This Taiwanese Beef Noodle Soup is Brothy, Slurpy Perfection

Taiwanese beef noodle soup in a bowl
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
2h 30 min
4 servings

Chewy noodles and tender beef in a rich and earthy broth. Need I say more? Taiwanese Beef Noodle Soup is as iconic a Taiwanese dish as they come. Everyone loves it and everyone also makes it a little differently. This one is adapted from a hand-written recipe in a yellowing spiral notebook entitled Silvia’s Cook Book in charming block letters by my childhood bestie who used to tail her mom in the kitchen, taking notes while she made her favourite dishes from their homeland.

Related: The Best Ways to Shop, Prepare and Cook Chinese Greens

Doubanjiang (豆瓣醬) is a Chinese fermented soy and broad bean paste that is quintessential to this dish and worthy of seeking out at a Chinese supermarket or online to make this dish. I’ve listed pickled mustard greens as an optional garnish but beef noodle soup connoisseurs consider it a must-have!

Related: Restaurant-Worthy Chinese Scallion Pancakes You Can Make at Home

Love this Taiwanese beef noodle soup recipe? Try these Chinese Coconut Buns next!



For Blanching the Beef

lbs beef shank, chuck or brisket, excess fat trimmed and cut into 1 ½-inch cubes
slices fresh ginger
cups water


star anise
bay leaves
tsp coriander seeds
cassia cinnamon stick (can substitute Ceylon cinnamon stick)
large tomatoes, cut into 8 wedges
white onion, cut into 1-inch pieces
garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
slices fresh ginger
scallions, whites cut into 2-inch pieces and green parts thinly sliced and reserved for serving
dried chilis (or to taste)
Salt, to taste
Tbsp doubanjiang (Chinese spicy bean paste)
Tbsp tomato paste
Tbsp yellow rock sugar or 1 Tbsp dark brown sugar
cup Shaoxing wine or ½ cup Taiwanese clear cooking rice wine (which yields a lighter coloured broth)
cup soy sauce
Tbsp dark soy sauce, plus more to taste
cups water, or enough to cover everything in the pot by 1 inch
Neutral oil

To Serve

portions of Chinese wheat noodles, cooked al dente according to package directions
lb bok choy, cleaned and stems trimmed, blanched about 4 minutes along with the noodles
Green parts of scallions reserved from above
Chinese chili oil, to taste (optional)
Chinese pickled mustard greens, finely chopped (optional)


Step 1

For blanching the beef: In a large pot, place beef cubes, ginger slices and 10 cups of cold water. Bring to a rolling boil. Let boil for 5 minutes or until all the scum floats to the top. Pour everything into a colander set inside the sink. Give the beef a quick rinse. Drain well.

Note: Rather than browning the meat, Chinese cooks often braise using this method. Start by briefly blanching the meat to rid impurities so the resulting broth is clean and clear. You won’t lose flavour from the beef, but you will find it satisfying to pour all of that scum down the drain and far away from your bowl of noodles!

Step 2

For the soup: Lay out a 5-inch square piece of cheesecloth for the spice sachet. Set a medium pot over medium heat. Toast the star anise, bay leaves, coriander seeds and cinnamon stick in the dry pot briefly until fragrant and darkened slightly, ensuring they don’t burn. Set bay leaves and cinnamon stick aside. Scoop star anise and coriander seeds onto cheesecloth and tie up with twine.

Step 3

Increase heat to medium-high and drizzle with 2 tablespoons of oil. Add tomatoes, onion, garlic, ginger and white parts of scallion, dried chili peppers and sauté. Season with salt and continue to sauté for 3 minutes or until tomatoes and onions are slightly softened.

tomatoes, onion, garlic, ginger and white parts of scallion being sauteed in a pot
Step 4

Add doubanjiang, tomato paste and sugar. Add the drained beef. Stir well and continue cooking a couple of minutes.

ingredients for taiwanese beef noodle soup in a pot
Step 5

Add the spice sachet, reserved bay leaves, cinnamon stick and all remaining ingredients: Shaoxing wine, soy sauce, dark soy sauce and water. Bring to a boil. Taste and season with salt as needed. Reduce to a simmer. Skim and discard the scum. Cover, ensuring liquid is at a gentle simmer rather than a vigorous boil. Cook for 2 hours or until beef is tender.

taiwanese beef noodle soup simmering in a pot
Step 6

Taste again and adjust seasoning with more salt and/or dark soy sauce to taste.

Step 7

Place noodles and bok choy into serving bowls. Ladle beef and broth over top. Serve immediately with reserved scallions, chili oil and/or pickled mustard greens.

Rate Recipe

My rating for This Taiwanese Beef Noodle Soup is Brothy, Slurpy Perfection