Welcome to the last stop on our grand tour of Asian soups! Today, we’ll be taking you back to Taiwan for a look at the famous beef noodle soup. You might think that you know this type of soup, but comfort food doesn’t get any more comforting than this!
The National Dish
This Asian soup is considered the national dish of Taiwan. Think about that for a minute, considering the fame of soup dumplings and other culinary innovations that have come from this tiny island. Not many Asian soups can claim to be their most recognized meal. You will find it featured in restaurants, night markets, and food courts everywhere, like the cheeseburger here in America. There’s even a festival held every year to determine the best noodle chef in all of Taiwan.
Fun fact: although it is heavily influenced by Sichuan cuisine, you won’t be able to find it in that province on the mainland. Army veterans who fled during the civil war in the 1940s made it to the island of Formosa, which was a safe haven. Where the soldiers and their families settled, this soup emerged. How many other Asian soups have such an interesting backstory? Some of the crucial ingredients include:
- Spicy bean paste
- Sichuan peppercorns
- Cinnamon sticks
- Bay leaves
Comfort Food Status
As we alluded to above, this is one of the best comfort foods to slurp down when you are feeling the winter doldrums. The beef is surprisingly tender after being stewed for hours, and the broth is also amazing. Other ingredients that take this soup to the next level include chopped cilantro, fresh Asian greens, chili oil, pickled mustard greens, and of course, noodles!
Changing Up the Recipe
Traditionally, the older recipes will want you to use beef shank. It can be hard to find beef shank unless you stop in at your local Lotte Plaza Market to get some. Beef chuck and beef soup bones are an acceptable substitute. Any well-marbled cuts are preferable since they will lend a better flavor. Unlike other Asian soups, the quality of the beef you choose has an enormous bearing on how it will turn out when it’s time to eat. You can also try using white peppercorns if you can’t find the spicy bean paste, and if all else fails, just use some ordinary black pepper.
Get All Your Asian Groceries at Lotte Plaza Market
Lotte Plaza Market is your one-stop-shop for all of your Korean and Asian grocery needs. With more than 10 locations in Maryland and Virginia, this growing market is always expanding and opening new markets to serve our customers better. Since we opened in 1976, our goal has always been to provide the best customer service and groceries to our customers. For answers to all of your questions, please email us at LottePlaza.com.