niu rou mian (beef noodle soup)

Rainy days are for beef noodle soup!! I never make this *quite* the same way, but this is the basic riff off of. I’ve made this without the onion on a day I didn’t have any and couldn’t be bothered to go to the store. Sometimes I’ll add a little tobandjan for a kick, or mix up the spices and add some fennel seeds and dried chilis. The pickled mustard green is not really optional IMO (and in the boy’s and in my sister’s) bc the salty, sour tang just rounds the bowl out so well!!

I usually double up the below recipe so that we’ll have cartons full of leftovers soup that my sister can have easily for lunch/dinner when I’m not around. I’ve done this multiple times before I leave for a trip so I know she has a well-balanced meal ready to go.

**This time around I went on autopilot and cut my onions too small this time around, and didn’t realize until it was too late! Leaving them larger and chonkier will make them easier to strain out for a clearer broth

For the soup:

  • 1.5lb beef stew meat, cubed
  • 1/2 a small daikon, peeled and cubed, approximately 1/2 lb (carrots are also yum in beef noodle soup)
  • 1/2 yellow onion, cut into big chunks
  • 3 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 2 slices of ginger
  • 2 scallions, cut into ~2-inch pieces
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp shaoxing wine
  • 8 cups of water
  • salt

For the spice bag:

  • 2 star anise
  • 4 cloves
  • 2 bay leaf
  • 1 small cassia cinnamon stick
  • 1-2 tsp Sichuan peppercorn (I used 1 tsp bc mine are very potent!)

For the pickled mustard green topping:

  • 1/2 bag of pickled mustard greens, chopped up
  • 3 cloves minced garlic
  • 2 dried chilis
  • few pinches of sugar

garnishes: scallions, cilantro

To make:

  • Blanch meat by adding beef to a pot and covering it with cold water. Bring to a boil over high heat for ~3-5 minutes and then strain and rinse off any impurities — this is also a good time to cut up and larger chunks of meat to make them more bite sized 
  • In a pot, heat up oil over medium-high heat and cook onions, scallions, garlic, and ginger in oil until aromatic ~2-3 minutes
  • Then add in the blanched meat along with a pinch of salt. Allow it cook for a bit before mixing in shaoxing cooking wine, soy sauce, dark soy sauce
  • Once well coated, add in the daikon, spice bag (star anise, cloves, bay leaf, cinnamon, sichuan peppercorn), and water. Bring to a boil and then simmer for ~90 minutes. I like to pull out the spice bag at around the hour mark.
  • Remove the spice bag if you haven’t already and skim off any additional scum. Season with salt to taste
  • Serve with noodles, veggies, and pickled mustard green topping!

For the pickled mustard greens:

  • Sauté garlic and chilis (break chilis in half) in a bit of oil over medium heat until aromatic. Then add in the mustard greens and a pinch of sugar and cook for ~3 minutes.