Beef noodle soup

Try this popular Taiwanese dish made with beef brisket, noodles, fragrant herbs and spices
By MiMi Aye
Beef noodle soup
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 2
  • Cook Time:
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Effort: medium


For the spice paste:

  • 2 tbsp groundnut oil
  • 1 tbsp soft dark brown sugar
  • 3 tbsp Chinese rice wine or dry sherry
  • 1 tbsp chilli bean sauce
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 cm fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
  • 4 whole star anise
  • 2 tbsp Sichuan peppercorns, crushed
  • 1 tbsp grated orange zest
  • 1 tbsp cayenne pepper

For the beef:

  • 500 g beef brisket, shin or short rib, cut into large chunks
  • 2 medium onions
  • 2 cm fresh ginger, peeled and finely sliced
  • 2 plum tomatoes, quartered or 200g tinned plum tomatoes
  • 150 g dried thin egg noodles
  • 2 baby pak choi

To season:

  • 3 tbsp Chinese black vinegar
  • 1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
  • 3 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 6 tbsp dark soy sauce

To serve:

  • 4 tbsp Sichuan preserved vegetables, , you can get these in Asian supermarkets where it is known as zha cai, chopped
  • 2 spring onions, green and white parts, thinly sliced
  • 1 fresh red chilli, thinly sliced


1. For the spice paste: Heat the groundnut oil in a frying pan on a high heat, then add the ingredients in list order. Mix together, then stir-fry for 12 minutes until fragrant.

2. For the beef: Put the beef in a saucepan with the onions and ginger, generously cover with water and bring to the boil. Turn the heat down to medium-low and leave to simmer for 30 minutes.

3. Discard the onions and ginger from the broth, then add the spice paste and stir. Top up with cold water so everything is submerged by a couple of centimetres. Bring to the boil. Add the tomatoes, then reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 1½ hours.

4. While the broth is simmering, cook the noodles according to packet instructions; drain and set to one side. Blanch the pak choi by pouring just-boiled water over them and then draining straight away.

5. To season: When the beef has finished cooking, bring the broth back to the boil and add the seasonings.

6. To serve: When youre ready to serve, divide the noodles between 2 noodle bowls, ladle the stock with the beef over the noodles. Top with the blanched pak choi, preserved mustard vegetables, spring onions and chilli.

Want to see more? Take a look at lots more of our noodle recipes.

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