A bowl of noodles in well spiced broth topped with tender beef cubes, spicy beef noodle soup is hot, fragrant and very comforting indeed.
Cold winter days are approaching! Here in our Red House everyone is craving something hearty and comforting for dinner. I bought some nice cuts of beef the other day and cooked beef noodle soup in two ways. One with light, clear broth for the kids and another with lots of spices for the hot food lovers in our house. If you are also looking for a dish to warm you up, don’t miss today’s recipe: Spicy beef noodle soup (香辣牛肉面).
Choose marbled beef cuts
To make a bowl of delicious beef noodle soup, first you need to find the ideal cut of beef. Generally speaking, the cuts which have generous amounts of marbling are great for stew dishes (such as Chinese spiced beef and potato stew). They have a higher fat content thus take less time to cook and deliver a beautiful beefy flavour. I came across an article explaining how to choose the best cuts for beef stew. Have a look if you are interested.
Make a well spiced broth
In my recipe of spicy beef noodle soup, the beef cubes are simmered in a well spiced liquid. Firstly, minced garlic and Sichuan chilli bean paste are briefly stir fried in oil to fully release their fragrance. Then you need to add water and leave to simmer for several minutes. When the soup is ready, pour it into the pot filled with blanched and drained beef cubes. Please note that it’s recommended to filter the soup through a sieve to get rid of the remaining lumps of garlic and chilli bean paste.
The last step is to add more spices and herb to the simmering soup. Bay leaf, star-anise, Chinese cinnamon, Sichuan pepper and fennel seeds are used to flavour the broth. However you wouldn’t want them in the serving bowl. I have a tip for you: If available, place the spices in a closed tea strainer while simmering. Later you will be able to discard them easily.
Do not cook noodles in the broth
For preparing noodle soup, please allow me to repeat one important tip that I’ve mentioned in another post (Chicken meatball noodle soup): do not cook noodles in the broth. The starch coming off the noodles will change the flavour and the consistency of the broth. Instead, you should boil noodles in a clean pot filled with plenty of water.
To make spicy beef noodle soup healthier, you can blanch some leafy green vegetable while cooking the noodles. Spinach, pak choi (bok choy) or Chinese choy sum are great choices.
Thank you very much for taking time to read my post. Hope you all are wrapped up warm on cold days and are enjoying comforting food with your loved ones.