I like this noodle dish after having it at a Taiwanese restaurant a few times but never attempt making it at home. I always thought it involves a lot of work and time consuming but it is not so after I read through some recipes online. It is just putting all the ingredients in a pot and let it simmer away. In a few hours you will be rewarded with rich beefy broth with tender beef and white radish. It is so good that I am planning to cook it again soon.
For the soup:
2 pounds beef shanks with bone still in (or beef short ribs)
3 garlic cloves, smashed
1 inch knob fresh ginger, peeled and sliced
1 small bunch green onion , cut in 2 inch length
1 plum tomato, quartered
1 tsp Chinese five spice powder
3 tbsp brown sugar
3 whole star anise pods
2 Thai chilies, split lengthwise (optional)
1 tbsp chili bean sauce
1/4 cup Chinese (Shaoxing) cooking wine
1/2 cup soy sauce
Salt to taste
3 cups beef stock
5-6 cups water, or enough to cover beef
1 small white radish – (optional) cut into chunks
some baby bak choy
Chinese egg noodles or wheat noodles
some green onion
1. For the soup, in a large stockpot, cover the beef shanks with water and bring to a boil. Immediately drain the water, wash it a few times in cold water and set the beef aside. (This step helps remove impurities)
2. Add the par-boiled beef, garlic cloves, ginger, green onions, tomato, five spice powder, brown sugar, star anise, chilies, chili bean sauce, rice wine, soy sauce, chicken stock, and water to the pot.
3. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for approximately 2 hours, or until the beef is fork tender. Add in the white radish half way through the simmering. Turn off the heat and let the meat stand in the cooking liquid for another hour.
4. Remove the beef to a cutting board. Pour the stock through a cheesecloth-lined sieve into another pot. Discard the vegetable solids. You can eat the white radish if you like. Remove meat from bones and slice the beef and return to the clear stock. Skim the fat from the surface, and bring the soup to a boil again. Check seasoning to see if it need more salt.
5. To serve, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Blanch the bak choy until bright green and tender, about 2 minutes. Remove the bak choy and set it aside. Bring the water back to a boil. Add the noodles and cook according to package directions. Strain.
6. Ladle the beef and hot broth into the bowls with noodles and bak choy. Garnish with chopped green onion and serve warm.
Note: I like white radish so I kept it and serve it with the noodles.