In Sydney it’s pretty hard to find a proper store that makes decent Taiwanese flavour. I honestly don’t know the secret to an authentic Taiwanese Beef Soup stock for this famous dish, so I am kind of combining the skills that I learned at work (I was working in a Taiwanese kitchen back then) and some online recipes to make this one here. I normally use beef brisket for Taiwanese beef noodles soup, but this time I am trying out the traditional ingredients which is beef shank (牛腱 /牛展). It turned out pretty good and the beef wasn’t rough and hard as I worried at all! The meaty beef shank turned out to be very tender and soft, full of flavour and juicy.
Since I am using Beef Shank this time it requires an overnight preparation. Beef Shank shrinks quite a lot so if you slice it up raw the pieces will be crooked once cooked. Thus you have to cook them in whole, cool them up in the fridge for a night, and it will be so much easier to slice up when its cold.
2-3 pcs Whole Beef Shank
1 slice Ginger
1 stalk Spring Onion
1 large Onion
1 small Tomato
3 pcs Star Anise
1 cup Taiwanese Soy Sauce 醬油
1/2 cup Shao-xin Cooking wine 紹興酒
5 pcs Crystal Sugar Rock 單晶白冰糖
2 Tbsp Chilli Soy Bean Paste 辣豆瓣醬
3 serves Cooked noodles – any of your preference
- Crush the ginger, chop ⅔ of the spring onion into 2-3 inches long.
- Place beef shanks in a large stock pot and fill up with water to the level that fully cover and immerse the beef.
- Add ginger, star anise and the ⅔ spring onion into the pot.
- Let boil until the beef shanks are fully cooked, and cook for another half another to bring out the flavour into the soup. Depends on the size of the shanks, it can be required to cook from 30 mins to 1.5 hours.
- Use a tong to pick the beef shanks and let cool aside. DO NOT DRAIN THE WATER, this is the beef stock that you will be using to make the noodle soup the next day.
- Keep the stock wrapped up and cool down before storing into the fridge.
- Once the beef shanks have cool down, wrap up in cling wrap or keep in a large container and store in fridge for overnight.
Next day Preparation:
- Bring out the beef shanks from the fridge and slice them into 1-2cm thick. Depends on your liking.
- Bring a large stock pot, pour in the beef stock that you made the night before, and then top up with some water if you want more soup for serving.
- Chop the onion and tomato into slim wedges.
- Add soy sauce, Shao-xin cooking wine, onion, tomato, crystal rock sugar, chilli soy bean paste and finally the sliced beef shanks to the pot.
- On high heat cook for 1 hour with lid on, then low heat for another 20 mins. Turn off heat and let lid on to stay for 20 mins and reboil. This helps the meat to get tender and soft. Turn off heat again and let covered until you are about to start dinner. Cook your noodles in another pot of water and cook any vegetables you might like to add. Get your noodles ready in bowls.
- Reboil the beef soup and serve on top of the noodles. Chop up the leftover spring onion for garnishing.