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A bowl of Lanzhou beef noodle soup
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5 from 6 votes

Lanzhou beef noodle soup (兰州牛肉面)

Super fragrant, tangy and comforting, Lanzhou beef noodle soup is a culinary legend from the city which it’s named after. Check out this simplified version!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time2 hrs 30 mins
Total Time2 hrs 40 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Chinese
Keyword: Noodles
Servings: 6
Calories: 713kcal
Author: Wei Guo


  • 1400 g large chunks of beef 3lb
  • 2 beef bones
  • 3000 ml water 13 cups
  • 1.5 teaspoon salt or to taste

Spices & herbs

  • 2 star anises
  • 1 small piece cassia cinnamon
  • 2 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon Sichuan peppercorn
  • 1 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1 pinch fennel seeds
  • 1 pinch cumin seeds
  • ½ teaspoon ground licorice or 4 slices licorice root
  • 2 pieces sand ginger
  • 3 dry chilli
  • 1 piece ginger
  • 3 stalks scallions

You also need


  • Put beef chunks and beef bones into a pot filled with cold water. Bring the water to a full boil. Use a spoon to skim off the froth on the surface.
  • Add all the herbs and spices (see note 1). Leave to simmer for about 2 hours (until the beef is cooked through).
  • Take the beef out to cool and discard the bones, herbs and spices. When cold, cut the beef into either thin slices or small cubes(see note 2).
  • Cut daikon into thin slices. Put into the beef broth. Cook for 15 minutes or so until very soft to bite.
  • Cook noodles in another pot with plenty of water. Drain and rinse under cold water for a few seconds.
  • Place noodles in serving bowls. Pour in hot broth and daikon. Top with beef slices / cubes. Garnish with fresh coriander and homemade chili oil.


1. If available, use a closed tea strainer to keep spices together while simmering. Later you will be able to discard them easily.
2. I suggest that you leave the beef to cool completely (best to be in the fridge overnight). This way it won’t fall apart when cutting through.


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 713kcal