Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Chinese Braised Beef Noodles 红烧牛肉面

I've started the habit of planning a weekly meal plan, for dinners, since a while ago. After last week's meal plan, I've started craving for Taiwanese Braised Beef noodles. Since the week's groceries has been done last week, I held onto my craving for the beef noodles till this week.

As usual, I would do my research and pick up the ropes on making that ideal beef broth by going through cookbooks, food blogs and of course, Youtube channels.

Here were the few Youtube channels I've browsed through for ideas.

楊桃美食網 (Mandarin)
Cook with Kelly (English)

綠園廚藝 (Mandarin)

健康新煮流 (Mandarin)

Check them out, when you have the time, you'll pick up a tip or two I am sure!

The importance to a successful Chinese Braised Beef noodles has got to be the soup/broth as that's where the essence of the entire bowl of goodness is. I did my mix and match of ingredients from the various recipes I've come across when preparing the broth, I guess I did the mixing and matching well and I was rather pleased with the results.

The hubby and kiddos gave me the thumbs up and the beef noodles was given a rating of 98% no less! What happened to the 2% you might ask? *smile* it was because they didn't have enough of it *beaming*

Try the recipe below sometime and I hope you'd enjoy a wonderful bowl of Braised Beef Noodles as much as we did!

(serves 6 adults)
1-2kg mixture of ox tail, beef brisket and beef tendons
5-6 cloves of garlic (remove skin, lightly smashed)
1 large red onion (thinly sliced)
8-9 stalks of spring onions (just the white portion)
1 inch thick ginger root (sliced)
2 large tomatoes (cut into wedges)
1 tsp sze chuan pepper corns (omit if you feel it's too spicy for your liking)
2 tbsp soya bean paste (I used a non-spicy soya bean paste)
3 tbsp tomato ketchup
1.5 tbsp sugar
1/4 tsp five spice powder
salt to taste
4-5 litres water (ensure water covers all the ingredients in the pot)
1 Knorr beef cube (or you may use chicken stock if you prefer)
A bunch of green leafy vegetables
1 Packet of dried chinese noodles (you may use 拉面 or 阳春面)

  1. Clean the meat thoroughly, then boil a pot of water to blanch the beef for approx 5-8 mins, set the blanched meat aside.
  2. Heat a pot (the soup pot you'll use to boil the soup) with 2tsp of cooking oil, saute garlic, red onion, spring onions, ginger root, sze chuan pepper corns, 5 spice powder till slightly brown.
  3. Add the soya bean paste, ketchup and sugar, let the mixture cook for a further 1-2mins.
  4. Pour into the pot the beef, give it a light stir for a min.
  5. Add in water, beef cube and tomatoes. Bring the mixture to a boil then simmer for 2-3hrs under low heat. Add salt to taste.
  6. After the beef is cooked, I took out the oxtail and shredded the meat and discarded the bones.
  7. Pour the soup into another pot or big bowl through a sieve (it's easier to ladle the soup without all the remnants of all the aromatics.
  8. You might see a layer of oil on the surface of the soup, use one of these (see picture below), it helps to absorb all the oil. I bought mine from Daiso.

To prepare the noodles and vegetables
  1. Boil a pot of water and add the noodles in to boil for up to 8 mins (check the packaging for details, though mine stated 2-3mins but the noodles weren't cooked after 3 mins so I've to give a go for another 5 mins)
  2. When noodles is cooked drain it and rinse it quickly with cold water (this will help to stop the noodles from turning soggy)
  3. Blanch the green leafy vegetables till cooked (takes about 2mins or less)
Finally, ladle the beef broth into the bowl of cooked noodles and vegetables, serve with chopped spring onions.

That's another easy one pot meal done! 

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