Chinese Beef Noodle Soup – Niu Rou Mian

Sorry for the lack of posts, summer has been VERY busy for me with work, summer school, and SPOP!

So awhile ago I had the idea of making some Chinese beef noodle soup since my mom gave me a few pointers on making some and the Chinese in me craved a big steaming bowl of it.

Bowl of beefy goodness! Thick, rich, meaty broth...

Bowl of beefy goodness! Thick, rich, meaty broth…


  • 1 lb Beef Shank
  • 5 Spice Powder Packet
  • Star Anise
  • 1 Quartered Onion
  • Green Onions
  • Xiao Xing Rice Wine
  • Black Pepper/White Pepper
  • Dark Soy Sauce
  • Light Soy Sauce
  • Garlic
  • 1 Tablespoon of Tomato Paste
  • Sugar
  • Fresh Chinese Noodles (Preferably the thick ones)
  • Optional: Spinach/Pickled Mustard Greens

1. Firstly trim the beef shank of all the silver skin/fat that you can visibly see.

2. Boil a pot of water and blanch the beef shank for a minute to get rid of the impurities that float to the top.

3. In a cast iron oven or a similar large cooking vessel, put in the beef shank along with the dark/light soy sauces, LOTS of Xiao Xing rice wine, garlic, onions, garlic,  spices, and enough water to cover the beef shank.

4. Let it boil for about 20 minutes then put on the cover and reduce the heat to the lowest heat setting and let it braise itself. After an hour take out the beef shank cut it into bite size chunks and put it back into the pot and resume the braise.

5. After a few hours, taste the broth and add more soy sauce, sugar, or rice wine to fit your taste.

6. Cook up the Chinese noodles until they are al dente or “q” (Basically how Chinese people say Al Dente) and serve with some diced up pickled mustard greens and spinach!

Pretty easy right? It’s very simple to do, but it requires a lot of time, so be prepared for the whole house smelling like beef noodle soup! The broth is very deep and rich; it’s full of Chinese five spice powder and has the fragrance of star anise and beef. It also has a very good tongue feel due to all the collagen and gelatin that was released by the beef shank. The pickled mustard green helps cut the richness of the soup and if you did it right, the meat should melt in your mouth.

~ by Clifton Su on June 23, 2009.

4 Responses to “Chinese Beef Noodle Soup – Niu Rou Mian”

  1. nice…now i know how to make it! about how many hours did it take to make the broth…around 5?

  2. I made it super concentrated when it was around 5 hours so I would add a little water if you like it a bit lighter. The longer the better I would say, the shank would be more tender the longer and slower you cook it!

  3. where do you get the five spice powder packet?

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