Taiwanese Beef Noodle Soup or Niu Rou Mian as some may call it, is a quintessential dish that is beloved by everybody who tries it. The beef is soft and tender while the noodles are firm and bouncy, all of which brings together a perfect harmony for each and every bite. And in this recipe, I’ll be showing you how to make this in the most authentic way possible.
In todays recipe post, I will be showing you how to make one of the best Taiwanese Beef Noodle Soup / Niu Rou Mian / 牛肉麵 you have ever had.
The recipe hails from the region of Taiwan and is a family favorite to make.
I have been fortunate enough to have been served this dish all throughout my life as it is something me and my entire family will enjoy. In fact, it has turned into something of a time honored tradition where every few weeks on a Saturday night, my entire family will work together to help create this amazing dish for our dinner. It was a great way to bond with the family and brings me so many joyful memories.
And today I am finally able to share this treasured recipe with each and every one of you.
I hope that this recipe will bring you as much joy as it has done with me and my family.
What Is Taiwanese Beef Noodle Soup?
If you never had Taiwanese Beef Noodle Soup / Niu Rou Mian / 牛肉麵 before, then you are totally missing out! This type of beef noodle soup is vastly different from many other versions you might find in other parts of the world. In fact, this Beef Noodle Soup is so popular that the country of Taiwan has even considered it to be their national dish.
No matter where you decide to go in the country of Taiwan, you will always find restaurants serving this delicious dish.
It is one of the most amazing and delicious foods you can ever eat. The beef is extremely soft and tender, noodles are firm and bouncy, a little bit of green leafy vegetables, filled to the brim with a lightly spicy broth, and garnished with some green onions and cilantro. All of which pairs perfectly well together to bring forth something you will truly love.
What Kind Of Beef Meat Do You Buy?
Picking the right cut of beef meat to make this dish is extremely important.
After all, there are many different cuts which you can choose from. And to be honest, it can vary depending on your taste and interests.
For example, in some regions in Taiwan, you can find people using Beef Chuck that has a pretty high fat ratio. However in other parts of the country, you will find people mostly using Beef Shank, which is full of tendons and fat.
So which cut should you use?
In my honest opinion, I have to say using Beef Shank is probably the best choice for making this dish. It provides a much stronger flavor and the beef is able to become so much more tender which makes the entire experience so much more enjoyable. The only downside to this is that you will have to cook the Beef Shank for at least 3 hours or longer in order to get it to become that tender.
But if you really want a strong and delicious Beef Noodle Soup, then the 3 hour cooking time is definitely worth the wait.
Ingredients Used To Make Taiwanese Beef Noodle Soup
The ingredients you’ll need to make this Taiwanese Beef Noodle Soup / Niu Rou Mian / 牛肉麵 are all easily found at any of your local supermarkets.
The items you’ll need to make this dish includes:
- Beef Stew Meat – Preferably Beef Shank – 2 Pounds Cut Into Small 1 Inch Cubes
- Vegetable Oil – 2 to 3 Tablespoon
- Ginger – 5 to 6 Thick Slices
- Garlic – 6 Garlic Cloves Smashed
- Green Onions – 2 Whole Green Onions Chopped Into Tiny Pieces
- Red Chilies – 2 Red Chilies
- Tomato – 1 Large Tomato Cut Into Tiny Pieces
- Sugar – 2 Tablespoons
- Chili Bean Sauce – 1 Tablespoon
- Rice Wine – 1 Cup
- Light Soy Sauce – 1/2 Cup
- Dark Soy Sauce 1/4 Cup
- Water – 9 to 10 Cups
- Sichuan Peppercorns – 1 Tablespoon
- Five-Spice Powder – 1/2 Teaspoon
- Star Anise – 2 Pieces
- Noodles – 2 Pounds – Preferably Asian wheat noodles
- Green Onion – 1 Green Onion Chopped Into Tiny Pieces
- Cilantro – 1 Bunch Chopped Into Tiny Pieces
- Leafy Vegetables – Preferably 8 small heads of baby bok choy or any other leafy greens.
And that’s basically it!
How To Make Taiwanese Beef Noodle Soup
Making the Taiwanese Beef Noodle Soup / Niu Rou Mian / 牛肉麵 is a really easy thing to do.
The only hard part is that you’ll have to wait a few hours as the beef does take awhile to cook.
The process to make this dish is as followed:
Making The Beef And Beef Broth
First grab a large soup pot and pour in 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil over medium-high heat.
Once the oil is hot enough, add as much of the beef cubes as you can that will fit into the pot without too much overlap. You may have to work in batches depending on how much beef or how big of the pieces you are using.
You want to cook and flip the beef pieces continuously until both sides of the beef are lightly browned. Then take the beef pieces out and set them aside on a plate or something. Repeat cooking the other pieces of beef until all the pieces are nicely browned.
Now with all of your beef pieces out of the pot, you are going to continue using the same pot.
Into the same pot, you want to add another tablespoon of oil into it until it gets hot.
Once the oil is hot enough, you’ll want to add in your garlic, chopped green onions, ginger, chilies and tomato pieces.
Make sure to stir the mixture around occasionally until things get fragrant and the vegetables are softened. This should take a few minutes.
Then it’s time to add in the sugar and cook until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture starts to bubble.
Once the sugar starts to bubble, it’s time to return the beef back to the pot.
Add in your chili bean sauce.
Stir things around for a bit and then add in your rice wine and bring it to a boil while making sure to scrape the bottom of the pot to release any browned bits.
Let it boil for a minute. Then add in your light and dark soy sauce, the water, peppercorns, five-spice powder, and star anise. Bring the mixture to a boil and then reduce to a low simmer.
Skim the scum that rises to the top of the pot with a slotted spoon.
Cover the pot and cook at a low simmer for at least 3 hours.
That is basically it for making the beef and beef broth! Once time is up, it is ready to serve with your other items.
Making The Rest Of The Dish
Now that you have made your beef and beef broth, it’s time to make your other items.
This part is pretty simple as there isn’t much work going on.
For the noodles, you basically want to cook the noodles according to the packages instructions.
As for the vegetables, you’ll simply just want to blanche the green vegetables if you are using any. Also you’ll want to chop up some cilantro and green onions that are going to be used for garnish.
Once you have everything ready, its time to assemble the dish.
Simply take your noodles and put them into individual serving bowls. Then ladle some soup into each bowl along with chunks of the beef meat on top of the noodles. Top with your blanched green vegetables and sprinkle some chopped green onions and cilantro.
That is all!
You are ready to serve!
How To Store/Keep For Later
Storing this Taiwanese Beef Noodle Soup / Niu Rou Mian / 牛肉麵 is a really simple thing to do.
This beef noodle soup recipe basically consists of the beef meat and broth, vegetables and the noodles. So when storing these things, its best to do it separately.
But for all of the items, the steps are essentially the same. Basically you’ll just want to put each of these items into an airtight container and store it in the fridge. This should be able to keep them well for up to 3 to 4 days.
And whenever you want to re-heat these items, the process is basically the same as cooking. All you really do is simply put the beef and broth, vegetables or noodles back onto the stove to cook for a few minutes until they are hot again.
Taiwanese Beef Noodle Soup Recipe (Niu Rou Mian 牛肉麵)
Beef and Beef Broth Ingredients
- 2 Pound Beef Stew Meat Preferably Beef Shank Cut Into 1 Inch Cubes
- 3 Tablespoon Vegetable Oil
- 6 Slices Ginger
- 6 Cloves Garlic Smashed
- 2 Green Onions Chopped Into Tiny Pieces
- 2 Red Chilies
- 1 Large Tomato Chopped Into Small Pieces
- 2 Tablespoon Sugar
- 1 Tablespoon Chili Bean Sauce
- 1 Cup Rice Wine
- 1/2 Cup Light Soy Sauce
- 1/4 Cup Dark Soy Sauce
- 9 to 10 Cup Water
- 1 Tablespoon Sichuan Peppercorns
- 1/2 Teaspoon Five-Spice Powder
- 2 Star Anise
Rest Of The Ingredients
- 2 Pound Asian Wheat Noodle
- 8 Small Baby Bok Choy Or any other leafy green vegetable
- 1 Bunch Cilantro Chopped Into Tiny Pieces
- 1 Green Onion Chopped Into Tiny Pieces
Making The Beef and Beef Broth
- First make sure your beef is cut into tiny 1 inch cubes.Then grab a large soup pot and pour in about 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil over medium-high heat.Once the oil is hot enough, you want to add as much of the beef that will fit on the bottom of the pot without having too much overlap. (You may need to work in batches).Cook the meat while making sure to flip them around. You want to cook them until both sides of the meat are lightly browned. Once they are done cooking, take the meat out and place them into a dish and set aside.
- Using the same pot, add in another tablespoon of oil into the pot. Once the oil is hot enough, you'll want to add in the ginger, garlic, green onions, chilies and tomato pieces.Make sure to cook and stir the contents around occasionally until everything becomes fragrant and the vegetables have become softened.Then stir in the sugar and cook until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is bubbling.Return the beef pieces back into the pot.Add in the chili bean sauce and continue to mix everything around.
- Add in the rice wine and bring the mixture to a boil while also making sure to scrape the bottom of the pot to release any browned bits. Let it boil for a minute or so and then add in the light and day soy sauce, water, peppercorns, five-spice powder, and star anise.Bring the mixture to a boil and then reduce the heat to a low simmer.Using a slotted spoon, remove any scum that might rise up to the top.Cover the pot and let it cook for about 3 hours.
- After 3 hours is up, it is time to serve.
Making The Rest Of The Ingredients
- While your beef is cooking, you'll want to prepare your other parts of the ingredients.First you want to grab your noodles and cook them accordingly to the packages instructions. Then set it aside.Now take your green vegetables and blanche them for a few minutes until they are ready. Then set it aside.Take your cilantro and green onion and chop them up into tiny pieces and set them aside.
Assembling Your Dish
- Once everything is done cooking and prepared, it's time to assemble the dish.
- Divide the noodles among the individual serving bowls.Lade some soup into each bowl along with chunks of the beef.Top your dish with some of your blanched green vegetables.Sprinkle some chopped cilantro and green onions on top.That is all!
- You are ready to serve!
Did you try making my Taiwanese Beef Noodle Soup / Niu Rou Mian / 牛肉麵? If so, how were they? I would love to hear all about it down in the comment section below or you can connect with my on Pinterest, Facebook or Instagram.
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