Category Archives: noodles

Braised Beef Noodles


IMG_3970September 29, 2014

It seems the rain is the motivation I need to cook and once again it is pouring outside today.  It is my day off and I have spent the morning with my daughters even though it was not under the most desirable circumstances.  My eldest chickadee had dental surgery this morning, and her sister was the designated driver and I just tagged along.  When your children are grown up and have their own lives, you do try to find opportunities to spend as much time as possible even though it was a trip to the dentist.

As I was sitting there waiting for her, what came to my mind was “braised beef noodles”, it is a popular dish in Taiwanese restaurant, and it has been a while since I have one. And right in the waiting room of the dentist I got my craving for a steamy bowl of fragrant beef noodle.

This dish takes a bit of time to cook, and it is best served a day after.  So after the trip to the dentist I went home and started cooking.  Sadly I have to wait for another day before I can consume it, but cooking on a rainy day is kind of therapeutic for the soul.


1 pound of boneless beef short ribs

1 pound beef bones ( or ox tail)

3 carrots peeled and chopped

2 tomatoes peeled and quartered

4 ginger slices

4-5 cloves of garlic

3 green onions cut  half inch long

2 star anise

1 Tbsp of Szechuan Peppercorn

2 cloves

1 dried orange peel

2 Tbsp of chili bean paste

3 Tbsp of rice wine

4 Tbsp of soya sauce

1/2 tbsp of rock sugar


To make:

Soup base:

-Wash beef bones,   put them in boiling water for 5 minutes.  Discard water, rinse bones with cold water.

– Fill pot with cold water enough to cover the beef bones.  Turn heat on, when water starts to boil, then turn heat down to a simmer.  Cook for about an hour.

Braised Beef:

– Wash beef, and put in boiling water to cook for about 5 minutes, discard water and wash beef in cold water.  Put beef in cold water in a pot and boil, then turn heat to low and simmer until beef is tender enough to have a chopstick go through the meat.

-Remove beef from heat, put the water aside.  Once beef is cool enough, slice and cut it to desired size.

-Remove beef bones from soup, add  water from above step to soup.

-Stir fry beef chunks with chili bean paste, add to the soup.

-Stir fry ginger slices, garlic, green onion until fragrant, and add to soup.

– Gather all the spices and put them in a small piece of cheese cloth.  Tie and secure the spice bag, and add to soup.

– Put the remaining ingredients in the soup, and set it on high until it boils. Turn heat down and simmer for about 40 minutes.

-Let beef sit in sauce over night.  Taste better the next day.

-When ready to serve, heat beef and soup, and add to cook noodles.


pumpkin noodles


Nov 14, 2012

Tonight is one of those days I need my comfort food.  I have been craving rice vermicelli all day long and it is exactly what I would prescribe to chase those awful blues away.  This evening I need my comfort food to bring me back to my pampered childhood years. 

As I was making the pork, I got a little concerned because besides the soy sauce there is not much seasonings.  But I am totally surprised after I added the kabocha, the tangyness of the pumpkin add another layer of flavoring to this other wise bland dish.

As I expected, rice vermicelli and Survivor did the trick!

Pumpkin Rice Noodles
Serves 1 | Prep Time: 15 minutes | Cook Time: 5 minutes


100g dried rice vermicelli
2 tablespoons oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
100g pork, minced
100g pumpkin (or kabocha), diced
½ cup water
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon sweet soy sauce
3 dashes white pepper
100g bean sprouts, rinsed


1. Soak the dried rice vermicelli in warm water for about 20 minutes. Drain the water and set aside.
2. Heat up the oil in a wok and add the garlic. Stir-fry the garlic until aromatic before adding the pork and pumpkin.
3. Add the water, soy sauce, sweet soy sauce, white pepper and bring to boil.
4. Add the rice vermicelli into the wok, stir to combine well with the ingredients in the wok.
5. Add the bean sprouts and continue to stir fry the rice vermicelli until the sauce is dry and the vermicelli is cooked through. Dish out and serve immediately.


My TV dinner: Spicy Peanut Udon Noodles with Tofu and Broccoli


I love Wednesdays because of all my favorite shows are on, and I am driven to try out new recipes on my TV nights.  Nothing more exciting than eating something new in front of  Survivor !

As soon as I saw this spicy peanut on Janet’s blog, I knew I have to make it.  It was so good that I could not wait for it to be ready on the table and started to scrape the left over sauce from the bowl.  Janet, this is so yummy !! Thanks for posting this.  By the way, I did add a tablespoon of Hoisin sauce and it was so delish ! Next time I will add a little more hot sauce in to have an extra “kick”.

Spicy Peanut Udon Noodles with Tofu and Broccoli
Adapted from Quick Fix Vegan via Cate’s World Kitchen

250g frozen udon noodles (one “brick”, these ones are great)
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp seasoned rice vinegar
1 tbsp sriracha
1 tbsp agave nectar
1 tsp toasted sesame oil
1/2 cup vegetable broth
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 pound extra firm tofu, pressed, drained, and diced
3 green onions (green parts only), thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1 tsp grated fresh ginger
1 large head broccoli, cut into florets
2 medium carrots, peeled and sliced

1. In a medium pot, bring salted water to a boil. Cook the udon noodles according to package directions (frozen noodles only need ~7 minutes in boiling water).  During the last minute or two of cooking, add the broccoli and carrots to soften them slightly. Drain and rinse under plenty of cold running water. Set aside.

2. In a small saucepan over low heat, combine the peanut butter, soy sauce, rice vinegar, sriracha, agave, and sesame oil over low heat in a small saucepan. Whisk in the vegetable broth and stir until smooth. Set aside.

3. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat the oil and cook the tofu until golden on all sides. Once cooked, add the garlic, ginger, and scallions to the skillet with a few pinches of salt and pepper. Stir until fragrant. Next, add in the cooked pasta and vegetables. Add sauce to taste and stir to combine.

Serves 3-4.


Hot and Sour Prawn Noodle


I love Thai, and I love Vietnamese, so I combined these two tonight.  I was able to find some live spot prawns  and they made a perfectly yummy addition to my concoction. Actually I had something similar couple months ago, Jeremy  made this wonderful meal with different shell fish cooked in tom yum soup.  I sort of improvised and came up with my version.


Tom Yum soup base

1 pound of live spot prawns

2 cobs of fresh corn

2 Roma tomato

1 green lime

1 bunch of bean sprouts

2 swigs of fresh basil

a handful of cilantro

1 pkg of  fresh udon


  • make tom yum soup ( Click here)
  • while soup is boiling, put in cobs of corn ( chopped in half) and boil for 10 minutes
  • add in the quartered tomatoes
  • add udon noddles, cook until they are separated
  • and put in prawns, cook until they changed color, do not overcook
  • while soup is boiling, blanch bean sprout quickly and drain, wash and chop cilantro, basil leaves, put them on a plate to be served with noodles.
  • Serve immediately.

Taiwanese Beef Noodle Soup


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)


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

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).

oodles of noodles


I love noodles, I guess it is easy to figure that out since the name of this blog is Instant Noodle Chef !!  I love noodles more than rice, and I will order noodles whenever I can. 

Last weekend, had a special feature on Asian Noodle Recipes, and guess who got super excited about it ! I have saved a few recipes I intend to try, and the first one I attempted was the ” Braised Short Ribs with Glass Noodles“.  This dish requires about 3 hours to make, and definitely it is not something you will cook on a weeknight when you are hungry after work. ( So we had supper at 8 last night, but it was so worth it).

Let me tell you about the broth, it is DELICIOUS !! The mirin and the brown sugar made it wonderfully sweet, not at all over powering, and it made the plain glass noodles tasted superb!!  To me the best part was not the meat but the daikon and the carrot, after almost three hours of slow cooking in the oven, they tasted so tender and totally infused with all the flavor from the sherry and the garlic and the ginger.  Not that the meat was not tasty, but I was partial to the veggies.  So good and I still have a lot of leftovers from last night, I cannot wait to have them for supper again.

So here is the recipe from the website, like I said it is something you want to do when you don’t have to rush to get dinner on the table. 


  • 1 tablespoon(s) vegetable oil
  • 4 (12-ounce) flanken-cut beef short ribs, about 1 1/2 inches thick
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup(s) dry sherry
  • 1/2 cup(s) soy sauce or tamari
  • 1/2 cup(s) mirin
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 8 clove(s) garlic, smashed
  • 1 2-inch piece of fresh ginger, thinly sliced
  • 1 ounce(s) dried shiitake mushrooms
  • 1 tablespoon(s) light brown sugar
  • 3/4 pound(s) daikon, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 2 large carrots, cut crosswise 1/2-inch thick
  • 6 cup(s) water
  • 2 teaspoon(s) Asian sesame oil
  • 4 ounce(s) dried dangmyeon noodles (see Tips & Techniques)


  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. In a large enameled cast-iron casserole, heat the vegetable oil. Season the ribs with salt and pepper and cook over moderately high heat, turning a few times, until richly browned, about 10 minutes. Transfer the ribs to a plate.
  2. Add the sherry to the casserole and boil, stirring to scrape up the browned bits on the bottom. Add the soy sauce, mirin, onion, garlic, ginger, shiitake, brown sugar, and half each of the daikon and the carrots. Return the ribs to the casserole and pour in the water. Bring to a boil. Cover and braise in the oven for about 2 1/2 hours, until the meat is very tender.
  3. Transfer the ribs to a plate; cover and keep warm. Pick out the shiitake mushrooms, cutting off and discarding the stems. Strain the braising liquid. Return the liquid to the casserole and boil over high heat, skimming any fat from the surface, until reduced to 4 cups, about 5 minutes.
  4. Add the remaining daikon and carrots to the casserole along with the sesame oil and shiitake mushrooms. Cover and simmer over low heat until the vegetables are tender, 20 minutes. Return the ribs to the casserole and simmer until heated through. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Meanwhile, bring a saucepan of water to a boil. In a bowl, cover the noodles with warm water; let stand until pliable, 5 minutes. Drain the noodles and cut into 4-inch lengths. Add the noodles to the saucepan and cook until tender but still chewy, 25 seconds. Drain and transfer the noodles to shallow bowls. Nestle the ribs on the noodles, ladle the vegetables and broth on top and serve.

Tips & Techniques

Dangmyeon noodles, Korean noodles made from sweet-potato starch, are available from Asian markets.

My Tip:

The Korean noodles tend to stick together after they are cooked, I added about a tablespoon of oil to the boiled water before I add the noodles to it.  They are easier to handle afterwards.

combination seafood rice noodle


I love rice noodles either in soup or stir fried, but I  never had luck frying it because they always get stuck at the bottom of the pan, but Christine has some awesome tips and it really  works !!

This is an easy recipe, I used all seafood instead of chicken and char siu, but unfortunately I overcooked the seafood, next time I will have to watch for the timing

Good recipe !