Thursday, October 2, 2008

Taiwan Beef Soup Noodles

Since we're having 2 days of holidays (Hari Raya for the muslims), those of you who aren't out of town may like to practice your culinary skills with Taiwan Beef Soup Noodles, a dish normally eaten in restaurants.

Taiwan niu ro mien, a hearty meal perfect on a cold day.

Taiwan niu ro mien/beef noodles can be easily cooked at home, especially if you have a pressure cooker. We love the Taiwan niu ro mien at Taiwan Restaurant but the place is about 30 minutes away and Amy, the proprietress, not only has a bossy attitude, telling you where to sit or not sit, she also won't let you order more than what she thinks you can eat. She's bossier than me, and I'm not used to that. As if that's not deterring enough, it takes at least 30 minutes for the food to be served. So you can see why we don't venture there on purpose; usually we'll eat there if we were in the neighborhood. We like Amy's niu ro mien because the soup's very beefy and not too spicy, as in not too spiked with strong spices. Her niu ro soup is not hot-spicy as regular Taiwan niu ro mien soups are, and there's hardly any oil. The last time we ate Amy's niu ro mien was about a month ago, and the soup was the best ever. It was very very beefy and there was only a slight hint of dried mandarin peel. In previous meals, her niu ro soup tasted of Bovril, which was okay because I love Bovril.

I thought if Amy can cook it, so can I. I'm getting quite confident these days...If the soup doesn't turn out right, I'll just disguise it with Bovril I thought. Well, I am pleased to tell you my 3 guys loved my niu ro mien, and stopped me from adding Bovril to the soup. And so, here's my version of Amy's Taiwan niu ro mien, which is based on the recipes I read through on Google search:


Taiwan Niu Ro Mien (for 6-8 ppl)

2 kgs stewing beef* or beef ribs, or mixture of
1 piece ginger (40-50g), peeled & smashed lightly
1 bunch spring onions, tied
1/2 bulb garlic, peeled
1 piece dried tangerine/mandarin peel, 4 X 4 cm
1 1/2 star anise
1 stick cinnamon, about 6 cm long
1-2 T sugar (to your liking)
1/4 cup dark soy sauce (or more to intensify color)
1/4 cup T light soy sauce
freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 T white rice vinegar (optional)
(do increase the amount of whichever herb/spice you like)

* I used beef shin

cilantro or Chinese celery leaves
chili oil

Home-made noodles for 6-8 people
-use udon or fettucine if you can't be bothered to make your own noodles.

1. Cook the soup early, say a day or half a day before serving. Cut stewing beef into small pieces, 3 x 4 cm or bigger if like. Beef ribs about 5 X 5 cm. If using ribs, blanch them briefly in boiling water, throw water away.

2. Put everything into a large pressure cooker (or heavy base pot) and add 7-8 litres of water or a mixture of water and beef or chicken stock (I used water only). When pot starts hissing, let it cook for 45 minutes. Turn heat off and let soup sit, covered. Soup tastes even better the next day, if you can wait. Season to taste. If you find that the soup's too thick, dilute it with some water but to me, it's best to leave it thick because when you add the noodles, it will be diluted a little.

3. Make noodles. Boil a large pot of water and cook noodles, two portions at a time so that you can control the texture of the noodles. Meanwhile, heat up the beef soup. If like, use a whisk or large fork to break up the beef for a thicker soup, but you can also leave the beef in whole pieces although most of them would be broken up into small pieces by now. Add some Bovril if like.

4. Put two portions of soup into a small pot, and when it boils, add the cooked noodles. Let it come to a boil and quickly pour into serving bowls. I find that cooking the noodles briefly in the beef soup makes the noodles tastier than just pouring the hot soup over the cooked noodles.

5. You can add blanched veg (Taiwan bok choy, iceberg lettuce etc) to the bowl of noodles but I prefer to serve the veg on the side so that liquid from the veg will not dilute the beefy goodness. Top with some cilantro or even better, chopped Chinese celery leaves. Have some chili oil ready for people who want it.


Shan said...

Slurp slurp. Love the soup. Perfect for rainy weather

Erik said...

Wow...does that ever look good!! Another recipe to try! Woohoo!

Precious Pea said...

Coincidently, I also made beef stew, the soupy kind with lots of radish topped with parsley! Found bone marrow and couldn't resist!

Johnathan said...

Terri, can I visit you sometime this year for this bowl of yumm? :p

Anonymous said...


the 30 mminutes drive for niu rou mian is the one on the way to papar? ;-)

Terri @ A Daily Obsession said...

shan: it's raining like crazy right now n i'm hungry.

erik: u have an intresting blog--all about soups, which my family love.

pp: oh yum, beef stew with radish!

johnathan: yes, u r welcome. i'll throw in a dessert too:)

anon: yup, tt's d one, with clone-dogs all over the place.

Denise ^ ChiCkyEGG said...

ha! Luckily you warned about Amy's attitude! (yerr, sounds like another opp TTSS Wan Tai lady boss style)haha! The other day Dad drove us to the restaurant, and said find a day to eat here, lots of frens saying their pork leg is good!

ganache-ganache said...

I think I should get a pressure cooker soon, I cook my beef stock over a gas stove for hours !! what brand is good ? I'm eyeing on the WMF range, what do you think ?

Terri @ A Daily Obsession said...

ganache: am using the buffalo pressure cooker. it's ok. i haven't tried others so i can't compare. wmf shd be good too but not available here.

ganache-ganache said...

heard of buffalo, will go check it out, am thinking of bring WMF back fom Sin but concerned abt the weight !!!

hongyi said...


i miss u like crazy...(moffatts song playing in the background)

NEE said...

looks good. i have a recipe for niu rou mien but i had been trying out the hong sao (red stewing) nu row mien type which did not turn out too good. think will try to improve using yours. thanks.

Tummywise said...

I made this a few days ago. It was very good. Thanks for the recipe

Smart Payment Plan said...

That looks terrific! I love your photography too!

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