Niu Rou Mian (牛肉麵), Taiwanese Beef Noodle Soup Recipe!!
When I went Taiwan, the first food I MUST try was this Niu Rou Mian, Taiwanese beef noodle soup. It is the most popular and famous Taiwanese food I’ve heard about, and I’ve had outside of Taiwan. So I was craving for the real authentic version.
The first one I tasted was in the plane while flying to Taiwan. It didn’t blow my mind at first but with some Taiwanese chili oil, it was bomb!! Then I went to a couple of authentic good niu rou mian restaurants in Taipei, Taiwan. It was SO GOOD!!! I had to recreate beef noodle soup when I came back home.
It is so hearty, warm, and flavorful. It has everything that you want from a good bowl of noodle soup! I’m so excited to share this recipe because it tastes almost identical to what I had in Taiwan!
This recipe is time-consuming but not too bad because the broth is not from bones. Total prepping and cooking time is about 2 hours. A hearty dish like this is not bad at all!
Are we ready to start cooking one of the warmest beef noodle soup? Let’s get started!
First, we need to gather and toast our spices. You will need 2 Chinese black cardamoms, 2 bay leaves, 2 star anise, 2 licorice slices, 1 tbsp Sichuan peppercorn, 1 tsp fennel seeds, and 1 tbsp goji berries.
I know these spices look very different and intimidating at first. Just think how many Mexican, Italian or Cajun cuisine has. This is just the Chinese version of it. 😉
Also, if you have only a couple of spices I listed, go ahead use only those! It will still be super delicious! Though, bay leaves and Sichuan peppercorn are a must!
Cut 2 beef shanks into large pieces.
Beef shank is the traditional cut for this niu rou mian, but if you are having hard time finding one, you can use beef chuck too.
Blanch beef in a large pot (8 qt) of boiling water for 1 minute to get rid of excess blood. Drain and set aside. Quickly rinse now-empty-pot to make soup.
A lot of Asian soup recipes calls rock sugar because it has more rounded and smooth sweetness than regular sugar. It works wonderfully in savory soup without overpowering the flavor.
Add blanched beef, tomatoes, and beef bouillon. Stir everything together so tomato melts and beef will absorb sauces, about 3 to 4 minutes. Pour water and finally add a spice bag. Stir one good time and bring it to boil. When it’s boiling, cover and reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 1 hour 30 minutes.
When soup has about 10 minutes to finish cooking, bring another pot of salted water to boil. Blanch baby bok choy for 1 minute and remove from water. Set aside.
Cook wheat noodles by following the directions of the package you’re using. You can use fresh, frozen, or dry wheat noodles.
Drain and place in a serving bowl.
Pour beef soup into noodle bowl, garnish with chopped green onions and cilantro. Serve immediately.
For Spice Bag
- 2 Chinese black cardamoms
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 star anise
- 2 licorice slices
- 1 tbsp sichuan peppercorn
- 1 tsp fennel seeds
- 1 tbsp goji berries
For Beef Soup (makes 8 to 10 serving)
- 2 beef shanks (approximately 1 1/2 lb to 1 3/4 lb), cut into large chunks
- 6 tbsp cooking oil
- 15 to 18 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
- 2 oz ginger slices
- 1/2 large onion, sliced
- 5 green onions, chopped
- 3 tbsp toban djan
- 1 large piece of rock sugar or 2 tbsp sugar
- 1/2 cup soy sauce
- 1/2 cup shaoxing wine
- 1 tbsp dark soy sauce
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 large tomato, cut into large chunks
- 2 tsp beef bouillon
- 14 cups cold water
- baby bok choy, cut into half (1 baby bok choy per serving)
- fresh, frozen or dry wheat noodles (1 portion per serving)
- chopped green onions & cilantro
- Bring all spices for spice bag and toast them on a dry pan until you can smell aroma, about 2 minutes. Place in a spice bag and fold it tight. Set aside.
- Blanch beef in a large pot (8 qt) of boiling water for 1 minute to get rid of excess blood. Drain and set aside. Quickly rinse now-empty-pot to make soup.
- Heat now-empty-pot over high heat and add cooking oil. Add garlic, ginger, onion and green onion. Sauté everything about 1 to 2 minute, then add toban djan and rock sugar. Sauté all together for 1 minute then add soy sauce, shaoxing wine, dark soy sauce and salt, stir.
- Add blanched beef, tomatoes and beef bouillon. Stir everything together so tomato melts and beef will absorb sauces, about 3 to 4 minutes. Pour water and finally add spice bag. Stir one good time and bring it boil. When it’s boiling, cover and reduce heat to medium low and simmer for 1 hour 30 minutes.
- When soup has about 10 minutes to finish cooking, bring another pot of salted water to boil. Blanch baby bok choy for 1 minute and remove from water. Set aside. Cook noodles by following directions of package you’re using. Drain and place in a serving bowl. Pour beef soup into noodle bowl, garnish with chopped green onions and cilantro. Serve immediately. Enjoy!
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 1 hour 50 minutes