Beef noodle soup

Beef noodle soup is a noodle soup made of stewed or braised beef, beef broth, vegetables and noodles. It exists in various forms throughout East and Southeast Asia.

Beef noodle soup
Lanzhou beef noodle soup
TypeNoodle soup
Region or stateEast Asia and Southeast Asia
Main ingredientsBeef, beef broth, vegetables, Chinese noodles
Beef noodle soup
Traditional Chinese牛肉麵
Simplified Chinese牛肉面
Literal meaningBeef noodles

One of the oldest beef noodle soups is the Lanzhou lamian (兰州拉面) or Lanzhou beef noodle soup which was created by the Hui people of northwest China during the Tang dynasty.[1][2] There are numerous beef noodle soups available in China with a higher variety in the west than the east.

Another common varietal is the red-braised beef noodle soup (紅燒牛肉麵) from Taiwan, which was first created by Sichuanese Kuomintang veterans;[3][4] it is commonly known as Taiwanese beef noodle soup in English.

Other beef noodle soup varietals include Pho from Vietnam.

East Asian varieties

Taiwanese Beef Noodle Soup in Taipei, Taiwan

Lanzhou beef noodle soup

The Lanzhou beef noodle soup is the version most commonly seen in mainland China, and is a Chinese Muslim style of beef noodle, also known as clear-broth or consommé-stewed beef noodle (清燉牛肉麵). It often uses halal (or qingzhen) meat and contains no soy sauce, resulting in a lighter taste that may be flavoured by salt and herbs. Local lore attributes its creation with a Hui Chinese man from Lanzhou named Ma Baozi.[5] In Lanzhou, capital of Gansu, Lanzhou Beef Lamian (兰州牛肉拉面) is usually served with clear soup and one hand-pulled lamian noodle per bowl. In halal restaurants, only quality local beef from the Southern Yellow cattle (Chinese: 黃牛; lit. 'yellow cattle') prepared by the local halal butcher is used for the beef noodle.[6] Chinese radish and the specially cooked spicy oil are also indispensable partners to Lanzhou beef noodles. These ingredients are known as "One Clear, Two White, Three Red, Four Green, Five Yellow" (Chinese: 一清、二白、三红、四绿、五黄; pinyin: Yī qīng, èr bái, sān hóng, sì lǜ, wǔ huáng), referring to clear soup, white radish, red chili oil, green leek and yellow noodles respectively. In overseas Chinese communities in North America, this food can be found in Chinese restaurants. In Mainland China, a large bowl of it is often taken as a whole meal with or without any side dish.

Taiwanese beef noodle soup

Taiwanese beef noodle soup is a noodle soup dish originating from Taiwan. It is sometimes referred to as "Sichuan Beef Noodle Soup" (四川牛肉麵), especially in Taiwan.[7][8] Although this usage can create confusion as Sichuan has its own versions of beef noodle soups[9] which may be sold at Sichuanese restaurants under the same name.[10] The beef is often stewed with the broth and simmered, sometimes for hours. Chefs also let the stock simmer for long periods with bone marrow; some vendors can cook the beef stock for over 24 hours. In Taiwan, beef noodle vendors may also have optional, often cold side dishes, such as braised dried tofu, seaweed or pork intestine. Beef noodles are often served with suan cai (Chinese sauerkraut) on top, green onion and sometimes other vegetables in the soup as well.[11]

Southeast Asian varieties

A bowl of kuaitiao nuea pueay in Chiang Mai, Thailand. This is the Thai version of braised beef noodles.

In Thailand, kuaitiao nuea pueay is a similar dish of braised beef served with rice noodles.

In Vietnam, Bò Kho is a beef stew sometimes served with noodles (or bread as an alternative). Pho is also a Vietnamese noodle soup that contains broth, rice noodles called bánh phở, herbs and meat, primarily made with either beef (phở bò) or chicken (phở gà). In Philippines, Beef Mami is very popular and can also be combined with Pares.

Yaka mein is a type of beef noodle soup commonly found in Chinese restaurants in New Orleans. It consists of stewed beef, spaghetti noodles, hard-boiled egg and chopped green onions, with Cajun seasoning, chili powder or Old Bay-brand seasoning.

See also


  1. Lonely Planet Food, The World's Best Spicy Food, Lonely Planet, 2017
  2. Nate Tate, Feeding the Dragon: A Culinary Travelogue Through China with Recipes, Andrews McMeel Publishing, 2011
  3. 四川」牛肉麵其實源自台灣?一窺牛肉麵的背後故事. Liberty Times Net. Liberty Times. 9 October 2017. Retrieved 26 September 2018.
  4. 焦, 桐. 一碗紅燒牛肉麵,喚醒許多人共同的歷史記憶. 遠見華人 精英論壇. Retrieved 26 September 2018.
  5. "Recipes of China: Lanzhou Beef Noodle Soup".
  6. "Taiwan Food Culture - Niuruo Mian (Beef Noodle)". Taiwan Food Culture News. Archived from the original on 18 December 2013. Retrieved 6 December 2013.
  7. 台灣講古:翻轉本地口味的"川味"牛肉麵. BBC News. Retrieved 26 September 2018.
  8. "台灣獨特的川味牛肉麵 發跡六十年後帶動百億商機". Tai Sounds. TaiSounds. Retrieved 19 October 2019.
  9. Lin, Florence (1986). Florence Lin's Complete book of Chinese noodles, dumplings and breads. Peter LaVigna. New York. p. 43. ISBN 0-688-03796-8. OCLC 12978274.
  10. "Sichuan noodles at sixty-one SFBA Sichuan restaurants". Hungry Onion. 2017-01-27. Retrieved 2021-07-02.
  11. "Taipei Beef Noodle Festival: Beef Noodle Tasting". Taipei Beef Noodle Festival. Archived from the original on 17 May 2011. Retrieved 6 December 2013.
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