This is a complicated recipe. It takes a couple of days to do properly,
and works best done with a slow-cooker. But it's worth it. It's a Taiwanese dish - a spicy beef noodle soup. It's pretty much the national
dish of Taiwan - Taiwanese love this dish. There are annual competitions
in Taipei for who can make the best Niu Rou Mien. I learned about it from
my wife, who grew up in Taiwan. I've made this a few times, and this is the
recipe the way I've worked it out.
- 3 lbs beef soup bones
- 3 lbs short ribs with bones.
- 3 star anise.
- 12 crushed cloves of garlic.
- 3 crushed slices of fresh garlic.
- 1 bunch scallions.
- 2 tablespoons szechuan peppercorns.
- 3 tablespoons dark soy sauce.
- 1/3 cup light soy sauce.
- 2 tablespoons sugar.
- 4 dried szechuan chili peppers, torn into pieces, with seeds.
- About 8 tablespoons of sambal olek or sriracha.
- Sesame oil.
- Fine chinese wheat noodles (often labelled as "wonton noodles").
- Baby chinese broccoli, baby bok choi, or shanghai bok choi.
- Put a wok or large saucepan onto high heat. Add some canola oil
and brown the soup bones. Then transfer the bones to either a large
stockpot or 5 quart slow cooker.
- In small batches, put the short ribs into the saucepan. Add enough
chili paste (either sambal or sriracha) to get the meat well coated. After
they're well-browned, transfer them to another pot.
- Add just barely enough water to cover the shortribs, and then simmer
them until they're cooked through. Drain the liquid, and add it
to the slow-cooker.
- Add more chili paste to the cooked ribs, and put them into the
- In a fresh pan with a bit of oil, add the garlic, shredded chilis,
anise, and ginger, until they just start to brown. Then add them to the
- Add the two soy sauces, the peppercorns, and the whites of the scallions
to the slow cooker. Then add enough water to fill the cooker.
- Turn the cooker on to simmer, and let it cook for at least 12 hours.
- Put the broth through a fine sieve, and then back into the slow cooker. Throw away the sieved ingredients.
- Take the refrigerated beef, and add it to the broth. Add water until
the pot is about as full as it was when you started the night before.
- Let it simmer for another 4 to 6 hours, until the meat is falling apart. While it's simmering, taste it, and add salt or chili-paste as needed; if the vinegar in the chili paste makes it too sour, add a drop of sugar.
- Now, the main dish is done. You should have a ton of wonderful spicy beef broth.
- Cook the noodles in boiling salt-water.
- To serve, bring it to a boil. Add in a couple of stems/leaves of whatever
veggie you picked for each serving, and let it cook until just cooked through.
- For each serving, take a large soup bowl. Put a couple of drops of sesame
oil into the bottom of the bowl. Then add a large helping of noodles, beef,
veggies, thinly sliced scallion tops, and fill with the broth.