CHINESE BEEF NOODLE SOUP (for four to six)


2-½ pounds beef short ribs, cut between bones into pieces

7 cups water

1/3 cup soy sauce

¼ cup Chinese rice wine or Scotch or medium-dry Sherry

1 tablespoon sugar

six ¼-inch-thick diagonal slices fresh ginger

8 scallions, trimmed, 5 smashed with the side of a large, heavy knife

3 large cloves garlic, chopped

one 3-inch cinnamon stick

1 star anise

1 teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes

½ pound turnips, peeled and cut into ¾ inch cubes

¼ pound dried egg noodles

1 teaspoon Asian sesame oil (optional)

  1. Combine short ribs, water, soy sauce, rice wine, and sugar in a 5 to 6 quart heavy pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and skim off froth.  Add ginger, smashed scallions, garlic, cinnamon, star anise, salt and pepper flakes.  Simmer, covered, until rib meat is tender, about 2 hours.  Let ribs cool in broth, uncovered, about 30 minutes.
  1. Transfer ribs to a cutting board. Remove meat, discarding fat and bones, and chop.
  1. Pour broth through a large size-mesh sieve into a large saucepan. Discard solids.  Skim off and discard fat.  Add chopped meat and turnips, bring to a simmer and simmer, covered, for 10 minutes.  Add noodles, cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 7 minutes.
  1. Just before serving, thinly slice remaining 3 scallions. Stir into soup, with sesame oil, if using, and salt to taste.

NOTE:  The soup can be made, without the sliced scallions and sesame oil, up to 2 days ahead.  Cool, uncovered, then refrigerate, covered.

from The Gourmet Cookbook

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