My last holiday finished up in Taipei, Taiwan. It was in this city that I fell in love with the national dish. Beef Noodles. Near enough every restaurant sells this dish across the city and many tourists flock to Taipei to sample a bowl.
The soup consists of an intensely beefy broth with slices of tender beef sitting on a bed of egg noodles. The noodles in Taipei were the thicker kind but to be honest any decent egg noodles will do.
Now, at the time of writing, the world is currently in the grip of the dreaded Coronavirus. Budgets are being stretched with people losing jobs on a daily basis. Therefore, I have tailored this recipe to make it as easily affordable as possible.
Use whatever beef you can get hold of or afford. I saw a lovely cut of brisket on the bone at my local market, Leicester. Just £3 for the meat gave me two meals out of it plus a bone for stock.
Cheaper cuts of beef like chuck, shank or brisket are ideal for this dish. Even beef left over from a Sunday roast will work well, just add any slices of precooked beef a couple of minutes before serving.
There are additions you can make to the broth such as star anise, tomatoes or shaoxing wine. These are only if you have them. Don’t worry if you are without these, the recipe below will taste just as good!
What you will need….
4-5 Slices of Beef Brisket per person (or any good stewing beef)
5cm Ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
2 Garlic Cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
1 Red Chilli, finely chopped (can substitute with 1tsp chilli flakes)
Beef or Pork Bones, as many as you can get hold of (or use 2 beef stock cubes)
2 tbsp Dark Soy Sauce
1 tbsp Sugar (I used brown but use whatever you have)
2 tbsp Balsamic Vinegar (substitute red wine vinegar or lime juice)
2 Spring Onions, finely sliced (optional)
Noodles, to serve
Oil, for cooking
How to make it…..
Begin by adding around a tablespoon of oil (neutral oil like vegetable oil or groundnut are ideal but use what you have) into a large saucepan or wok over a medium-high heat. Add in the chopped ginger, chilli and garlic and gently fry for 4-5 minutes or until slightly softened.
Turn the heat to low-medium and add in the bones (if using stock, sprinkle in the stock cubes). Add in two pints of water along with the soy sauce, sugar and vinegar. Add the beef into the liquid and simmer the soup gently for around 20 minutes.
Place the noodles into a pan of boiling water and cook according to packet instructions. Drain the noodles and divide into bowls. Ladle the soup over the noodles and fish out the beef slices to place on top. Garnish with some spring onion slices, if using, and enjoy.
Even though a few traditional ingredients had been sacrificed to make the dish, this was extremely tasty.
To make a simple soup in 25 minutes that tastes this good and is kind to both your health and wallet is immensely satisfying. I can’t travel at the moment but this took me all the way back to Taipei.
The ingredients listed can also be used in so many other dishes, saving you even more money and time spent shopping. Stay tuned for more recipes and stay safe.