Taiwanese beef noodle soup - 8 October 2011 - Page 1

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Chopstick snob translation - Niu Rou Mian

I believe Taiwan has the best food in the world. Not only did they invent bubble tea, but the dessert house seems to come from there, as well as din tai fung, my favourite restaurant (even though they specialise in Shanghainese food).
The national dish of Taiwan is beef noodle soup. There are many variations, today I tried to make it how I remember it being in Taiwan, it turned out well.

You need a small truck to get all the ingredients. I decided to use shin beef, some recipes call for short ribs. The meat I recall from when I was in Taiwan was thicker cut than this, big chunks. But I couldnt get that.
The noodles are fresh and raw, from the great new Mariana market on Grote street.

Most recipes say to boil the meat first and discard the water, so I did that. It smelt like boiling cow.

Whilst its boiling, its time to cut up some herbs.

The beefs been boiled, its not an attractive look. Still I believe in Taiwan they actually convince a living cow to step into a giant pot, skin, hooves and all. This is called flavour.

Any day you get out the mortar and pestle is a good day. The goal here isnt to make a paste, just to bruise it to help unleash its flavours. Oh and thats mandarin peel, seems most recipes call for it.

The grey smelly beef is resting.

The herbs are releasing their fragrance to hide the smell of boiling shin.

Now I have added the stock, rice wine, soy, star anise, cinnamon quills, and most of the other stuff in the first picture.

Heres everything in the pot.

And a redundant shot of the same a bit later.

Now after its cooked for 3 or so hours, your house really starts to smell awesome. Star anise makes its smell like licorice but theres also a strong aroma of garlic and ginger and everything good in the air. However, you dont eat this, you strain the soup into a bowl and discard all the chunky stuff after pulling the meat out.
Stupidly I forgot to take a photo of the stuff in the sieve/collander thing, so you get a photo of the inside of my bin!

Heres the strained soup broth with the beef, which is now falling apart. I really needed bigger chunks of beef.

Next its time to prepare various things to use as a garnish.

Also, the noodles, it only takes about 4 minutes to cook them al dante.

Add in the noodles and bok choy and bean sprouts ready to pour over the boiling soup broth and add some beef.

Heres what it looks like.

And I took another photo after messing about with the chopsticks so you can see theres noodles and stuff in it too.


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