Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Taiwanese Beef Noodle Soup (Niu Rou Mien)

Yesterday was one of those very rare occasions where I had access to a car while living in the heart of Philadelphia. So long as you are not the one dealing with traffic and angry drivers, having a ride is WONDERFUL. You forget how cheap and diverse food is supposed to be when all you hatve within walking distance is really just SuperFresh and Whole Foods. Well, Reading Terminal Market is a nice option to have, but it still can't beat the chaotic heaven of an Asian market.

I have actually wanted to put this recipe up for a while, and I've made it a few times before. It's just not very often that I go through with it because I am generally not a big fan of meat, so unless I have someone to eat it, I find that this dish usually goes to waste.

If you ever meet a Taiwanese person, he/she will literally swear by this dish. I'm serious...they are extremely protective of their beef noodle soups!

The recipe itself is fairly easy to make; it just takes a lot of time and slow cooking. One of my friends noted that the soup was a little too sweet for his taste; maybe I will put less rock sugar in next time. You should also serve it with Sriracha; some people like their soups with a little more kick. 

Taiwanese Beef Noodle Soup (Niu Rou Mien)


-2.5 pounds beef shin, chopped into sizeable chunks
-1 tomato, sliced
-1 medium yellow onion, sliced
-2 carrots, chopped
-5 garlic cloves, diced
-1 can beef broth
-4 star anise
-1-inch piece of ginger
-Bok choy
-2 tbsp Chinese spicy bean sauce (Dou Ban Jian)
-Fresh hand-pulled noodles
-Scallions and Cilantro to garnish
-Pickled vegetables (optional)

  1. In a large pot, boil water, then blanch the meat briefly to remove impurities. Drain and rinse.
  2. Return meat to pot with all ingredients except the bok choy, noodles, pickled vegetables, and garnish.
  3. Turn the heat to low and simmer for 3-4 hours until the beef is tender. Check periodically to make sure the water level is adequate in the pot.
  4. Remove from heat, allow to cool, and remove all contents from the broth. Chill the broth overnight in the refrigerator so that the fat on top can be removed.
  5. When you are ready to eat, reheat the meat and broth with the bok choy.
  6. In a separate pot, boil the hand-pulled noodles for about 1-2 minutes. Make sure that the individual strands are spread apart from one another, or they will stick and make a mess!
  7. Combine the noodles and soup. Garnish with pickled vegetables, scallions, and/or cilantro. Serve with extra hot sauce on the side. 


  1. i'm sorry i didnt get to try it this time, but i'll definitely try it next time! it definitely smelled heavenly ^__^

    btw your cake was AMAZING. THANK YOU!! <3

  2. Is there an acceptable alternative to beef shin, a different cut of beef that I could use if I can't find that?

  3. That’s a little confusing, because in some recipes I’ve heard people refer to the cut of meet as Beef Shank. I thought that originally, too, but when I recognized the specific cut of meat at the supermarket it was labeled “shin”. I guess technically, you can use any kind of stewing beef cut, but you want the tendon-y texture of the shin if you want true legit Taiwan-style soup.



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