Monday, August 1, 2016

Blast the AC!

If I didnt know better this summer, I would have thought we were in the south or SE Asia! The heat, humidity, and random thunderstorms in the last few weeks have been very un-NY like. July has always been hot and humid but we've never experienced flash thunderstorms as often as we have this year.

So, I thought... What is better than having Taiwanese style piping hot beef noodle soup (紅燒牛肉麵) in the middle of this disgusting heat? But at least I'll have the AC on, right?

I used to slave over the stove for HOURS on end trying to braise the perfect soup base and cook the meats down to the perfect texture. This time, the Instant Pot saved me again!

Growing up, Mom would seldom make this because it would take so long but we craved for it all the time. Back in Taiwan, Ah-Ma (my maternal grandmother) actually sold beef noodle soup out of the small porch of the house that I remember visiting when I was a kid. By the time I was born, she was no longer selling it but I would hear so many stories. On top of that, my dad even got involved with the business when him and Mom were courting/dating/or even beginning of their marriage. Dad was definitely a keeper ;)

So here is my authentic version of Taiwanese Beef Noodle Soup!


2 lbs Beef (this can be shank, beef stew, oxtail, beef tendon, tripe, etc)
*Beef shank is what is traditionally used as that is the cut that gives the noodle soup the rice collagen-filled soup base. This time around, I used Oxtail and Beef Tendon
2 small/med carrots - cut up in one inch pieces
1 small/med Onion - halved
3 Scallions - cut in halves
2 Tomato - cut in quarters
3-4 Garlic - peeled and smashed
1 Marinade packet
1/2 cup Soy sauce 
1/3 Chinese cooking wine
1 stick Rock/Brown sugar
1 TBS oil 


Chopped cilantro
Sauteed sour cabbage
- 1 bag pickled mustard green (thai branded)
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- sugar to taste
- 1 TBS Oil

Noodles: I used Japanese Udon Noodles which is what I had in the pantry but hand pulled noodles or any other types of Chinese noodles would work too

(tips on some of the ingredients)

Marinating packet option 1
Marinating Packet Option 2

Brown/Rock Sugar 

First, I put on a pot of boiling water so I can blanch my meat. This will clean the meat and rid it of any dirty blood and things. I prefer a clearer broth so this step helps me in getting there. 

The pot will start to boil and there is a pinkish/brownish foam that will be created from the boil. I strain the meat and rinse it real quick with some clean water and leave it to the side. 

Instant pot is amazing in that you can do everything in one pot! Add the oil, then sautee the scallion, onion and garlic (all the fragrant ingredients) until brown.

I then added tomato and carrots, and the beef or choice of meat. 

Add soy sauce, cooking wine, sugar (I prefer this on the sweeter side so this can be adjusted to taste). Add water until it just covers the top of the all the ingredients. 

Finally, add in the marinade packet. 

Close the lid to the pressure cooker, make sure the vent is closed.

Press the manual function and adjust the timer to 75 minutes. I thought 75 minutes was a bit long so maybe 65-70 minutes would be slightly better. 

Final Product!