Taiwanese Beef Noodle Soup

Taiwanese Beef Noodle Soup

Taiwanese Beef Noodle Soup


Unraveling the Soul of Taiwan: The Art of Crafting Authentic Taiwanese Beef Noodle Soup In Your Own Kitchen

In the vibrant tapestry of Taiwanese cuisine, few dishes capture the essence of the island's culinary tradition as profoundly as Taiwanese Beef Noodle Soup (牛肉麵). Renowned for its rich broth, melt in your mouth beef, and toothsome noodles, this iconic dish holds a special place in the hearts and palates of both locals and visitors alike.

When I was living in Taiwan for six years, I would have this dish at least once a week, especially during the cold months. This soup warms you up from the inside out and is the ultimate comfort food.

In all honesty, I was a little intimidated to start learning how to make this dish. I was worried it would be too complicated. After some trial and error, I came up with this recipe that is not only easy, but also authentic. My husband Jerry who is Taiwanese approved this message. 😉😉

Give this recipe a try and let me know what you think!

You can always get a hold of me on Instagram.  

A Brief History:

The origins of Taiwanese Beef Noodle Soup trace back to the mid-20th century when Chinese immigrants brought their culinary heritage to Taiwan. Initially introduced as a street food staple, the dish quickly gained popularity and evolved into a cultural icon. Today, Taiwanese Beef Noodle Soup is celebrated as a national treasure, cherished for its hearty flavors and soul-warming qualities.

Self Care with Nutrient Dense Broth

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The Anatomy of Taiwanese Beef Noodle Soup:

1. The Broth:

At the heart of every bowl of Taiwanese Beef Noodle Soup lies its soulful broth. Made from a harmonious blend of aromatics, spices, and bones, the broth undergoes a slow and meticulous cooking process to extract maximum flavor. Common ingredients include beef bones, onions, ginger, garlic, star anise, cinnamon, and Sichuan peppercorns, which infuse the broth with depth and complexity.

2. The Beef:

Tender, melt-in-your-mouth beef is another hallmark of Taiwanese Beef Noodle Soup. Traditionally, cuts like beef shank or brisket are favored for their robust flavor and ability to withstand long hours of simmering. The beef is typically seared to lock in its juices before being simmered in the fragrant broth until tender and succulent.

3. The Noodles:

Noodles serve as the vessel that carries the essence of the soup to your palate. In Taiwan, wheat noodles of various thicknesses are commonly used, each offering a unique texture and mouthfeel. Whether thick or thin, straight or hand-pulled, the noodles are cooked until al dente and ready to soak up the rich flavors of the broth. Shown below are the noodles I bought from the Asian store, but if you can't find them, I found similar ones here on Amazon.

4. The Garnishes:

A generous scattering of fresh garnishes adds the finishing touch to a bowl of Taiwanese Beef Noodle Soup. Chopped green onions, vibrant cilantro, and a drizzle of chili oil lend brightness, freshness, and a subtle kick of heat, elevating the dish to new heights of culinary delight.

Dont Be Intimidated!

Sometimes we are intimidated by cuts of meat we dont usually use, especially when it includes the bone.

But let me tell you.. the bones gave this broth amazing flavor! Plus it adds collagen which is good for hair, skin, nails, and joints. I just went to my local grocery store and asked the butcher for beef shank with the bone. Beef brisket works as well.

An added bonus is that beef shank isn't a common cut of beef in the United States, so it is often a lot less expensive!

I loved using our large ramen bowls which left plenty of room for extra broth and noodles.

Okay, lets get started. Here's a step-by-step guide to creating this soul-satisfying dish...

Taiwanese Beef Noodle Soup


Lunch / Dinner


5 Servings

Prep Time

15 min

Cook Time

2.5 Hours

Enjoy the taste of Taipei, Taiwan without having to buy a plane ticket


Alixandrea Tieben


  • 2 pounds bone-in beef shank or brisket
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 4 slices of ginger
  • 6 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1 Tbsp fermented bean paste (豆瓣醬)
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup rice wine (Shaoxing wine or dry sherry)
  • 2 tablespoons rock sugar (or brown sugar)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 9 cups water
  • 2 green onions, cut into large pieces
  • 1 tomato, quartered
  • 4 pieces star anise
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 cloves
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 1 Tablespoon Sichuan peppercorns (optional)
  • Fresh wheat noodles (can substitute with rice noodles)
  • Bok choy or Chinese cabbage
  • Chopped green onions and fresh cilantro for garnish
  • Chili oil or chili paste (optional)


1. Prepare the Beef:

    • In a a pot of boiling water, add the beef with the bone and boil for about three minutes, removing any impurities. Remove the beef and chop into large bite sized pieces. Drain water and set aside.
  1. Make the Broth:

    • In the same pot, add oil, the onion, ginger, garlic, and the whites of the green onions. Saute until aromatic.
    • Add the fermented bean paste, soy sauce, rice wine, and rock sugar. Cook and stir until the onions are translucent.
    • Put all the aromatic spices in a spice pouch, tie a knot in the bag and set aside.
    • Return the chopped beef and bones to the pot. Add water, green onions, tomatoe chunks, and spice pouch. Bring the mixture to a boil, skimming off any oily floaty bubbles or impurities.
    • Reduce the heat to low, cover the pot, and let the broth simmer for 2 hours, or until the beef is tender and the flavors have melded together. continue to skim off any foam or impurities that rise to the surface.
  2. Cook the Noodles and Vegetables:

    • While the broth is simmering, cook the noodles according to the package instructions. Once cooked, divide the desired amount of noodles among the serving bowls.
    • In the same boiling pot, blanch the bok choy or Chinese cabbage for 1-2 minutes, then divide the bok choy among the serving bowls
  3. Assemble the Soup:

    • Ladle the hot broth and beef chunks over the noodles and vegetables.
    • Garnish with chopped green onions and fresh cilantro.
    • Serve hot, with chili oil or chili paste on the side for added spice if desired.


Health benefits found in this dish:
  1. Rich in Protein: Beef noodle soup contains protein from the beef, which is essential for building and repairing tissues in the body. Protein also helps keep you feeling full and satisfied, which can aid in weight management.

  2. Source of Vitamins and Minerals: Depending on the ingredients used, beef noodle soup can provide various vitamins and minerals essential for overall health. For example, beef is rich in iron, zinc, and B vitamins, while vegetables like tomatoes and onions contribute vitamins A and C, potassium, and fiber.

  3. Hydration: The broth in beef noodle soup helps keep you hydrated, especially during colder months when dehydration may be less noticeable. Staying hydrated is vital for maintaining bodily functions, supporting digestion, and promoting overall health.

  4. Gut Health: Consuming homemade beef noodle soup with a variety of vegetables can support gut health due to the presence of fiber and nutrients that nourish beneficial gut bacteria. A healthy gut microbiome is associated with better digestion, immunity, and overall well-being.

  5. Collagen and Joint Health: Beef bones used to make the broth contain collagen, which is known for its potential benefits for joint health, skin elasticity, and bone strength. Collagen is extracted from the bones during the cooking process and may be beneficial for individuals with joint issues.

  6. Comfort and Mental Well-being: Enjoying a warm bowl of beef noodle soup can provide comfort and a sense of well-being, particularly during cold weather or when feeling under the weather. The act of preparing and enjoying homemade soup can also be therapeutic and stress-relieving.

  7. Versatility and Nutrient Density: Beef noodle soup can be customized with various ingredients, allowing you to incorporate nutrient-rich foods like leafy greens, mushrooms, and herbs. This versatility enhances the soup's nutrient density and contributes to a well-rounded meal.

Find me making this recipe on instagram. If you make this, feel free to tag me @mora_ceramics.

Written by Alixandrea Tieben


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