I am up to my noodley shenanigans again! Today I am sharing a Braised Beef Noodle Soup. I feel apprehensive calling this a Taiwanese Braised Beef Noodle Soup, since the recipe is really a combination of a bunch of recipes I've tried in the past and have tweaked over time to suit our tastes, but essentially it would be best related to Taiwanese beef noodles--although I'm sure a purist would say otherwise. Bay leaves are not usually part of the recipe, but I find that it gives a little somethin' somethin' to it. I also find that other recipes have more star anise and use spicy bean paste for the telltale spice kick, but after a few times of recipe testing, we found that we weren't fond of the heavy licorice flavor of star anise in our broth, and that spicy bean paste often ended up being too spicy (at least for my husband, who is decidedly weak against spice haha). I tend to add some chili paste on top of my noodles before I eat, and it tastes just as good!
I developed a love for beef noodle soup when I stayed in Taiwan for a few weeks as a tween/teenager and again when I went on a mom and daughter trip back in 2014. I stayed with my cousins and my aunt once took me to a place not far from her home in Taipei that sold affordable, homemade and delicious beef noodle soup. I remember the steaming pots of beef broth, assorted beef cuts including brisket, shank, tripe and tendon being scooped up to be placed on top of freshly boiled noodles. You could smell the broth and beef as you approached the restaurant from outside. Taiwan is hot and humid, especially during the summer, but you will still see plenty of people queuing up for a good bowl of beef noodle soup on any day. This dish is so popular that you'll see it in restaurants, street vendors and even at the airport!
The photos below were taken back in 2014 when I went to Taiwan with my mom and we revisited the same beef noodle shop near my aunt's home! Look at all the honeycomb tripe, beef tongue and beef tendon!! Yummm! Next to it is a photo of a bowl of beef noodle soup we ate at the airport in Taipei. Even for airport food, the noodles were super nice and chewy, flavorful broth and large chunks of soft beef. Ah the memories ♥🍜
I tend to pair this recipe with my handmade noodles (super easy to make) but if I'm pressed for time or too lazy, I will use store bought (either fresh flour noodles or the dried kinds). You can even use instant noodles if you wish!
As for the beef, I truly recommend using beef shank over other cuts of beef. It is an affordable cut of meat, is fatty and has tendon throughout, so after cooking in the Instant Pot, that fat and collagen from the tendon is infused and melted into your beef stock broth to be super unctuous and delightfully beefy. No beef bones needed for an intensely flavorful broth.
INGREDIENTS: 6 servings
We make this so often at home because you can just toss everything into the pot and have it set to start on its own so that when we get home from work, we just have to boil noodles and throw everything together within minutes! Comforting, warm, and slurpy beefy noodle goodness. Enjoy!
Until next time,
Japchae is a sweet and savory Korean vermicelli noodle dish made with sweet potato starch. The noodles are usually cooked with an assortment of vegetables and served as a side dish or as an entree. Did you know, in both Korean and Chinese, the term japchae 잡채; 雜菜means mixed vegetables. As a linguaphile, I always find it so interesting to see commonalities between vastly different languages, especially that of Chinese words, phrases and their similar meanings in Korean and Japanese. Like when I found out the word for library in Japanese was toshokan 図書館, which sounds like the Chinese equivalent for tu su guan圖書館, and then in Korean it is also doseogwan 도서관! So cool!! Anyhow, moving on...
This is an easy recipe that everyone in my family enjoys. It's not oily or greasy, and packs lots of healthy veggies. Japchae has a sweet and savory profile, making it palatable for kids and seniors alike. My grandmother who is notoriously picky about all foods other than her own, also enjoys japchae! The sweetness not only comes from the sugar and soy sauce, but also from the natural sweetness of the carrots. Some japchae dishes include protein like sliced beef or chicken, but today's recipe is mainly vegetarian. Feel free to add protein as you like!
This dish is quick to pull together with a little prep for the veggies and boiling the sweet potato noodles (dangmyeon). You can buy this noodle at your local Asian supermarket or Korean market.
I used dried shiitake mushrooms and re-hydrated them, saving the mushroom broth to use when cooking the japchae instead of water. I would much rather use dried shiitakes and re-hydrate them instead of using fresh shiitakes because there is a depth of flavor from the drying process that concentrates the mushroom flavor to a whole different level of umami. Like a dry-aged steak, the flavors of the aged beef are more pronounced and richer when dried than a fresh cut. Also, the mushroom broth that comes out of rehydrating is great for cooking and replacing vegetable stock in recipes.
When I boil the noodles, I also cook the veggies at the same time, starting with the carrots. Then the garlic and mushrooms go in, and lastly the spinach. From there, the noodles are tossed in and the sauce joins the party!
With a sprinkling of sesame seeds and fresh chopped scallions, the dish is complete and ready to eat. Enjoy as a meal by itself, or cook it as a side dish to eat with Korean bbq at home--grill up some meat, serve with fresh lettuce leaves, kimchi, potato salad..the list goes on. I am seriously missing Kbbq right now. 😞
We hope you enjoy this Korean staple dish as much as we do!
I'm so excited to share my Dan Dan Noodle recipe with you today! This particular recipe features my handmade noodles recipe, but you can always use a dried or fresh noodle from the Asian market. Dan Dan noodles is a soupless, spicy, tangy Sichuan noodle dish with a nut-based sauce, usually either peanut or sesame. It is a popular street food, and is enjoyed with ground pork and veggies.
You can easily substitute the meat with a protein of your choosing too. For my recipe, I use ground pork mixed with sweet preserved Chinese radish, Chinese broccoli and some Korean kimchi. The radish is optional, but the sweetness, slight tang and crispness of the preserved radishes add a great variety of texture to the dish and complements the pork nicely. I absolutely love this sauce--the nuttiness of the peanut and sesame paste mixed with savory soy sauce, the slight acidity from black vinegar and the a heat kick from the chili flakes, chili oil and my favorite, the prickly ash oil--all mixed together, coats the noodles in a blanket of exciting flavors that dance in your mouth. Prickly ash oil is made from hua jiao pepper, a Sichuan peppercorn that mala Chinese dishes attribute their "numbing" qualities from.
I found this dish stay at home friendly because the sauce can be made from pantry items that you can stock up on and use for any Chinese/Asian dish, and the handmade noodles only involve 3 ingredients: flour, water and salt. Even if you don't have the specific veggie and ground pork, you can always pair the noodles with whatever you have on hand. Quarantine cooking really is like an episode of Chopped in the kitchen, make something out of what you got chefs!
After mixing the sauce, I place a dollop of it in the bottom of my serving bowl, add noodles and then add the toppings. Lastly, I garnish with sesame seeds and drizzle more chili oil and prickly ash oil on top! Honestly, it doesn't matter how you layer your ingredients, since you'll be mixing it all up to eat anyhow. To each their own!
Dan dan noodle sauce
Handmade noodles (2-3 servings) or store bought noodles of your preference
Put it all together
This is a great dish to assemble and enjoy, and I love that it can be prepared relatively quickly (unless you are making the handmade noodles, which takes a little more waiting time). For me, I always have soy sauce, sesame oil, rice wine and assorted spices in stock since they are staples in our home, which makes this dish that much easier to make. Plus they are versatile and used in many other Asian dishes, so it's a win win for us! We hope you enjoy this noodle dish!
Just a girl, her husband and two dogs who love food ♥❤🐶👫🐶❤♥