Beef soup is a pretty big deal in my Taiwanese family. We usually spend hours simmering the soup so the meat and tendons are really tender. By the time the soup is ready, the entire house smells umami, including the clothes in my closet...not an attractive scent. I was craving beef soup today, but didn't feel like going all out with my usual recipe. I decided to wing it and create a short-cut recipe of my own. The prep work took 10 minutes and I let the soup simmer for just over an hour.
- 1 lb beef for stew, cut into 2 inch cubes
- 2 carrots, chopped into 2 inch pieces
- 1/2 daikon, chopped into 2 inch pieces
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 inch knob of ginger, sliced
- 2 stalks green onions, sliced lengthwise in half and then crosswise in 2 inch pieces
- 1 tablespoon hot bean paste
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon dark soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- a few sprigs of cilantro for garnish
- cooked noodles (optional)
Season beef with salt and black pepper. Heat oil in a pot. Add ginger and white parts of green onion. Brown beef on all sides over high heat. Add hot bean paste, soy sauces, wine, and sugar. Stir fry for 1 minute. Add 4 cups water, carrots, daikon, and the remaining green onions. Cover, bring to a boil, and then simmer for 1 hour. Add additional water if there is noticeable evaporation.
Serve the soup with a few cilantro sprigs. You can also serve this with noodles for a complete meal.