Taiwanese Beef Noodle SoupJump to Recipe
Braised beef in a savoury soup made from an aromatic blend of spices poured over a delicious bowl of noodles. Although it seems like it will take a long time, this Taiwanese Beef Noodle Soup recipe is quite simple!
Taiwanese Beef Noodle Soup Recipe History
This Taiwanese beef noodle soup is just a variation of a much older Chinese recipe. The original beef noodle soup recipe was allegedly invented by the Hui people during the Tang Dynasty. The Taiwanese then made it even more delicious by braising the beef and adding soy sauce.
Also known as “Sichuan beef noodle soup”, Taiwanese beef noodle soup was discovered by a Chinese military family living in Taiwan. Missing the tastes from their hometown in Sichuan, they created a dish inspired by it. They used the local spicy bean paste to make a small bowl of soy sauce braised beef and served it with noodles. Then ta-da, the Taiwanese beef noodle soup recipe was discovered.
You can now get the famous dish in many Chinese restaurants across the globe.
About the Ingredients
This Taiwanese beef noodle soup recipe calls for a combination of many spices. It may look complicated, but it’s actually a very simple recipe. It may be a challenge to find all the proper spices but it’s definitely worth it.
If you can’t find all the spices, the essentials are star anise, Chinese cinnamon, fennel seeds, cloves and bay leaves. You can also get away with just ginger, star anise and bay leaves. It’s best to use whole spices rather than their powdered form. Powdered versions have a stronger but more artificial flavour. They also release all their aromas at once rather than slow release over time.
As for the type of beef, it’s recommended to use beef shank. It is a little pricer than the more regular economical beef chunks, which also works. In a sense, any cut of beef will work for this recipe. Just make sure to pay attention to the marbling Since you’ll be cooking the beef for a longer period, good fat marbling will keep the meat from drying out and intensify the end flavour. Since you do have to simmer the broth for some time, you can also opt to use a slow cooker instead.
If you love noodle soups, try our Chinese Chicken Noodle Soup recipe or our Wonton Noodle Soup recipe.
Taiwanese Beef Noodle Soup Recipe
- 1 small piece Chinese cinnamon (~ 5 grams)
- 1 black cardamom pods, (草果 ~ 5 grams)
- ¼ tbsp fennel seeds
- 2 star anise pods
- 5 cloves
- ½ dried tangerine peel
- 3 dried bay leaves
- ¼ tbsp whole white peppercorns
- 2 slices licorice root, (甘草片 ~ 7 grams)
- 1 piece sand ginger, (山奈／沙姜 ~ 6 grams)
- 5 pieces dried amomum white cardamom, (白寇 ~3g)
- 1 ½ lb beef chunk
- 8 cups water
- 1-inch knob ginger
- 1 ½ tbsp oil
- 7 ½ grams rock sugar
- 2 stalks green onion
- ½ head of garlic
- ½ lb daikon
- 2 tbsp Shaoxing wine
- ½ tbsp dark soy sauce
- 2 tbsp light soy sauce
- salt, to taste
- Noodle of your choice
- Leafy greens of your choice, bok choy and choy sum are recommended
- Handful of cilantro, (optional, for garnish)
- First gather all the spice ingredients. This includes the cinnamon, black cardamom, fennel seeds, star anise, cloves, tangerine peel, bay leaves, white peppercorns, licorice slices, sand ginger, and amomum white cardamon. Put everything into a spice bag or disposable/fillable tea bag. Save for later.
- It’s time to prep the other ingredients. Rinse the beef and pat dry with some paper towels and cut it into large chunks. Peel the ginger and garlic. Slice the ginger but only remove the hard end on each clove of garlic (keep them whole).
- Peel the daikon and cut into ¼-inch thick slices. Cut each slice into quarters. Prep the leafy vegetable of your choice by washing and leaving them to dry. Chop the cilantro and slice the green onion thinly. Try to separate the green and white parts of the green onion.
- In a large soup pot, add in the 8 cups of water and bring it to a boil. Add in the beef chunks and ginger slices. Cook until you see some foam on top of the water. Skim off the foam. You don’t want these impurities from the beef making your soup cloudy.
- Turn off the heat and remove the beef and ginger pieces. Set them aside. Then, get a large heatproof bowl or another soup pot ready and strain the broth through a fine-mesh strainer into it.
- Rinse out the first pot and wipe dry. Add the oil to it and heat over medium heat. Once hot, add the rock sugar, the white parts of the green onion and the garlic cloves. Cook them for a few minutes until the green onions are lightly seared. Add the cooked beef chunks to and turn the heat to medium-high. Cook for another 5 minutes, occasionally stirring.
- After, add the Shaoxing wine, dark soy sauce and light soy sauce. Stir everything together so that the beef is well coated in the sauce.
- Then pour the broth back into the first pot along with the bag of spices, daikon, cooked beef and ginger slices from earlier. Bring everything to a boil and then reduce heat back down to medium. Let the broth simmer for 90 minutes.
- After 90 minutes has passed, turn the heat off and cover the pot. Let the soup stand for another hour. Now the soup is ready. You may have to reheat it before serving. Also make sure to remove the bag of spices and add salt to taste before serving.
Noodles and Vegetables
- Cook the noodles according to the package instructions, strain and separate into serving bowls.
- Blanch the vegetables of your choice in the remaining noodle water and then place on top of the noodles.
- Using a ladle, scoop the beef and soup into each bowl. Garnish with the green part of the green onion and some chopped cilantro. Serve immediately while hot. Enjoy!