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Niu Rou Mian (Chinese Beef Noodle Soup) Recipes

Niu Rou Mian (Chinese Beef Noodle Soup) Recipes
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  • Post #31 - October 18th, 2008, 10:47 am
    Post #31 - October 18th, 2008, 10:47 am Post #31 - October 18th, 2008, 10:47 am
    This is a real mouth-watering thread. I was planning on making a beef barley soup this weekend but I may have to change plans. Tony, yours looks particularly tempting!
  • Post #32 - October 31st, 2008, 12:57 pm
    Post #32 - October 31st, 2008, 12:57 pm Post #32 - October 31st, 2008, 12:57 pm
    this is what i found a few months back:
    Image

    LA restaurant details here: http://sinosoul.com/?p=367

    i really should resize the pix but... man, that looks so good! edit: resized. and linked.
  • Post #33 - October 31st, 2008, 1:41 pm
    Post #33 - October 31st, 2008, 1:41 pm Post #33 - October 31st, 2008, 1:41 pm
    Noodles look like Creamette. Tony, you have to come up with LA's Katy's for me before I return. It must exist.
  • Post #34 - October 31st, 2008, 6:14 pm
    Post #34 - October 31st, 2008, 6:14 pm Post #34 - October 31st, 2008, 6:14 pm
    bwahahahahaha jeff!such profane skepticism buddy!

    this makes Katy's tastes like instant ramen. and if that really isn't visually appealing due to noodles, my neighborhood has a joint with hand noodling done 3 ways. flip your coin(s) and chose 1.

    *wave to all in Chicago*
  • Post #35 - November 1st, 2008, 10:42 am
    Post #35 - November 1st, 2008, 10:42 am Post #35 - November 1st, 2008, 10:42 am
    TonyC wrote:this makes Katy's tastes like instant ramen


    Have you died and gone to heaven, man?* Because that's the only place that would serve a bowl of noodles to put Katie's to such shame and industrial analogy.


    *if so, what's it like, other than the Chinese food? Worth being good for? I didn't think so.
  • Post #36 - November 1st, 2008, 2:41 pm
    Post #36 - November 1st, 2008, 2:41 pm Post #36 - November 1st, 2008, 2:41 pm
    I know you're being over-the-top for effect. I've been to some pretty swell Chinese places in the Southland, and you know I'm not one of those "us vs. them" guys. Some months I'm in LA more than Chicago, others, like the current month, I'm in NY more than either. I feel I can tell great from good from bad.

    I guess I have something important to learn, because I've yet to have a bowl of noodle soup anywhere that's better than what Katy's does on a consistent basis. They have the ingredients and the skills. Not sure what else matters. Heck, they are even in a faceless strip mall, like all the good places out where you are. :wink:

    My only point was that the noodles pictured look like spaghetti that started dry. Nothing wrong with that. It's a style. Pretty easy to replicate, though.
  • Post #37 - April 25th, 2010, 11:28 am
    Post #37 - April 25th, 2010, 11:28 am Post #37 - April 25th, 2010, 11:28 am
    Having *finally* found a worthy-enough Pixian douban paste I decided that it was finally time to attempt a Real True Niu Rou Mien. I looked at the various recipies on this thread, searched the web and finally decided that this recipe looked very interesting. I especially looked forward to trying tendon, which I'd never used before. A conversation with the blogger herself told me how to look for it at my nearby friendly neighboord Asian butcher. Tendon obtained, it was time to start. Here's the ingredients:


    Image

    Note the lots and lots of Sichuan peppercorns. *Next* time, they go in cheesecloth! The tendon is in the pkg on the top right. My repackaged Pixian douban is in the jar. This recipe calls for mei ching choi ['baby' bok choi], but, as noted above, greens vary considerably according to choice.

    Browned the beef shank:

    Image


    Can't imagine a better pot than the LeCrueset for this task. Following some serious chopping, I had ready to add


    Image


    sugar, finely chopped douban, ginger, peppercorns and garlic. Then came several hours of simmering gently. The pot at the top contains the pound of tendon, chopped into one-inch segments.


    Image


    After four hours, I gathered the boil-at-the-last-minute ingredients: the choi leaves, noodles, and match-sticked Sichuan mustard.


    Image


    After roughly ten minutes, I prepared the bowls with noodles and choi.


    Image


    And here's the final result:


    Image



    Looks better than it tasted. :( High point: the beef was perfectly stewed. And it had picked up a nice heat from the douban. And there was a nice weight to the broth from the dissolved tendon. But I didn't like the texture of the undissolved chunks of tendon. Next time, less tendon, cut into much thinner slices. The broth had good numbing power, but not enough anise, and waaaay too little beefyness. So I started to play with it off the stove: some phô paste, beef base, more chili paste. The Sichuan vegetable was nice and crunchy but was too gross-sized and needed soaked—it was waaay salty.

    In the end, as Debbie The Other Dr. Gale said "tastes way overworked", which was exactly right.

    Enjoyable, but not great effort. But this is one classic that I've got to re-visit a number of times until I get it right.

    Geo
    Sooo, you like wine and are looking for something good to read? Maybe *this* will do the trick! :)
  • Post #38 - April 27th, 2010, 7:01 am
    Post #38 - April 27th, 2010, 7:01 am Post #38 - April 27th, 2010, 7:01 am
    Geo wrote:Enjoyable, but not great effort. But this is one classic that I've got to re-visit a number of times until I get it right.
    Re-visiting the recipe to get it right is half the fun. Though, I must say, it looks delicious.

    Thanks for the tutorial, makes me want to give niu rou main a go.

    Enjoy,
    Gary
    Hold my beer . . .

    Low & Slow
  • Post #39 - April 27th, 2010, 8:26 am
    Post #39 - April 27th, 2010, 8:26 am Post #39 - April 27th, 2010, 8:26 am
    Geo -- Many thanks for the detailed and interesting post! Your criticisms of and suggested adjustments to the dish all make good sense to me. I'd like to give it a go myself, taking advantage of the tips you offer.

    A
    Alle Nerven exzitiert von dem gewürzten Wein -- Anwandlung von Todesahndungen -- Doppeltgänger --
    - aus dem Tagebuch E.T.A. Hoffmanns, 6. Januar 1804.
    ________
    Na sir is na seachain an cath.
  • Post #40 - April 27th, 2010, 11:03 am
    Post #40 - April 27th, 2010, 11:03 am Post #40 - April 27th, 2010, 11:03 am
    'Nother big thanks from me too, Geo ! NRM has been something of an obsession of mine for the past several months. The more bowls I slurp through, the more I have to learn about this iconic dish.

    NRM was also recently mentioned in Bon Appetit, along with a recipe:

    http://www.bonappetit.com/magazine/2010 ... th_grandma
  • Post #41 - April 27th, 2010, 12:08 pm
    Post #41 - April 27th, 2010, 12:08 pm Post #41 - April 27th, 2010, 12:08 pm
    Tnx Gary, Antonius and tatterdemalion! Coming from you three—who pieces have helped me so much!—your good words are especially pleasing!

    And I *really* like that Bon Appetit recipe. I think I'll give it a try next. Since it's 0°C and snowing (!!) here today in Montréal, I'm glad that I have just a smidge of leftover NRM for lunch... :)

    Geo
    Sooo, you like wine and are looking for something good to read? Maybe *this* will do the trick! :)
  • Post #42 - April 27th, 2010, 1:35 pm
    Post #42 - April 27th, 2010, 1:35 pm Post #42 - April 27th, 2010, 1:35 pm
    Geo's recipe, as well as the one from bon appetite look great and relatively easy. One question - does the soup end up really oily? I imagine that a dish like this might benefit from cooling and removing congealed fat. Any comments?

    Thanks for the tutorial and recipes. I want to make this soon.
    "By the fig, the olive..." Surat Al-Teen, Mecca 95:1"
  • Post #43 - April 27th, 2010, 2:11 pm
    Post #43 - April 27th, 2010, 2:11 pm Post #43 - April 27th, 2010, 2:11 pm
    Hi Habibi--

    Love your threads, keep 'em coming!

    I put the broth/soup through a separatory 'beaker' and was surprised to see how little oil separated out. YMMV. I think the Bon Appetit recipe might just be a bit more oily than the recipe I used.

    One thing I've noted whenever I've eaten NRM in Sichuan restos is that there's *always* a red sheen on the top of the liquid. I think that's an essential feature of the dish. :)

    Geo
    Sooo, you like wine and are looking for something good to read? Maybe *this* will do the trick! :)
  • Post #44 - November 29th, 2011, 9:32 am
    Post #44 - November 29th, 2011, 9:32 am Post #44 - November 29th, 2011, 9:32 am
    Have to make Niu Rou Mian for school so I've been eating it like crazy lately to try to get the flavor profile. Id say for the most part the flavor I get upfront is the anise/fennel followed by a mellow heat and a light acid. Anyways, I just thought I'd post a pic of my favorite bowl (mostly for the noodles :D ) from Katy's in Westmont.......
    Image
  • Post #45 - November 29th, 2011, 5:25 pm
    Post #45 - November 29th, 2011, 5:25 pm Post #45 - November 29th, 2011, 5:25 pm
    How did I miss this thread the first time around? Geo, those pics are incredible. Where did you find the Sichuan mustard? I'm still totally jealous of your Douban paste.
    Gocubs, please post the results of your school project...
  • Post #46 - June 29th, 2015, 10:50 pm
    Post #46 - June 29th, 2015, 10:50 pm Post #46 - June 29th, 2015, 10:50 pm
    ten year anniversary bump.

    lol for some silly so-called recipe calling for spinach in 牛肉麵 because your wife is from Qingdao. As if Qingdao is known for beef noodle soup*.

    also, ErikM, we miss you brah.

    NB: the Taiwanese grandma (of Diane Chang, made infamous in this 2012 NYMag piece) in the bonapp article linked by tatterdemalion just passed away last month. RIP.

    * no, it is not. at least not in the hongshao, Taiwanese style.
  • Post #47 - June 30th, 2015, 12:54 pm
    Post #47 - June 30th, 2015, 12:54 pm Post #47 - June 30th, 2015, 12:54 pm
    Tnx for the bump, TonyC--it was great to go back through all the fun we all had working on this thread.

    Sorry to hear that grandma died....

    And ditto on the ErikM sentiments.

    It's so cold and wet this 'Summer', it might just be NRM weather!

    We got lucky starting about three years ago: a genuinely excellent Sichuanese restaurant opened up a block off campus, and they do a beef stew "lao gan ma" that is actually a sort of neighbor of NRM and serves my jones for beef noodle concoctions, since it's hard to find a good NRM in Montréal, for some reason.

    Geo
    Sooo, you like wine and are looking for something good to read? Maybe *this* will do the trick! :)
  • Post #48 - July 17th, 2015, 10:48 am
    Post #48 - July 17th, 2015, 10:48 am Post #48 - July 17th, 2015, 10:48 am
    In my mind this was always a Taiwanese dish, usually made with Shacha paste rather than Si Chuan doubanjiang. In Taiwan there are two styles a light clean broth and a dark more heavily flavored one. I tried this recipe to replicate the latter http://ladyandpups.com/2012/09/28/taiwan-beef-noodle-soup-niu-rou-mien-eng/. It was bit too heavily flavored IMO, I like to savor the pure taste of the meat broth a bit more. It was still really good though.

    I think the Bon Appetit recipe looks interesting though I would not use boneless meat. The bones have all the gelatin that gives the soup body. I find oxtails work really well for beef broths for this reason. I also vastly prefer to brown meat for a beef stock. White stocks work for chicken or pork, but not nearly as well for beef.

    Other tips. Toast your spices, a minute or so in the microwave should do the trick. I like to give my ginger slices and onion pieces a nice char rather than going straight in, it really brings out their sweetness. Also instead of covering with water, use beef stock or chicken stock. The quality of storebought chicken stock is pretty good for this purpose.

    To round out the discussion here are some similar recipes:
    Lanzhou Noodles Soup
    http://thewoksoflife.com/2014/10/lanzhou-beef-noodle-soup/

    Taiwan Niu Rou Mian (lighter broth)
    http://www.saveur.com/article/Recipes/Hong-Shao-Niu-Rou-Mian-Taiwanese-Beef-Noodle-Soup
  • Post #49 - July 17th, 2015, 10:55 am
    Post #49 - July 17th, 2015, 10:55 am Post #49 - July 17th, 2015, 10:55 am
    botd wrote:I think the Bon Appetit recipe looks interesting though I would not use boneless meat. The bones have all the gelatin that gives the soup body. I find oxtails work really well for beef broths for this reason. I also vastly prefer to brown meat for a beef stock. White stocks work for chicken or pork, but not nearly as well for beef.


    While I agree with your premise, my Taiwanese in-laws always use boneless beef, though they do brown it first. I've never had a niu rou mian where the broth was thick with gelatin, but then I again I haven't had many renditions that I thought were any good.
  • Post #50 - July 20th, 2015, 8:42 am
    Post #50 - July 20th, 2015, 8:42 am Post #50 - July 20th, 2015, 8:42 am
    That is interesting. I would point out that the Saveur recipe uses bone-in pieces and purports to be Taiwanese. The Lady and Pups recipe I linked is written by a Taiwanese person uses beef stock made from bone-in meat and then uses boneless meat for serving. It's probably one of those things that everyone does differently, consider that nearly every region of China has a different version of beef noodle soup. Personally, I don't need it to turn into aspic or anything, but some amount of sticky gelatin is essential for a proper soup, it's the defining quality that separates store-bought stock from the homemade stuff.

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