Week 3 – Soups

Happy (early) Year of the Dragon!

With Chinese New Year approaching this Monday, I thought I’d do something Chinese (I know, I know, last week was Chinese). I have always loved soup, and with that, I have ALWAYS loved noodle soup! So I decided to make some Chinese Beef Noodle soup…from scratch! That means broth from some beef bones and seasonings and the whole place smelling delicious!

You need some broth for a great soup, and for a great broth, you need a big pot! =p

I had some left over beef marrow bones from my pho experiment a month or 2 ago in the freezer. I used those and picked up a few things for the broth. Boil them first for about 10 minutes to get some scum to rise up. Then dump and clean the pot and put the bones back in with everything else.

  • Char (broil) 2 onions (halved), a glove of garlic (halved), and about a small fist of ginger sliced up. Broil for about 15 minutes, you should start smelling the aroma towards the end.
  • Mesh ball: 1 T coriander, 1 T Szechwan peppercorns (I did not taste these or feel the heat, so next time, I may try adding more), 5 star anise
  • 1-2 T sugar rock
  • 1-2 Cups of soy sauce, dark I’d use towards the 1 cup.
  • I got 1 slab of beef (chuck roast I believe)

The picture above has everything together except the soy sauce. Cover with water and the soy sauce and bring to a boil and then down to a simmer for 3-4 hours. Your house is going to smell delicious the rest of the day/night. I’m making the broth first and serving the noodle soup the next day.

Afterwards, I drain the broth out to another pot and let it cool down. (Don’t toss the beef slab, save it, chop it up into chunks and serve with the noodles!) Then I refrigerate the broth. The next day, I skim off most of the oil/fat that has floated to the top and congealed. Now, I heat back up the broth. This part is a personal preference part. Most likely, the broth will be very rich and you’ll need to water it down. I generally fill the broth pot with more water, about 25% more water. If you really want to, add 1 cup of water at a time and taste a small spoonful and adjust it after each taste.

When it’s ready, boil up the noodles (I usually just do it in the broth, so the noodles pick up the flavor, but you can do it separate and then add them to the broth) and beef chunks. Just before the noodles are done, add in the bok choy. Serve hot and enjoy!

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