Spiced Beef & Noodle Soup

This easy delicious soup can be made even hotter by stirring in some freshly chopped wild green chillies before serving.

Ingredients

  • 300 g (10½ oz) beef brisket
  • 2 star anise
  • 1 teaspoon Sichuan peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 2 cinnamon sticks, crushed
  • 4 tablespoons peanut oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 4 slices of peeled ginger
  • 1 tablespoon hot bean paste
  • 1 tablespoon shaoxing
  • 2 tablespoons light soy sauce
  • ¼ teaspoon sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • 150 g ( oz) fresh hokkien noodles
  • ¼ Chinese cabbage (wombok), cut into small chunks
  • 1 spring onion (scallion), finely sliced

Method

Put the star anise, Sichuan peppercorns, fennel seeds and cinnamon sticks in a small square of muslin and tie together with string. Put this, along with the beef, into a large pot with 3.5 litres (14 cups) water. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes, skimming the surface of any impurities, then turn down the heat to a bare simmer and cook for 1½-2 hours, or until the beef is tender.

Lift the beef out of the stock with a slotted spoon and then shred. Strain the stock through a fine sieve lined with muslin, discard the spice bag and reserve the stock.

Heat a wok until just smoking. Add the peanut oil and, when hot, stir-fry the garlic, ginger and hot bean paste until fragrant. Deglaze the wok with the shaoxing, then add the shredded beef, soy sauce, sugar, sea salt and reserved stock. Bring to the boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Drop the noodles and diced cabbage into the soup and heat through for about 1 minute.

To serve, pour into a large bowl and sprinkle with spring onion.