Red Braised Beef Noodle Soup
(Hong Shao Niu Rou Mian, 红烧牛肉面)

Easy Beef Dinner Recipes: Red Braised Beef Noodle Soup (红烧牛肉面)

Red Braised Beef Noodle Soup (红烧牛肉面 or hóngshāo niúròu miàn) is probably the ultimate comfort food for me, and I have many fond memories of eating it throughout my childhood, into my adult years, and even now, to this day! This is also a dish I had to share with my own children and hope that they developed the same kind of love for it. Luckily they have, and this dish features regularly in our meal rotations.

I have tried many forms of beef noodle soup in my life time, both red braised and clear broth, but I have to say the Red Braised Beef Noodle Soup is the winner. The 'red' colour comes from the rich aromatic soy sauce and, paired with spicy chilli bean sauce, the combination is irresistible. This dish really hits the spot when you're craving something simple yet flavourful. It almost tastes as if it could be fast food but without all the additives of supermarket pot noodles!

Red Braised Beef Noodle Soup typically uses beef shin (beef shank) or other tough cut of meat, as the braising really breaks down the fibres and turns it into the most meltingly tender meat. The recipe below is about a medium spiciness, as my children are still building up their chilli tolerance, but if I were making this for myself, I could easily turn up the heat by doubling the amount of chilli bean sauce!

Red Braised Beef Noodle Soup is also perfect for preparing in advance. You could make the soup earlier in the day, or even a few days before, and reheat at the time you cook the noodles for serving. Any leftover beef soup (rare in our house!) makes the most satisfying leftovers for lunch the next day.

Here's what you'll need to make this Red Braised Beef Noodle Soup:
(Click here to jump straight to the recipe)

1 kg stewing beef1, cut into small chunks
Oil for cooking
20 g fresh ginger, thinly sliced
1 Tbsp chilli bean sauce (辣豆瓣酱)
3 Tbsp dark soy sauce2
6 small (or 4 medium) tomatoes, sliced
2-3 star anises (optional)
1.2 litres water
2 small pak choi3, quartered lengthwise
long noodles to serves4

And here's how to make it:

  • Place the beef chunks into a large mixing bowl, add the ginger slices, chilli bean sauce and soy sauce, and stir together thoroughly.
  • Cover with cling film, and set aside in the fridge to marinate for at least an hour or overnight.
  • When the beef is done marinating and you're ready to make the soup, prepare the tomatoes.
  • Heat some oil in a large lidded pot over medium heat, and add the marinated beef and ginger slices, stirring frequently until the meat is sealed on all sides.
  • Then add the water to the pot.
  • Add the tomatoes and star anises, if you choose.
  • Bring the contents of the pot to a boil over high heat, and skim off any scum from the surface.
  • Cover the pot, and reduce the heat until the liquid is simmering at a gentle roll. Continue simmering for about an hour and a half, stirring occasionally.
  • The red braised beef soup is now done cooking - fish out and discard the ginger slices and any star anises you might have used before serving.
Easy Beef Dinner Recipes: Red Braised Beef Noodle Soup (红烧牛肉面)
  • About 10 minutes before the beef soup is finished cooking, bring a large pot of water to a boil, and cook the noodles and pak choi. Gently immerse the noodles into the boiling water, give a quick stir to prevent them sticking to the bottom, and add the pak choi.
  • Remove the pak choi to a separate bowl after two minutes, and continue cooking the noodles for the length of time stated on the packet.
  • When the noodles are done, drain and refresh under cold water before serving.
  • Portion the noodles into individual bowls with the pak choi, and spoon the beef noodle soup on top. The Red Braised Beef Noodle Soup is ready to serve - see who can slurp theirs down the fastest!
Easy Beef Dinner Recipes: Red Braised Beef Noodle Soup (红烧牛肉面)
  • If you're using baby spinach leaves, rinse and drain them thoroughly before portioning into individual bowls, and usually the heat from the soup is enough to wilt them sufficiently without any need to cook them separately.
Easy Beef Dinner Recipes: Red Braised Beef Noodle Soup (红烧牛肉面)

Notes

  1. Choose a marbled cut of meat for better texture and tenderness - the lengthy braising time will break down the tougher cut of meat.
  2. For this recipe, I used a very dark and thick mushroom flavoured Chinese soy sauce, but you could use dark soy sauce you fancy, mushroom flavoured or not.
  3. You can substitute with baby spinach leaves if you can't find pak choi.
  4. Ideally, you want a noodle with a bit of bite and texture to it - I use pre-cut flat wheat noodles that I buy from the local Korean shop.

Red Braised Beef Noodle Soup
(Hong Shao Niu Rou Mian | 红烧牛肉面)

By

Easy Beef Dinner Recipes: Red Braised Beef Noodle Soup (Hong Shao Niu Rou Mian, 红烧牛肉面)

Make Red Braised Beef Noodle Soup in the comfort of your own home with this easy recipe.

Prep Time: 10 minutes plus time to marinate
Cook time: 1 hour 50 minutes
Serves: 4
Course: Main, Noodle Soup
Cuisine: Taiwanese, Chinese
Tags: Spicy Braised Beef, Noodles, Noodle Soup

Ingredients

1 kg stewing beef(1), cut into small chunks
Oil for cooking
20g fresh ginger, thinly sliced
1 Tbsp chilli bean sauce (辣豆瓣酱)
3 Tbsp dark soy sauce(2)
6 small (or 4 medium) tomatoes, sliced
2-3 star anises (optional)
1.2 litres water
2 small pak choi(3), quartered lengthwise
long noodles to serve(4)

Method

  1. Place the beef chunks into a large mixing bowl, add the ginger slices, chilli bean sauce and soy sauce, and stir together thoroughly. Cover with cling film, and set aside in the fridge to marinate for at least an hour or overnight.
  2. When the beef is done marinating and you're ready to make the soup, prepare the tomatoes.
  3. Heat some oil in a large lidded pot over medium heat, and cook the marinated beef and ginger slices, stirring frequently until the meat is sealed on all sides. Then add the water to the pot.
  4. Add the tomatoes and star anises, if you choose.
  5. Bring the contents of the pot to a boil over high heat, and skim off any scum from the surface.
  6. Cover the pot, and reduce the heat until the liquid is simmering at a gentle roll. Continue simmering for about an hour and a half, stirring occasionally. The beef soup is now done cooking - fish out and discard the ginger slices and any star anises before serving.
  7. About 10 minutes before the beef soup is finished cooking, bring a large pot of water to a boil, and cook the noodles and pak choi. Gently immerse the noodles into the boiling water, give a quick stir to prevent them sticking to the bottom, and add the pak choi.
  8. Remove the pak choi to a separate bowl after two minutes, and continue cooking the noodles for the length of time stated on the packet. When the noodles are done, drain and refresh under cold water before serving.
  9. Portion the noodles into individual bowls with the pak choi, and spoon the beef noodle soup on top to serve.
  10. If you're using baby spinach leaves, rinse and drain them thoroughly before portioning into individual bowls, and usually the heat from the soup is enough to wilt them sufficiently without any need to cook them separately.

Notes

  1. Choose a marbled cut of meat for better texture and tenderness - the lengthy braising time will break down the tougher cut of meat.
  2. I used a very dark and thick mushroom flavoured Chinese soy sauce, but you could use dark soy sauce you fancy.
  3. You can substitute with baby spinach leaves if you can't find pak choi.
  4. Ideally, you want a noodle with a bit of bite and texture to it.

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