I made some beef broth the night before to use in this recipe. I didn't have any bones on hand so I went to Fred Meyer and asked if they had any beef bone scraps I could have and they packaged some up for me. I think I paid around $2.50 for a package. So I get everything all done for the soup and I take my pictures and am just about to sit down and eat and I smack my head realizing I forgot to add the noodles. How could I forget the main ingredient? The recipe calls for "Asian noodles" which is pretty broad. There are so many different varieties. I asked Lorna what she recommended and she mentioned some noodles at Uwajimaya that come in a refrigerated green package and are labeled as vermicelli. The noodles aren't dried so they only take a couple of minutes to cook. So I had some noodles ready to add to the soup in a jiffy and took a few more pictures before we dug in.
The soup was rather spicy, I'm guessing it was from the chile black bean sauce. I even added an extra cup of water to make it a little less spicy but that apparently wasn't enough. There were plenty of leftovers and I added more water to the leftovers to turn down the heat which made it just right.
I normally don't post recipes from cookbooks but I was given permission to post this one since it's posted on the internet already. So enjoy!
3 whole star anise, or 1/2 tsp ground star anise
1 1/2 tsp whole Szechuan peppercorns
2 to 4 small fres red chilies, seeded
2 Tbsp vegetable or peanut oil
3 lbs bone-in beef shank or short rib
8 cloves garlic, lightly smashed
5 slices peeled fresh ginger, cut 1/4 inch thick
5 green onions, cut into 4-inch pieces
3/4 tsp Chinese five-spice powder
3 Tbsp Chinese chili black bean sauce
1/4 Cup Chinese rice wine
1 small piece Chinese rock sgar
1/3 Cup light soy sauce
2 Tbsp dark soy sauce
6 Cups low-sodium beef broth
2 Cups water
1 bunch or more baby bok choy
3/4 lb Asian noodles, cooked and drained
2 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish
Chinese chili oil, for garnish (optional)
1. In a cheesecloth, combine the star anise, peppercorns, and red chilies, and tie the bundle with a piece of string.
2. In a large heavy-bottomed pot or dutch oven, heat the oil over high heat until it is smoking. Brown the beef on both sides, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Add the garlic, ginger, and green onions to the oil and stir until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the five-spice powder, chili black bean sauce, rice wine, rock sugar, light and dark soy sauces, broth, and water, as well as the spices bundled in the cheesecloth. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to medium-low and cover. Simmer for 3 1/2 to 4 hours, until the meat is very tender and falling off of the bone.
3. Remove the meat from the pot and discard the bones. Cut the meat into bite-sized pieces. Strain the broth and discard the cheesecloth bundle, ginger, green onions, and garlic.
4. Cook the bok choy directly in the hot broth for 3 to 4 minutes, until tender. To serve, put a portion of the cooked noodles in each bowl and ladle the soup over the noodles. Add some of the beef and bok choy to the bowl, and garnish with a bit of cilantro and a dash of hot chili oil.
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