Taiwanese Beef Noodle Soup

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The girls and I love this braised beef noodle soup, and it is something we order quite frequently.  The other night, at late as it was, I had a sudden craving for it. I thought I might be able to make it on my own, so I as Googled it I came across this blog ” Stream in the Hip Desert”. I was attracted to the blog instantaneously as the name reminded me of the first devotional book I owed back in the University days.

I alway want to try something new for our weekly family dinner.  It is really hard to cook for two, and even after all these years, I still have trouble trying to scale down my cooking, and I usually end up with more than we can handle.  It is a good thing that my newly wed chickadees can go home with the left overs, so on nights like this, it gives me an incentive to “cook big”.

This dish is another success for me.  Woo hoo…. I love the taste of the beef, and as suggested by the author of the blog, I used shank as it does not have too much fat in it.  But unfortunately I forgot to dilute the sauce before serving it  with the noodles ( as strongly suggested by the author), and it was a little too salty for me…. and next time, ( note to self:  Not only add more water to the sauce before serving, make sure I use low sodium soya sauce !)

Colorful !

Taiwanese Beef Noodle Soup ( From Stream in the Hip Desert)

Ingredients:

5 cups water
1 cup soy sauce
1 cup Chinese rice wine or medium-dry Sherry
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 (1-inch) cube peeled fresh ginger, smashed
1 bunch scallions, white parts smashed with flat side of a large knife and green parts chopped
3 garlic cloves, smashed
10 fresh cilantro stems plus 1/2 cup loosely packed fresh cilantro sprigs
2 (2-inch-long) pieces Asian dried tangerine peel*
4 whole star anise
1/4 teaspoon dried hot red pepper flakes
2 1/2 lb meaty beef shank
10 oz dried Chinese wheat noodles* or linguine
bok choy
4 tablespoons Chinese pickled mustard greens**
1 (4-inch-long) fresh red chile (optional), thinly sliced

Special equipment: cheesecloth

preparation
Bring water, soy sauce, rice wine, brown sugar, ginger, white parts of scallion, garlic, cilantro stems, tangerine peel, star anise, and red pepper flakes to a boil in a 5- to 6-quart pot, then reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, 10 minutes. Add short ribs and gently simmer, covered, turning occasionally, until meat is very tender but not falling apart, 2 1/4 to 2 1/2 hours. Let meat stand in cooking liquid, uncovered, 1 hour.Transfer meat to a cutting board with tongs and discard bones and membranes, then cut meat across the grain into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Pour beef broth through a cheesecloth-lined sieve into a bowl and discard solids. Skim fat from cooking liquid and transfer liquid to a 3-quart saucepan.

Meanwhile, cook noodles in a 6- to 8-quart pot of (unsalted) boiling water until tender, about 7 minutes (14 to 15 minutes for linguine). Drain noodles well in a colander and divide among 4 large soup bowls.

Ladle broth over noodles and top with meat, scallion greens, pickled mustard greens, cilantro sprigs, and red chili (if using).

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