Chinese Beef Noodle Soup (Instant Pot cooking)


Beef noodle in soup

It has been raining for a few days already.  When the weather is cold and wet, a bowl of hot beef noodle soup sounds very comforting.  Noodles are very popular in China, as there are many ways of cooking noodles.  They can be served with sauce or in soup, as well as pan fried or deep fried until crispy.  My favorite way of cooking noodles is to make it in soup.

Beef stew usually takes at least 2 hours to simmer on the stove top, until tender.  However, if you use a pressure cooker, the cooking time can easily be reduced in half.  I’m using my favorite Instant Pot for this dish. Once everything is in the pressure cooker, I can sit back and relax.

Ingredients for Beef Stew (8 servings):

4 pounds Beef stew meat
6 stalks Green onion
8 slices Fresh ginger
2 whole Anise star
10 Garlic cloves
1 White onion
3 Tomatoes
5 leaves Bay leaf
2 Red chili (either fresh or dried)
3 Tbsp Brown sugar
¾ Cup Light soy sauce
¾ Cup Dark soy sauce
1 ½ Cup Rice cooking wine
1 ½ Cup Water
2 Tbsp Ground Bean Paste (磨鼓醬)
1-2 Tbsp Chili Bean paste (depending on how spicy you want)

Ingredients for noodle soup (4 servings):

8 Bundle Shrimp noodles/Rice noodles
8 Cups Chicken broth
2 Cups Bok Choy
1 tsp Salt

Directions for making Beef Stew:

  1. Slice the onion, peel the garlic, halve the red chilies, halve the green onions, slice the ginger root, rinse the star anise and bay leaves.  Set aside (Picture 1)
  2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, put 4 slices of ginger in the water.  Add beef into the pot and cook for 5 minutes.  Discard the water and rinse beef under running tap water.  Set aside.  (Picture 2)
  3. Add a little oil to the wok, fry onion, garlic, green onion, remaining ginger and red chili. (Pictures 3 & 4)
  4. When onion is a little brown, add in beef and stir for 2 minutes. (Picture 5)
  5. Pour in cooking wine, light soy sauce, dark soy sauce and water. (Pictures 6-9)
  6. Add brown sugar, ground bean paste, chili bean paste, bay leaves and star anise.  (Pictures 10-13)
  7. Add in tomatoes and stir well. (Picture 14)
  8. After the sauce is boiled, transfer everything to the Instant Pot (Pressure Cooker).  Select “Meat Stew” and set timer for 1 hour.  Turn knob to the “sealing” position.  (Picture 15)
  9. When finished cooking, do a quick pressure release before you open the lid.

Beef noodle soup

Directions for making noodles in soup:

Noodles may be cooked from either their fresh or dry forms.  Below is a picture of the dried shrimp noodle.

IMG_7937

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook the noodles according to the package instructions.  Remove noodles from the pot and rinse it under cold water.
  2. Add 8 cups of chicken broth to a pot and bring to a boil.  Add a teaspoon of salt for taste.  The broth can be a little light as we are going to add in a few spoons of the sauce from the beef stew.
  3. When the broth is boiling, add bok choy and cook for 1 minute.
  4. Put noodles and broth in a large bowl, lay bok choy on top and add some beef and its sauce to your bowl of noodles.  Garnish with cilantro or green onions.

Tonkotsu Ramen Broth


Tonkatsu Ramen

I bought a 32-Quart stainless steel stock pot recently, thinking that one day I may deep fry a turkey in this pot. To get good use out of it, I decided to make broth for Tonkotsu ramen. This pot itself weighs 13 pounds, if I fill it with water and ingredients, it’s impossible for me to lift it.  If you have a 24-quart stock pot, it will suffice.

All Tonkotsu broth recipes require 12-18 hour cooking time (the longer the time, the more gelatin develops in the soup), but it doesn’t mean you are stuck in the house for the whole day. I cooked my broth for 6 hours the first day, let cool it and put it in the fridge, then continued to cook it the second day until the broth became thick and milky. One thing I have to mention is the pig fat “fatback”. Fatback will add nice and rich flavors to your broth, but for health concerns, I omitted it.

Ingredients:

7 pounds
5 pounds (about 6 pieces)
1
12
1 thumb size
12
1 pound
Pig trotters (cut crosswise)
Chicken carcasses (small)
Onion
Garlic cloves
Ginger (sliced)
Green onions (white parts only)
Fatback (optional)

Toppings and Garnish for ramen:

Soft boiled eggs
Chashu
Fish cake
Nori (seaweed)
Green onions
Enoki mushrooms

Directions:

  1. Bring a big pot of water to a boil, then put trotters and chicken carcasses in (should have enough water to cover all bones), cook for 5-10 minutes. (picture 1)
  2. Drain the bones and use a knife or chopstick to take out the dark marrow and rinse with cold water. (pictures 2 and 3)
  3. Wash any coagulated blood off from the chicken carcasses with cold water. (picture 4)
  4. Chop onion and peel garlic, then brown them in a pan, the browner the better.  (pictures 5 and 6)
  5. Add all ingredients into a stock pot and fill the pot with water.   Bring it to a boil, then simmer over low heat.  (picture 7)
  6. You may want to skim off the scum that appears on the top with a stainless steel skimmer. (picture 8)
  7. The pot I used is 32-quart, it is big enough to double this recipe.  After cooking the broth for 16 hours over low heat, the broth is opaque with the texture of light cream.  (pictures 9 and 10)
  8. Pour broth through a fine mesh strainer into a clean pot, discard solids.  (picture 11)
  9. Season broth with salt, taste it and adjust as needed.  (picture 12)
  10. (Optional):  If you want your broth to have a rich flavor, add pork fatback directly to your pot as the bones cook.  After an hour, take the fatback out and finely chop it, then whisk some into the soup just before serving.
Tonkatsu broth
  • I found this soy sauce at the supermarket.  Season the broth with a couple tablespoons of soy sauce can enhance the flavor.

DSC_0205

  • Also found this type of fresh ramen, cook noodles according to package directions.

ramen