Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Niu Rou Mian 牛肉麵 v.1

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Long time readers already know that I love love love love love noodle soup.  (For past entries, see here, here and here.)  Here is another version.  The goal was to make a bowl of Taiwanese niu rou mian (niu rou=beef, mian=noodle) but I didn't get the aromatics quite right.  Instead, I ended up with a very nice bowl of soy-braised beef noodle soup.  Not a bad compromise.  :)  I asked my mom for her spice proportions and she explained that most Taiwanese cooks use pre-bagged spice blends so I'm going to head to my local Chinatown and see if I can't find one of these magic bags of goodness. 

2 lbs braising beef cut into chunks (you can use beef chuck, beef short ribs, etc.)
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon Chinese rice wine
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon sesame oil
2 green onions cut into 1 inch pieces

Mix all of the ingredients.  Allow to sit for 15 minutes.

2 green onions cut into 1 inch pieces
1 inch piece of ginger peeled and crushed
2 tablespoons Chinese rice wine
1 teaspoon EACH of sichuan peppercorns and 5-spice powder
1 tablespoon EACH of fermented black beans and black bean/garlic sauce
2 tablespoons of sugar
1 cinnamon stick
2 star anise
a few dried red chiles
1/2 cup of light soy sauce
2 tablespoons of dark soy sauce

Blanched Greens (I used broccoli rabe)
Minced Green Onions
Whatever else you like

(Very basic instructions)
1. Brown green onions and and ginger.  Brown marinated beef.  Deglaze with rice wine.  Add everything else from the "AROMATICS AND SOUP" section.  Bring to a simmer.  Skim broth to remove impurities.  Simmer until beef is tender.  Taste.  Adjust seasoning with soy and water.  Cool and refrigerate over night.

2. There should be a semi-solid fat cap on top of the soup.  Remove the fat cap.  Remove the pieces of beef and set aside.  Strain the remaining liquid.  Combine strained liquid with beef.  Set aside.

3. Prepare garnishes.  Boil noodles.  Add a touch of sesame oil to soup bowl.  Add cooked noodles.  Add garnishes and beef.  EAT.

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