Spicy Beef Noodle Soup – Niu Rou Mian with a Kick


Meat & Veggies:

  • 2.5 lbs Beef Shank
  • 5 Garlic Cloves, peeled & smashed
  • 1 Onion, cut into wedges
  • 3 Ginger slices
  • 2 Tomatoes, cut into wedges
  • 4 stalks of Green Onion (1 for garnish)
  • Bok choy or Spinach, blanched
  • A few sprigs of Cilantro for garnish

Spice Mixture:

  • 5 Dried Whole Japones Chile Peppers
  • 5 pieces of Star Anise
  • 2 teaspoons of Whole Sichuan Peppercorns
  • 1 – 2 pieces of Dried Tangerine Peels

Sauce Mixture:

  • 1 tablespoon Sugar
  • 1/2 cup Soy Sauce
  • 1/4 cup Dark Soy Sauce
  • 1/3 cup Shao Xing Rice Wine
  • 2.5 tablespoons Hot Chili Bean Paste
  • 1 tablespoon Canola Oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon Sesame Oil
  • 1 teaspoon Chinese Chili Oil

Noodles & Etc:

  • 1 bag of Chinese Wheat Noodles
  • 6 cups of Water
  • Cheesecloth or Sieve
  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add enough to cover the meat, but OMIT adding salt.
  2. While waiting for the water to boil, prepare the spice mixture in a bowl.
  3. In a separate bowl, prepare the sauce mixture.
  4. Rinse the meat under cold water. When the water is boiling,  flash boil the meat. Drain and set aside.
  5. Cut into wedges, tomatoes and onions. Then slice ginger into 3 large pieces.
  6. Smash and peel the garlic. Cut the green onions into thirds.
  7. Heat oil in a large pot and add the garlic and ginger. After a few fragrant seconds, add the onions and tomatoes.
  8. Pour the sauce mixture into the pot and stir. Then add the bowl of spices.
  9. Pour 6 cups of water into the pot. Add the green onions (save one stalk for garnish) and the meat.
  10. Bring the soup to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cover. Cook for at least 3.5 hours, and 4 - 6 hours for more tender meat.

Half an Hour Before Feasting Time:

  1. Taste your broth. If you want more tingly and numbing sensation, add Sichuan peppercorns. Extra spiciness, increase chili oil. Too salty? Add a little broth or water. Not salty enough? Add more soy sauce.
  2. Blanche the bok choy in another pot. Drain and set aside. Cook the noodles in another pot (portions similar to spaghetti). Prepare garnish: mince green onions and pick cilantro leaves.
  3. Finally, prepare to eat! Pour soup through a sieve. Set aside. Then pull or slice meat for each serving.
  4. Get soup bowls out, add noodles, bok choy, beef, and soup. Garnish with cilantro and green onions.