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Apr 18, 2020

Taiwanese Beef Noodle Soup

Taiwanese Beef Noodle Soup is a delicious way to warm you up when you're feeling a bit chilly. The flavors are complex, with star anise, garlic, and ginger.

Taiwanese Beef Noodle Soup

The fragrant spices, along with a bit of brown sugar, chili bean sauce, soy sauce, and crushed red pepper flakes or, if you have them, Sichuan peppercorns, combine to create a pretty amazing and flavorful noodle soup.

While I've never been to Taiwan, I've heard that this soup is a national treasure. I totally understand why.

It's called hong shao (紅燒), and is often translated as "red-braised" because of the cooking method involving frying and then braising with soy sauce and sugar.

Chinese Taiwanese beef noodle soup

Tips for making Taiwanese beef noodle soup.

Be sure to sear the beef with the garlic, ginger, and chili bean sauce first.

Also, make sure you simmer the beef on the lowest temperature possible. The broth should be barely bubbling so that the beef is as tender as possible.

For the noodles, you can use Chinese egg noodles or Chinese wheat noodles. While Chinese wheat noodles were in abundance at my market, I bought the last lonely box of spaghetti in the store because, with just two of us, I knew it would hold up better for leftovers.

Speaking of leftovers, if you do have some, you can refresh the soup by adding a little bit of purchased beef broth to a bowl of leftovers before heating it. I bought a box of beef broth and kept it in the fridge for adding to bowls of leftovers.

Chinese Fast food Taiwanese beef noodle soup

The green you see in this soup is baby bok choy. I'm so lucky that my local grocery store within walking distance to my house carries it. If you can't find it at your usual market, be sure to check your local Asian supermarket.

For the soy sauce, I used Kikkoman. I also used Shao Hsing rice wine. If you are looking for it in an Asian grocery store, it typically has a red label. You can easily substitute dry sherry.

This soup is OMG beyond delicious. Surprisingly so. I found it in The Chinese Takeout Cookbook by Diana Kuan (affiliate link). Years ago, I received a review copy of the book and posted this recipe for General Tso's Chicken, one of my most popular posts. Diana recently came out with a new book, Red Hot Kitchen: Classic Asian Chili Sauces from Scratch and Delicious Dishes to Make with Them. Of course I bought it!

Welcome to this month's Soup Saturday Swappers. Our theme this month is Noodles! Check out everyone's recipes:

Taiwanese Beef Noodle Soup is a delicious way to warm you up when you're feeling a bit chilly. The flavors are complex, with star anise, garlic, and ginger.

This Taiwanese beef noodle soup will warm you up on a cold day. Never mind the weather, it's delicious year-round.

Taiwanese Beef Noodle Soup

Taiwanese Beef Noodle Soup
Yield: 6 servings
Taiwanese Beef Noodle Soup is a delicious way to warm you up when you're feeling a bit chilly. The flavors are complex, with star anise, garlic, and ginger.


  • 2 pounds beef chuck
  • Salt
  • 2 tablespoons neutral oil
  • 2 large garlic cloves, smashed
  • 2 one-inch pieces of fresh ginger, peeled
  • 2 tablespoons chili bean sauce
  • 1/4 cup Chinese rice wine or dry sherry
  • Enough water to cover the beef
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 2 whole star anise 
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 pound baby bok choy, stem end cut off and leaves separated
  • 1 pound dried Chinese egg noodles, wheat noodles, or spaghetti


How to cook Taiwanese Beef Noodle Soup

  1. Slice the beef into 2 inch cubes. Sprinkle it with salt. 
  2. Heat a 6 to 8 quart Dutch oven over medium heat and add the oil. Add the beef and cook to sear on one side for about 3 minutes. 
  3. Add the garlic, ginger, and chili bean sauce and cook, stirring, for about 30 seconds. 
  4. Add the rice wine and stir to scrape up the bits from the bottom of the pan. 
  5. Add enough water to just cover the beef by one inch. 
  6. Add the soy sauce, brown sugar, star anise, and crushed red pepper flakes. 
  7. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer and skim off any foam. 
  8. Cover the pot and simmer for 2 hours. 
  9. Transfer the beef to a cutting board and cut the beef into bite-sized pieces. 
  10. Strain the beef broth into another large pot through a strainer. 
  11. Bring the broth to a boil. Add the bok choy and cook for 3 minutes. 
  12. In another pot, cook the noodles according to package directions. Drain. 
  13. Divide the noodles among 6 bowls. Add the beef and bok choy to the bowls. Ladle the broth into each bowl. 
  14. Combine any leftover noodles, beef, broth, and bok choy and refrigerate. You can reheat in the microwave. 
Fat (grams)
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soup, noodles, beef
Taiwanese, Chinese

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Would you like to comment?

  1. This looks amazing, Karen. I can't wait to try it. Love the long-braised beef with noodles. Yum.

  2. I am yearning for this soup now. I can't go to a restaurant so I am happy that you shared this recipe. Thanks for hosting this month Karen.

  3. Oh my gosh I can practically smell this through the screen - it sounds phenomenal!

  4. This soups sounds so cozy and delicious!

  5. This soup was absolutely delicious and so easy to make. I sprinkled mine with some chopped cilantro, green onions, and shimeji mushrooms when serving.

    Loved it, thx for the recipe.

    1. Thank you for letting me know! Your additions sound delicious.


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