Fen Si Noodles

Bean Noodles
Ground Meat
Cabbage
Soy Sauce
Chili Garlic Sauce
Water

Cover bean noodles in cold water and let soak to soften.

Fry ground meat until fully cooked. Add chopped cabbage and cook until softened. Add soy sauce until a bit saltier* than you would eat as is. Add a few spoons of chili garlic sauce. This is largely determined by your taste and how spicy* you want it to be.

Set heat to very low. The soaked noodles will now be softened, but not cooked. Drain them and add them to the meat. Thoroughly mix the noodles with the meat until all the noodles are covered with sauce. Add enough water to help the sauce fully cover all the noodles, and then cover and turn off the heat. The extra water and steam will cook the noodles… it doesn’t take too long.

*Note: The noodles absorb quite a bit of the saltiness and spiciness, so I usually season the meat quite a bit stronger than I would if I were just eating the meat.

Taiwanese Spicy Beef Noodle Soup (Niu Rou Mian)

Seared Beef Chunks
Water
Soy Sauce (the good stuff.. none of that die nasty junk)
Onions (lots)
Garlic (lots)
Ginger (goodly amount)
Star Anise
Pepper Corns
Spicy Chili Peppers

Noodles
Spinach
Cilantro
Green Onions

Lets just start by saying that if you can do a broth with beef bones its better, but if not its still good.

Sear beef chunks then add to pot or slow cooker. Chop onions into thin strips. Chop garlic into large chunks. Add water, soy sauce, onions, garlic, and spices. Let cook for a long while. Adjust soy sauce, garlic, pepper, and spicy peppers along the way to taste.

Serve with raw spinach and noodles, and garnish with cilantro and green onions.

Turkish Lentil Soup

On our way to Taiwan our flight was delayed by over an hour. I suppose this isn’t too big of a deal if the airline coordinates things properly. Well they didn’t.. and our 1 1/2 hour stopover in Turkey turned out to be over 24 hours as we waited for the next available flight to Taiwan. “Where’s Taiwan?” .. not a good question to be asked by your airline. Long story short, it was a rough stopover to say the least.

However!! and this is the silver lining part.. the lentil soup! Wow.. we had it several times, and man is it good. Half way through my first bowl I made up my mind to learn how to make it. So here ya go! The fruits of our “trip” to Turkey!

1 Part Lentils (Soaked overnight in cold water)
Onion Red/Purple
Carrots
6 Parts Chicken/Vegetable Broth
Butter (use a goodly amount)
Salt, Pepper, Cumin, Pepper flakes, Paprika
Tomato Paste
Lemon
Mint

Finely chop onion and carrot. Saute in butter until slightly soft (not browned). Add lentils, broth, and seasoning. Simmer until lentils are soft. Use a stick blender to make it smooth, then add the seasonings to taste.

Garnish with lemon and mint and serve with pita or bread.

::: Turkish Inspired Lentil Stew with Beef :::
Same as above except more lentils will make it thicker, and braise some beef chunks and add while cooking. I made a huge pot of this for the college meeting and it got emptied post haste.

Corned Beef

Curing

2-3 Kilos Beef
2 Liters Water
2 Cups Celery Puree
1 Cup Brown Sugar
1 Cup Salt
1/2 Bulb Garlic (pealed and smashed)
Pickling Spices

Heat a small portion of the water and dissolve salt and sugar. Combine the rest of the spices and then add in the remaining cold water and celery puree to finish the brine. Put brine and beef into a large air tight zipper bag making sure to remove all the air. Let sit in fridge for at least 7 days to cure, and up to two weeks depending on the thickness of the beef chunk.

After curing, remove from fridge then rinse the beef in cold water. It will look a little funky and green because of the celery so rinse well. It will clean up even more on the first part of cooking.

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Note: Discard all the spice material. It’s been sitting with raw beef so yeah.

Cooking

Put beef in a large pot with hot water that more than completely covers the beef. Slowly bring to a simmer for 30 minutes. DO NOT BOIL or it will get tough. After 30 minutes discard the water then cover with fresh hot water and simmer again, except this time for about 3 hours or until very tender.

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Corned Beef and Cabbage

As above except add carrots, potatoes, and cabbage chunks about 30 minutes before done.

Reuben Sandwiches

Slice beef cross grained. Beef, Swiss Cheese, and sauerkraut on sliced Rye bread. Fry in butter like a grilled cheese or broil until bread is slightly crunchy. Add sauce of 1/2 mayonnaise, 1/4 mustard, 1/4 ketchup and a liberal amount of Tapatio. Fantastic.

Corned Beef Hash

Chopped beef, chopped potatoes, chopped onions fried in a pan with some butter. Top with a fried eggs, or drop raw eggs on top to cook just before done. Optional: garlic, mushrooms, celery, bell peppers, hot peppers.

Pastrami

Cover with ground pepper then smoke. I’ll be trying this as soon as possible.

Bulgogi

Beef (thinly sliced)
Onion (sliced into strips)
Green Onion (Cut into 2″ pieces)
Soy Sauce
Sugar
Sesame Oil
Garlic Minced
Ginger Minced
Black Pepper

Mushrooms (sliced)

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Once mixed, cover and put in fridge. I sealed mine in a ziploc bag with as little air as possible then put in the fridge over night. Grill it or cook in a very hot pan until just done.
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Hot and Sour Soup (with Hand-cut Noodles)

What happens when your gas runs out for your gas stove? One answer is that you could find out how to use your rice cooker in more efficient and variety-filled ways than you ever have before. Our version of this, was to make Chinese hot and sour soup. The soup can be optionally served with hand-cut noodles, which I’ll also describe how to make below.

Ingredients:
10 cups water
about 1/2 kilo of ground beef, pork or chicken
large bowl of cold water
3/4 cup dried Shiitake mushrooms
1 and 1/2 cups lettuce or Nappa cabbage, chopped into slivers
3/4 cup dried orange flower (optional)
1/2 cup dried Chinese wood ear mushroom (optional)
4 slices ginger
3 cloves garlic, diced
1 tablespoon soy sauce
red pepper flakes or rooster sauce
1/2 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon sesame oil
2 tablespoons vinegar
3 tablespoons corn starch, mixed in a little cold water
2 eggs, beaten
a bit of green onion (optional)
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
salt to taste
1 cup carrots, cut into slivers (optional)
1 cup bean sprouts (optional)
3/4 cup bamboo (optional)
3/4 cup baby corn (optional)
1/2 block of tofu (optional)

Soak the Shiitake, the orange flowers, and the wood ear mushrooms in the bowl of cold water. Let sit for half an hour.

Chop up the lettuce, ginger, garlic, and any other vegetables.

Bring the 10 cups of water to a boil in the rice cooker. Stir in the ground beef. After stirring briskly for several minutes, the meat should break apart into pieces.

Pour in the soy sauce, sesame oil, and vinegar. Mix in the sugar.

Chop up the wood ear mushrooms into large pieces, and cut the Shittake into slivers.

Mix all of the vegetables into the pot. Let cook for about 10-15 minutes.

Pour in the beaten eggs, stirring the pot while pouring. Then mix in the red pepper flakes and white pepper. Add salt to taste.

Serve the soup on top of hand-cut noodles. Sprinkle a bit of chopped green onion on top.

Hand-cut Noodles
(if you only have one rice cooker, pour your prepared hot and sour soup into another pot, and wash out the rice cooker pot in order to cook the noodles)

Ingredients:
2 cups flour
1/2 cup water

Stir and knead the flour and water together until a dough is formed that’s not too firm and not too soggy. Add extra flour or water as needed.

Knead the dough for another 2-3 minutes. Then split the dough into halves.

Roll out a half into a large, flat piece. Sprinkle flour over it generously.

Fold the flat piece into thirds. Then cut up the piece into slivers. Unfold each sliver. The result should be long noodles.

Boil a pot of water. Throw the noodles into the pot while boiling. Do not overfill the pot with noodles.

Stir slightly while the noodles are cooking, so they don’t stick to each other or to the pot.

After 10 minutes of cooking, take the noodles out of the pot. Serve immediately. For more noodles, use the other half of the dough, or save the other half for leftovers.

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Taiwanese Beef Noodle Soup

Ingredients:
10 cups water
1 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup Chinese rice wine
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 2-cm cubes fresh ginger, cut into thin slices
5 garlic cloves
3-4 whole star anise pieces
1 kilo beef, cut into chunks
2 onions, cut into small chunks or thin slices
4-5 carrots, chopped
2-4 portions of egg noodles
1 chili pepper, sliced (optional)
cooking oil
salt
5 stalks of green onions, chopped
10 fresh cilantro stalks, chopped
 
 
Chop up all the vegetables (except the green onions and cilantro) and beef.
 
Sear the beef chunks in hot cooking oil for about 1 minute. Combine the beef (and residual meat juice) with water, soy sauce, rice wine, vinegar, brown sugar, ginger, garlic, star anise, onions, carrots, and chili in a large pot.
 
Let simmer on very low heat for at least 4 hours. For best results, cook in a crock pot overnight (about 8 hours). Beef should be very tender. Salt to taste.
 
In a separate pot, cook the noodles.
 
Chop up the green onions and cilantro.
 
Drain the noodles. Serve by pouring beef soup over the noodles and removing the ginger and star anise pieces. Sprinkle the green onions and cilantro on top.
 
Version 1.0 (B.A. -- before Andrew)

Version 1.0 — pre-Andrew version, made in my first year in Israel

 

 

Version 2.0 -- you can see the large ginger slices (which are not for eating, unless you're a hardcore Asian, which we are not although Andrew does come close)

Version 2.0 — you can see the large ginger slices (which are not for eating, unless you’re a hardcore Asian, which we are not although Andrew does come close)

 

 

Version 2.1 -- with hand-cut noodles, but that's for another post

Version 2.1 — with hand-cut noodles, but that’s for another post