Taiwan's Famous Beef Noodle Soup! 牛肉麵

What's Taiwan famous for? Their beef noodle soup! That's right! Nothing better!

Prep Time: 30 mins
Cook Time: 1.5 hrs

2 lbs beef shank with tendons cut into 1/2" slices
2 medium carrot skinned and cut into medium sized pieces
1 medium daikon skinned and cut into medium sized pieces
1 tomato cut into big pieces
4 cans of beef broth (homemade broth is fine too)
2 stalks of green onion chopped
8~10 slices of ginger
5 cloves of garlic smashed
5~8 star anise

1/2 cup soy sauce
1/4 can spicy soy bean paste (adjust the amount depending on your tolerance)
2 Tablespoons of sugar
vegetable oil
1 bag of beef soup spice pouch (do NOT open this cloth bag)

Pickled veggie side:
1 package of pickled Chinese cabbage chopped
4 cloves of garlic chopped finely
1/4 cup sugar
*4 fresh chilly peppers*

  1. Boil the beef in some water for 5 mins. Pour the water out and wash the beef clean.
  2. In a large pot heat up some vegetable oil in high heat, and add ginger and garlic, and then quickly add the beef. Stir fry for a couple of mins.
  3. Add soy sauce and spicy bean paste. Stir fry about 5 mins, let the beef soak up some of the sauce.
  4. Add enough broth to cover the beef. Add carrots, daikon, tomato, star anise, sugar, and beef soup spice pouch.
  5. After the soup boils, turn it to low heat and simmer it for an hour or so, until the tendons are soft.
  6. While the soup is simmering, heat up some vegetable oil with high heat on another stove. Add garlic, then chopped picked Chinese cabbage. Add chilly pepper if you wish. Then add sugar. Stir fry until hot. This is the side that goes with the soup.
  7. When the soup is done, boil some noodles (and napa cabbage or bok choy if you wish) in a different pot, and then put the noodles (and veggies) in a large bowl. Add soup, pickled side, and green onions on top before serving.
If you have a pressure cooker, it's so much faster! Instead of 1 hour, it'll cook in 20 mins!

Spice Pouch 滷包
When yo go to the oriental market, you may find many variety of spice pouch. Some come in packages like this, some in a box. Find the one that has a picture of beef in the front.
The important thing is, the spices are inside a cloth bag. Do NOT open this cloth bag. Just throw one bag into the pot!

Beef Shank 牛腱
You'd have to buy this at an oriental market. It tends to be on the pricy side. Lots of tendon makes it soft and tender! It'll be very hard to cut the tendons, so if you have a hard time, you can just cut into big pieces, cook it and cut into smaller 1/2" slices after they cook.

Pickled Chinese Cabbage 泡菜
At the oriental market, you'd find them in packages like this. It's yellowish-greenish and is soaked in water. The smaller picture is what it looks inside. You should wash it before using it.

Star Anise 八角
Star anise is a type of Asian spice. It also comes in powder form. You can pick them up in any oriental market.

Spicy Soy Bean Paste 辣豆瓣醬
The can on the left is the spicy soy bean paste. At the oriental market, it comes in can or glass bottle.

Daikon 白蘿蔔
These are also called "White Carrots." At the oriental market, pick the ones that are hard. The softer ones are old.