Monday, January 5, 2015

National Soup Month: Beef Noodle Soup

Created in Taiwan, the beef noodle soup (new row mian) is a popular street food on the island.  The best way to truly experience this soup is to visit Chef Hou Chun-shengat at Barcode in Taipei.  Not only will you enjoy his comforting masterpiece, but Barcode also have fabulous cocktails.  He showed us the step-by-step process of making the soup on Capital Cooking.  Airing dates coming soon!

2.25 lbs boneless beef shanks
2.25 lbs beef bones, pieces
4 tbsp vegetable oil for sauteing
6 green onions, 4 roughly chopped into 3” for stock and sauce, 2 stalks finely sliced for topping
12-14 garlic cloves, smashed
2 inches ginger, sliced (not too think or thick)
1 red hot chili peppers, halved
1 tbsp rock sugar (about 1 oz)
¾ cup hot bean paste (or around 4 oz)
1 cup soy sauce, preferably Kimlan
½ cup spicy fermented bean curd (or around 5 oz)
¼ cup tomato paste (just under 2 oz)
1 tbsp black peppercorn (around 1 oz)
2 Bay leaves, large (depending on size)
4 ½ tbsp soy paste, preferably Kimlan (around 2 oz)
2 ½ tbsp dark soy sauce, preferably Lee Kum Kee (around 1.3 oz)
1 head of Romaine lettuce, chopped into 1” slices (roughly 1 lbs)
2 large beefsteak tomatoes, peeled and chopped into .25” cube
¼ cup cilantro, (optional topping)
2 Chinese herb bags: contains one part (.8 gram each) of Star Anise (pa-chiao), Fennel (huei-hsiang), Angelica roots (tang-kuei), and dried orange peel (cheng-pi); as well as three parts (2.5 grams each) of Pericarpium Zanthoxyli (hua-chiao), Cassia buds (kuei-tze), Cinnamon peel/bark (kuei-pi), and Cinnamon stick (kuei-chi). (The Chinese herbal shop uses a measurement system that does not have an English equivalent, however we converted it to the metric system to give you a better idea of the quantities involved.)  
Fresh noodle, depending on your preference and what’s available locally
Preparing the broth
  1) Boil about 1 gallons of water and beef bones and filter out impurities.
  2) Heat half of the oil and saute half of the green onions, ginger, garlic and red hot chilly peppers until you get a nice fragrant smell. Add half of the rock sugar, hot bean paste, soy sauce to the vegetables and cook slightly before combining it to the beef bone broth.
  3) Then add half the fermented bean curd and all the tomato paste.
  4) Lastly, include half of the the black peppercorn, bay leaves and one Chinese seasoning bag to the broth.
  5) Simmer for 6 hours. If you are not using a mesh herb bag, be sure to put the broth through a sieve.
Preparing the beef shank
  1) Cook the beef shank with just enough water to cover the meat, boil the meat until it’s cooked through. Let it cool and then sliced into oval disks, about one-third inch thick. Save the beef water for later.
  2) Saut√© the remaining green onions, ginger, garlic and red hot chili peppers in vegetable oil until it’s fragrant. Add the remaining rock sugar, hot bean paste and soy sauce, cook briefly.
  3) Add the remaining fermented bean curd, and all the soy paste and dark soy sauce, before adding the rest of the black peppercorn, bay leaf and Chinese herb packet.
  4) Place the sliced beef shanks into the sauce and add just enough beef water to cover the beef slices. Stir to ensure even mixing. Cover and cook for 30 minutes. If you like your meat more tender, you can cook for longer. Keep the pot covered while it’s cooling down. Take the slices out and strain the remaining liquid if you want a smoother sauce.
Preparing the noodle and assembling the dish 
1) Boil the water, add the noodle and cook until done. Drain.
2) Remove the skin from the tomatoes, and chop them into ¼ inch cubes. (You can peel tomatoes easily by dropping it into boiling water for a few seconds. The skin will separate from the flesh. Take it out and dip into cold water)
3) Chop the Romaine lettuce into 1 inch shreds. Then flash cook the lettuce in boiling water. Drain.
4) Put noodles into the bowl, top with beef shanks, lettuce, tomatoes, and spoon 4/5 beef broth, 1/5 beef sauce. Top with chopped green onions and cilantro. Enjoy.
Tune in soon!
Photos by Kristen Finn

No comments: