There’s nothing quite like a bowl of steaming hot Taiwanese beef noodle soup to warm you up on a (relatively) chilly SoCal evening. Rich, flavorful, spicy, carb-y, meaty…THIS is Taiwanese comfort food!
In Taiwan, all you need to do is walk the streets and you hear vendors call out from their stands along the street, “Niu ro mien! Niu ro mien!” Or as my nerd buddies and I affectionately began calling it in undergrad, “neuro mien” (I had a lot of bio major friends. I was the “loser” who “only got a B.A.”). The literal translation is “cow meat noodle.”
The best part about Taiwanese street food? You just run a big pot down to the street, the vendor fills it up for dirt cheap, and viola! You have a delicious bowl of awesome all ready for dinner!
Now I’m pretty sure every Taiwanese grandma has a super secret neuro mien recipe that cooks all day and all night, including mine. But what do you do when your grandma is in Taiwan and you are craving neuro mien like RIGHT HERE RIGHT NOW??
You Google a bunch of recipes. And then you mash them all together and make up your own.
By popular demand, I present to you…
“Good Enough” Taiwanese Beef Noodle Soup
Not quite Grandma Chen’s…but “good enough.” (See below for printable recipe)
- 1 1/2 pounds boneless beef shank, cubed
- 2 cups low sodium soy sauce
- 1 cup rice wine
- 2 cups water
- 6 cups chicken or beef broth
- 2 whole green onions, cut into 2 inch long pieces
- 2 large tomatoes, chopped into large cubes
- 3 to 4 slices of ginger
- 3 star anise (pronounced “anus.” I know for a fact.)
- 1 habanero pepper, seeded, de-veined, and thinly sliced if you like your soup spicy (saves you a trip to the Asian market)
- Salt and pepper to taste (you really don’t need to add any salt, unless your taste buds are whack. I added about 2 tsp of ground black pepper.)
- Taiwanese noodles, found in the refrigerated section of the Asian market (or fettuccine would work in a pinch, if you don’t feel like making a trip to the Asian market)
- 1 bunch bok choy
- 1 package sour mustard greens, finely chopped (found in the Asian market)
First, combine all ingredients but Taiwanese noodles, bok choy, and sour mustard greens into a pressure cooker or large pot over high heat.
If using a pressure cooker, latch the pressure cooker shut, reduce heat to medium heat once the pressure cooker begins to whistle, and heat for another 30 minutes while pressure cooker continues to whistle. Be careful when unlatching the pressure cooker not to burn yourself!
If using a large pot, heat ingredients until boiling, reduce heat to a low simmer, cover, and let the soup simmer for four hours, stirring occasionally.
We used our pressure cooker, and the meat was super tender and deliciously flavored, in a fraction of the time it takes to make in a large pot. Just sayin.
To prepare to eat, bring a pot of water to boiling. When the water is about to boil, add the bok choy to blanche, and when the water begins to boil, add the Taiwanese noodles, taking care not to overcook the noodles, as they cook in three minutes and turn mushy if boiled for too long.
Ladle the soup mixture over a bowl full of noodles and bok choy. If you want a legit neuro mien, add some of the sour mustard greens on top. I pile that stuff on LIKE A CHAMP.
Enjoy! And whatever you do, don’t eat the ginger or star anise. You’ll deeply regret it, I promise you. Just like I deeply regretted licking the inside of that habanero.
Thanks for reading! And if you like this recipe, feel free to pin it for later or to share! ;)
Here’s the printable version of the recipe.
:: “Good Enough” Taiwanese Beef Noodle Soup ::
- 1 1/2 Pounds boneless beef shank (cubed)
- 2 Cups low sodium soy sauce
- 1 cup rice wine
- 2 Cups water
- 6 Cups chicken or beef broth
- 2 Whole green onions (cut into 2 inch long pieces)
- 2 Large tomatoes (chopped into large cubes)
- 3-4 slices of ginger
- 3 star anise
- salt and pepper to taste ((little to no additional salt required))
- 1 Package Taiwanese noodles or fettuccine noodles
- 1 bunch bok choy (washed, torn into leaves)
- 1 habanero pepper (seeded, de-veined, and thinly sliced)
- 1 Package sour mustard greens (finely chopped)
|Combine all ingredients but Taiwanese noodles, bok choy, and sour mustard greens into a pressure cooker or large pot over high heat.|
|Using pressure cooker:|
|Latch the pressure cooker shut, reduce heat to medium heat once the pressure cooker begins to whistle, and heat for another 30 minutes while pressure cooker continues to whistle. Be careful when unlatching the pressure cooker not to burn yourself. Remove star anise and ginger slices.|
|Using large pot:|
|Heat ingredients over high heat until boiling, reduce heat to a low simmer, cover, and let soup simmer for four hours, stirring occasionally. Remove star anise and ginger slices.|
|Bring bot of water to boiling. When water is about to boil, add the bok choy to blanche. When the water begins to boil, add the Taiwanese noodles, taking care not to overcook the noodles.|
|Ladle the soup mixture over a bowl of noodles and blanched bok choy. Top with sour mustard greens if desired.|
What do YOU consider comfort food? And have you adapted a more complicated recipe to an easier one for a quick fix?