Beef noodle soup 牛肉面

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Since winter has come, days are shorter. It’s getting dark so early now. It always feels like 9 o’clock in the evening when I start preparing dinner. I have also started eating more spicy than in summer. I love spicy food, but after living in Europe I eat less spicy.

Friends from the Netherlands will laugh if they see I wrote “I eat less”, because they were once really crying by my table. For this depressed winter weather, eating spicy food will make you start sweating and it will feel like after doing exercise.

Beef noodle soup with soft meat, a rich broth and vegetables: it is warm, healthy and classic. It has always been popular in China, you can find it everywhere. Normally people eat it for breakfast. There are also noodles, porridge, soy milk, steamed buns or dumplings for breakfast in China.

Nowadays beef noodles is not only for breakfast, many noodle restaurants quite often are like Chinese fast food; fast to cook and also healthy. Some of those restaurants open 24 hours a day.

It is not difficult to make beef noodle soup, you only need a little bit of time and enough herbs.

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What we need:

  • Beef chuck (for stews)                       500g
  • Star anise                                           2
  • Laurel herb (or bay leaf)                     2
  • Black cardamom                                  1
  • Cinnamon                                             1 stick
  • Sichuan pepper                                    1sp (you can replace it with white pepper)
  • Mandarin peel                                      2-3 pieces
  • Chilli sauce                                           1sp (I use sambal to replace Sichuan chilli sauce, it is not spicy but salty)
  • Dark soy sauce                                     1sp
  • Light soy sauce                                     2sp
  • Shaoxing wine or rice wine                   2sp
  • Monocrystal sugar                                6 pcs (if you don’t have any, you can use 1 spoon of ordinary granulated sugar)
  • Garlic                                                    4 cloves
  • Fresh ginger                                         4 slices
  • Spring onion                                          3
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How to make it

Cut the beef into pieces of 4x4cm, the put all in a soup pan. Add all herbs and sauces, then add 80 or 90 cl water. Heat on high fire until is starts to boil, then turn to small fire and let it simmer for 2 hours.

Cook noodles and place them in a bowl, add meat and soup.

Garnish with half a boiled egg and some greens. Add some home made chili oil if you dare!

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