Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Yummy Chinese Beef Noodle Soup

Yummy - yes! Now that the weather is finally turning slightly cooler here in South Texas, it's time to break out the simple soup recipes that warm our bellies so.  And with Melissa finally home from China, she's been hungry for the foods she found comfort in while working there.  Stella LOVES this soup and I've finally gotten the seasoning just right to make it feel like Chinese comfort food.  We had a version of this soup in Guangzhou while adopting Stella Claire, and it really is just so, so good. You've got to try it, especially if you have China babies at home! We have tried to incorporate more traditional foods into our meals as they really do bring our little girl comfort.

This feeds our family of 9, so adjust accordingly for your family size - or freeze extra! This is a two part recipe and part one needs to be done at least one day ahead (putting this in here for planning purposes!). 

Ingredients for Chinese Beef Noodle Soup: 
4 beef shanks with bone, 1/2 cup soy sauce (or liquid aminos - my preference), 1/2 cup rice wine, 2 cups water, four whole green onions (ends removed), 4 slices fresh ginger (about 1/2 inch each piece), 2 Tablespoons chinese szechuan pepper seasoning (I found mine at Whole Foods - but you could use 8-10 whole sichuan peppercorns too -  I just can't find those in my area).

Part 1 - Braise the beef shank.  Place beef shanks in a large pot with remaining ingredients listed above. Bring to a boil, cover tightly, turn heat to low and simmer for approx. 2 hours.  
Remove beef from broth to a plate and let cool.  Reserve broth/sauce and beef in the refrigerator for noodle soup. Refrigerating the beef overnight will make it easier for cutting later.

Part 2:  Noodle soup ingredients: 

Chinese noodles (do not use egg noodles, specifically look for traditional wheat noodles), chicken broth (about 8 oz for every two servings, in which I use 1 box), 6 cups water, salt and pepper, soy sauce, reserved beef and broth (which should look like a gelatin - just remove the bones, onions and ginger pieces), two bunches of greens (we like baby bok choy, but spinach and napa cabbage work too), and slivered scallions for garnishing. 

In a large pot, combine the chicken broth, water, and all the reserved broth/sauce from cooking the beef shank. Bring to a boil and add in your greens to blanch them. Adjust seasoning if needed (add salt, pepper, or a touch of soy sauce).  Set aside once your broth is steaming hot and greens are wilted.

At the same time, bring a separate pot of water to boil to cook your noodles.  Cook noodles according to the package directions.  Be careful not to overcook. Drain noodles.

Thinly slice the reserved beef shank meat.

Now it's finally time to assemble the soup! Place noodles into large soup bowls (the Chinese like generous portions!).  Add some beef slices, some greens, and ladle in hot soup broth.  Garnish with slivered green onions and serve steaming hot!

My sweet husband makes these yummy chinese crackers to go with our soup sometimes.
They are so, so good!  Tastes just like the pita bread we had in Guangzhou.

 Yep - you can tip your bowl and drink the soup broth little Stella! 

More please?!  Of course! She can eat 4 bowls of this! :-)

Enjoy y'all!