a lot and foam will rise.  Remove and the rinse beef clean.  Pour out water and clean and dry pot.  Slice the beef cross grain into 3/4" thick slices.

Heat the pot, adding 2 tbsp oil.  When oil is hot add in garlic and ginger, stirring for 15 secs or until aroma is released, then add in onion, the white parts of the spring onion and the chilies, stir frying until the onions are translucent and slightly caramelized.  Add the beef, dark and light soy sauce, rice wine, bean paste, tomatoes if using, rock sugar, star anise, white pepper, bay leaves and enough water to cover.  Bring the pot to a boil, then cover and turn to low heat and simmer for 3 hours or until the beef is soft and easily pierced by a knife.  The longer you cook the more tender the meat so the cook time can be adjust to your preference.  Be sure to check and top up the water for the stock every half hour or so.  Remember that the stock does not need to be reduced by much as the flavor will be quite intense from the long braise and it will be used as soup for the noodles.  When stock and beef are done to your liking add salt and more sugar to your taste.  (I didn't need to add any salt.)

Meanwhile heat up another pot of water for cooking bok choy and noodles.  Rinse bok choy and slice in half lengthwise if the bok choy is large.  When water is boiled, add in bok choy and cook for 1 to 1 1/2 min or until the bok choy is a vibrant green and cooked through.  Remove immediately from water and reserve.  Add noodles to the boiling water and cook according to package instructions.  Remove from water and rinse under cool water to stop the cooking.  

Place noodles in each bowl, ladle enough soup that noodles can float, add 3-4 slices of tender beef on top along with 2 pieces of bok choy.  Sprinkle with cilantro, chilies and spring onions.  Enjoy!

*Tip: If you like the flavor of chilies but not so much the heat, a cool trick is to just cut off the stem of the chili and toss it in the pot.




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