Beef noodles is a popular delicacy from Taiwan and China, with lots of variety depending on the provenance and weather. The types that became popular with the Chinese in Singapore are the braised version and the one in clear broth, especially those that are found at the common food and hawker centers. I must say, however, it is getting rarer to find beef noodles in Singapore nowadays at these common food areas, compared to fifteen, twenty years ago. So, if one wants really good quality beef noodles or the authentic versions with beef brisket or beef shank noodles, it would be wiser to visit the proper Chinese restaurants and eateries such as the Crystal Jade restaurant.
My dad loves to cook beef noodles at home when we were all very young – the version with the clear broth and which sometimes come with beef balls in it. I personally prefer the braised versions of beef noodles though – the ‘dry’ version with the thick gravy and which is eaten with a squeeze of lime juice in it. As somebody who dislikes the raw gamey taste of beef, it helps that there are all these other flavours and texture available from the gravy and lime to mask the taste of beef, though I know it defeats the purpose of eating beef noodles at all. But who cares! I still love the gravy and the rice noodles nonetheless!
Beef noodles without beef for me please!
- Beef: 200g sliced thinly
- Salt: 1/2 tsp + 1/2 tsp
- Ground blackpepper: 1/2 tsp
- Sesame oil: 1 tbsp
- Corn flour: 1 tbsp
- White rice noodle: 500g
- Water: 4 cups (for gravy)
- Blackpepper corn: 1 tbsp
- Shiitake mushroom: 3, sliced thinly
- Onion: 1/4, chopped
- Beansprout: 1/2 cup
- Cornflour mixture: 2 tbsp cornflour + 4 tbsp water
- Dark soy sauce: 2 tbsp
- Oyster sauce: 2 tbsp
- Mix beef with 1/2 tsp salt, ground blackpepper, sesame oil and corn flour. Leave to marinate for 15 min.
- Cook white noodles in boiling water. Drain and scoop equally into 2 bowls.
- Bring 4 cups of water to the boil.
- Add blackpepper corns, shiitake mushrooms and onion. Cook for 5min.
- Add beef. Cook another 5min.
- Add beansprouts. Cook another 1min.
- Stir in cornflour mixture, dark soy sauce, oyster sauce and 1/2 tsp salt.
- Pour gravy over noodles with ingredients. Serve hot.
To make the version with a clear broth, simply leave out the cornflour mixture (step 7) and pour the broth over the noodles to serve. You could add in some beef balls to serve your noodles with, just like my dad does.