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:
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