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(Biscuit Girl)

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Schezuan Beef Noodle Soup - part 2

(By Jim)

So, I've been making Szechuan Beef Soup monthly since we posted this. I've refined the recipe slightly, to make it taste like the soup we get at A&J Restaurant, a Chinese place with locations in Annandale, VA, and Rockville, MD. I started with the base recipe that we used back in May. I've since doubled the recipe so we could put up plenty of it. The refrigeration also makes it easy to skim the fat off the top. We typically make it on the weekend, and then either refrigerate or freeze all of it until we need a quick meal.

I've been buying broad Shanghai noodles at our Asian market for it. They're cheap, fresh, and taste nearly as good as homemade. Also, I've started using the Shaoxing cooking wine. To offset the extra salt from that, I use low-sodium Kikkoman soy sauce. I'm using star anise now, and only using the 5-6 pods, as it was much stronger than our 5-spice powder. Another change is using crosscut beef shank meat with the bone in. It has more chunks of just meat, more good connective tissue that makes it nice and gelatenous, and less fat to trim away before freezing.

Finally, we were eating at A&J after I made the first or second batch, and Barbara said "What is the citrus taste in this?" I immediately figured out "Orange Peel". We use the zest from one whole Florida juice orange. You might find tangerine peel, either dried or fresh, to taste good as well.

This weekend we were at A&J, and Barbara said that she may like my soup more now than she likes theirs. I think they're slightly different, but both are very good expressions of the same thing.

Szechuan Beef Noodle Soup Part 2

4-5 lbs beef shank bone-in, cut into steaks
5 quarts water
1 cup shaoxing (Chinese cooking wine)
1 cup low-sodium Kikkoman soy sauce
2 4-inch pieces of ginger, cut into several pieces and crushed with the back of a knife
6 green onions, chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
12 cloves garlic, crushed with the back of a knife
20 cilantro stems, leaves separated from stem pieces
Zest of one orange
5-6 star anise pods
4 tsp szechuan peppercorns
2 tsp red pepper flakes


Soak beef in cold water for 20 minutes to remove blood, then dispose of water

Bring water to boil in stock pot.

Add beef, return to boil, skim foam and impurities from surface.

Reduce to simmer, add shaoxing, soy sauce, star anise, szechuan peppercorns, pepper flakes, ginger, green onions, garlic, and cilantro stems.

Simmer for 2 1/2 hours.

Remove beef, then strain solids from the broth. Discard solids.

At this point I usually separate the broth into 6 one-quart deli takeout containers. Then I remove the beef from the bone, strip off the fat and cartilage from the beef, then share it among the soup containers. You can now freeze or refrigerate the soup solidify the fat on top to remove it.

When you're ready to serve, take out one quart for each person for a main dish (or 1 for two or three people for a soup course). Bring to a boil, add noodles, and cook until noodles are done.

Also, if desired add steamed greens or use broth to cook baby bok choy or watercress. Serve in soup bowls with cilantro leaves and green onion tops for garnish.

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3 Comments:

Blogger Natashya said...

Sounds yummy, I love Asian soups!

7:26 AM  
Blogger Deborah Dowd said...

This sounds outstanding and I know my family would love it!

7:25 PM  
Anonymous Doug Cress said...

Looks great. I definitely like the idea of adding steamed greens. I love the texture of soft greens in broth.

10:47 AM  

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