Spicy Beef Noodle Soup
This procedure yields about 4 liters (4.2 quarts) of spicy beef noodle soup.
Required Ingredients for Spicy Beef Noodle Soup:
- Beef – 900 grams (2 pounds) cut into pieces about 2 centimeters across; the simplest way is to purchase the beef stew packages with pre-diced chunks
- Hot bean sauce – 470-milliliter (16 ounce) can
- Ginger root – 10 thin slices
- Garlic – 1 large bulb
- Sugar – 160 milliliters (2/3 cup)
- Cooking wine – 30 milliliters (2 tablespoons)
- Dried Illicium verum Hook (also known as star anise) – enough to fill up 1 steel tea egg
- Flower pepper – enough to fill up 1 steel tea egg
- Five spice powder – 1 spoonful, optional
- Noodles – as desired
- Spinach – as desired
- Sesame oil – about 1 milliliter per serving
- Soy sauce – about 3 milliliters per serving
Directions for Spicy Beef Noodle Soup:
1. Fill a large pot with 3.6 liters of water. Add the ginger root slices and begin heating the pot.
2. Remove the outer skin from the garlic bulb and separate it cloves. Peel the skin off each of the cloves. Try to finish peeling just as the pot begins to boil.
3. Add the beef chunks to the pot and resume boiling. As the mixture boils, fat in the form of brown gunk will rise to the top. Using a ladle, scoop off this gunk and discard it. Repeat until almost no gunk appears.
4. Add the hot bean sauce, garlic, sugar, cooking wine, the tea egg filled with flower pepper, the tea egg filled with Illicium verum Hook, and five spice powder. Cover the pot and gently boil for at least three hours; the longer it is boiled, the tenderer the beef. A pressure cooker can be used to reduce the boiling time.
5. Before serving, boil the noodles using the same procedure as for pasta. Momentarily drop the spinach in the boiling water as well.
6. Serve by portioning beef soup, noodles, spinach, sesame oil, and soy sauce into a large bowl. Other options: add green onions, snow peas, or cilantro.
7. To store leftover beef soup, place a cover over the pot, bring it to a boil, and turn off the heat without removing the cover. No refrigeration is necessary.
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