This Taiwanese Beef Noodle soup is so delicious. It's loaded with noodles, tender beef, and a flavorful broth. It's the ultimate comfort soup to enjoy any time of the year.
Today, you will learn how to cook Taiwanese Beef Noodle Soup from scratch. This beef noodle soup is one of the most popular menu items you can find at any Taiwanese restaurant. You'll be surprised how easy it is to make.
You can cook this Taiwanese Beef Noodle Soup recipe in an Instant Pot or on the stove. You can find both cooking instructions on the recipe card below.
What is Taiwanese Beef Noodle Soup?
Taiwanese Noodle Soup is usually made with beef and warm spices like ginger, garlic, and star anise. It's often served with pickled mustard greens on the side.
The traditional Taiwanese Beef Noodle Soup requires a long cooking process, as the beef is cooked slowly for about 3 hours or longer. As a result, the beef becomes ultra-tender and gives a rich flavor to the broth.
The Quickest Way to Cook Niu Rou Mian
To simplify the cooking process, I decided to use my Instant Pot to make this beef soup (Niu Rou Mian) recipe. I think it's absolutely the fastest and the easiest way to cook beef soup to perfection.
If you don't own an Instant Pot, you can still follow this recipe and cook the soup using a regular stove or even a slow cooker.
The Ingredients You'll Need
This Taiwanese beef noodle soup is made of beef shank, ginger, onion, garlic, Dou Ban Jian, Shaoxing wine, soy sauce, tomato, bay leaves, star anises, sugar, and fresh red chili peppers.
I am sure that you can find the majority of these ingredients at your local markets.
Dou Ban Jian is probably the only thing that you'll need to purchase at Asian grocers or order from Amazon.com. It's a staple ingredient in Chinese and Taiwanese cuisines.
Chinese Shaoxing wine is made specifically for cooking and not intended for drinking. This fermented rice wine adds fragrance and authentic taste to any dish. It's a must-have ingredient in almost every Chinese savory dish.
The best substitute for Shaoxing wine is dry sherry.
Beef Shank is the leg portion of a steer or heifer. It's best when cooked slowly at a low temperature. It's a common ingredient used in stews, such as Osso Bucco and beef bourguignon.
The best substitutes for beef shank are beef oxtail or chuck roast.
How to Make Taiwanese Beef Soup
Step 1. Initial Boil of Meat
Parboil the meat is an important step to get a clean and clear broth. Here's how to do it:
- Fill a large pot or Instant Pot with water and bring to a rapid boil.
- Add beef shanks and boil vigorously for about 3 minutes to get rid of the impurities.
- Drain the liquid and rinse the meat. Set aside.
Step 2. Cook the Aromatic Base
- Heat the oil, then add onion, scallions, red chili pepper, ginger, garlic, star anises, bay leaves, spicy bean paste. Cook until fragrant.
Step 3. Final Cook
- Add the dark soy sauce, light soy sauce, Shaoxing wine, water, sugar, and tomato into the pot. Cook for about 8 minutes then add beef shanks into the pot.
- Pressure cooker users: Secure the lid and select the "Manual" setting. Cook for 90 minutes at high pressure and do a quick release.
- Stovetop users: Add more water if needed so the meat is covered. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat then cover the pot, cook slowly at low heat for 2-3 hours or until the meat is tender. Add more liquid if necessary.
FAQ and Cooking Tips
You can use wheat noodles or egg noodles. They are available at Asian grocers for around $2 per bag.
First, let the soup cool down to room temperature but no longer than 2 hours. Store the soup and noodles in separate containers. Properly stored, the leftover will last for 3-4 days in the fridge or 4-6 months in the freezer.
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Taiwanese Beef Soup
- 3 pounds beef shanks
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 4 scallions, halved
- 15 grams ginger , ( about 2-inch, sliced)
- 1 large onion, sliced
- 1-2 red chili peppers, (such as Jalapeno or Serrano, seeded)
- 7 garlic cloves, smashed
- 4 star anises
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 medium-size tomatoes, quartered
- 8 grams rock sugar, (about 1½ tsp white sugar)
- 6 cups water, (or more as needed)
- 3 tbsp Dou Ban Jiang
- ½ cup dark soy sauce
- ½ cup light soy sauce
- ½ cup Chinese Shaoxing wine
- flour noodles
- green onion
- pickled mustard greens
- bok choy
- Fill a large pot or Instant Pot with water and bring to a rapid boil. Add beef shanks and boil vigorously for about 3 minutes to get rid of the impurities. Drain, rinse and cut the beef shank into thick slices. Set aside.
- Select the "saute" setting. Heat the oil, then add onion, scallions, ginger, garlic, bay leaves, red chilies, star anises, Dou Ban Jiang until fragrant and the onion is translucent. Add tomatoes, dark soy sauce, light soy sauce, and Shaoxing wine. Stir for about 8 minutes then add beef shanks into the pot.
- Instant Pot users: Cook for 90 minutes at high pressure and do a quick release. Stove-top users: Add more water if needed so the meat is covered. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat then cover the pot, cook slowly at low heat for 2-3 hours or until the meat is tender. Add more liquid if necessary.
- Remove the bay leaves and other spices from the broth. Serve with noodles, and toppings of your choice.