Published in 2014, MiMi Aye’s Noodle! made quite a stir (or should that be slurp) and was one of the cookery book highlights of the year. Read my review, with comments from the author here and then head out to buy the ingredients for this delicious recipe.
MiMi Aye’s Taiwanese Beef Noodle Soup (Niu Rou Mian)
Published with permission
This particular beef noodle soup is a Taiwanese dish of Chinese origin, though various versions exist throughout Asia. It’s so beloved in Taiwan that it’s considered a national dish – the city of Taipei even holds an International Beef Noodle Festival every year, where the dish is celebrated, and chefs and restaurants compete for the honour of ‘best beef noodle’ in Taiwan.
- 500 g boneless beef brisket, shin or short rib, cut into large chunks
- 2 medium onions, quartered
- 2 cm fresh root ginger, peeled and sliced
- 2 plum tomatoes, quartered or 200g tinned plum tomatoes
- 150 g dried thin egg noodles (you mian)
For the spice paste
- 2 tbsp groundnut oil
- 2 cm chunk of rock sugar, shaved or 1tbsp soft dark brown sugar
- 3 tbsp Chinese rice wine or dry sherry
- 1 tsbp chilli bean paste
- 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 cm fresh root gingers, peeled and finely chopped
- 4 star anise
- 2 tbsp Sichuan peppercorns, crushed
- 1 tbsp grated orange zest
- 1 tbsp cayenne pepper
- 3 tbsp Chinese black vinegar
- 1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
- 3 tbsp light soy sauce
- 6 tbsp dark soy sauce
- 2 baby pak choi, leaves separated
- 4 tbsp Sichuan preserved vegetables, chopped (zha cai)
- 2 spring onions, thinly sliced (green and white parts)
- 1 fresh red finger chilli, thinly sliced
Put the beef in a saucepan with the onions and ginger, generously cover with water and bring to the boil.
Turn the heat down to medium-low and leave to simmer for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile make the spice paste. Heat the groundnut oil in a frying pan on a high heat, then add the ingredients in list order. Mix together, then stir-fry for 1–2 minutes until fragrant.
Discard the onions and ginger from the broth, then add the spice paste and stir. Top up with cold water so everything is submerged by a couple of centimetres. Bring to the boil. Add the tomatoes, then reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 1 1/2 hours.
While the broth is simmering, cook the noodles according to packet instructions; drain and set to one side.
Blanch the pak choi by pouring just-boiled water over them and then draining straight away.
When you’re ready to serve, divide the noodles between 2 noodle bowls. Bring the broth back to the boil and add the seasonings, then ladle with the beef over the noodles. Top with the blanched pak choi, preserved mustard vegetables, spring onions and chilli. Serve with chopsticks and Chinese spoons.