Category Archives: spicy

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!

Cantonese fried noodles

10:00 AM. This is a lovely morning. Sunshine is coming through my window and warms my back.
I have just made lunch to bring to my work, and I’m now drinking coffee with oliebollen, a local pastry from the Netherlands.
Every Thursday I start work at 12 O’ clock. That means I can get up late, have a slow breakfast and sometimes cook lunch for work.

Cantonese fried noodles 3Today, I made Cantonese style fried noodles. For this we will need:

  • Udon noodles (2 bags of 200 grams)
  • Cantonese dried sausage, also known as Lap Cheong: 2 pieces (you can use chicken, beef, pork or any other kind of sausage to replace)
  • Spring union: 3 pieces
  • Fresh bean sprouts (100 grams)
  • Dark soy sauce (1 tablespoon)
  • Light soy sauce (1 tablespoon)
  • Oyster sauce (2 tablespoons)
  • Dried chilies: 4 (only if you like it very spicy:)

Preparation step: cut, cut and cut…

  1. Cut the sausages into thin pieces
  2. Cut the spring union in pieces of about 3 cm
  3. Cut the dried chilies in fine pieces

This will be my lunch:
Cantonese fried noodles
How to cook it

  1. Heat some oil in a wok, then add the sausages and dried chili. Fry for 1 minute and then add the Udon noodles
  2. You will find that the Udon is a bit dry and sticky. This is not a problem: just sprinkle some warm water (about half my coffee cup) over them, and then stir. You’ll see that they loosen up
  3. Add the dark soy sauce and the Oyster sauce and stir 1 to 2 minutes
  4. Add the bean sprouts, and one spoon of light soy sauce. Stir fry for another minute
  5. Finally add the spring unions and stir fry for one minute more

That’s it!

Everything from washing, cutting and cooking in only 10 minutes. Now that’s easy right?