It’s a Suburban Vegan first! H cooked dinner for me tonight. He took the rest of the week off, while I went back to work today, so he decided to veganize a popular Taiwanese dish: niu rou mian (beef noodles). H’s family ate this several times when we were in Taiwan, and now I get to experience it, too! The house smelled so good when I walked in.
H got the recipe from Noodle Fever
Vegetarian beef broth
Green onion and ginger
Soy sauce/salt to taste
2 tablespoons of canola oil
2 teaspoons of sugar
6 tablespoons of Szechuan peppercorn (I’m sure he used regular peppercorn)
2-3 tablespoons of minced (or grated) ginger
1 head of garlic, cloves peeled and minced
2-3 star anise (he used 1 tablespoon powdered star anise because he did not know we had star anise leftover from Thanksgiving cocktails)
2 tablespoons of spicy chili bean paste
1 tablespoon cayenne or Indian red chili powder (optional)
OTHER SOUP INGREDIENTS
1.5-2 packages of Gardein Beefless Tips (H used 2, but said 1.5 might be better, but who uses 1/2 a package of Gardein)
½ lb of Chinese greens (H used bok choy)
Noodles (homemade or fresh store bought)
1. Place beefless tips in a large pot or Dutch oven with enough broth to cover, plus a little more water (4:1 broth water ratio). Add about 4-5 stalks of green onion (well-rinsed) and 4-5 slices of ginger. Cover and bring to a boil, then turn down to a strong simmer for about half an hour. Remove and discard green onion and ginger.
2. Heat the oil for the seasoning paste in a medium-sized frying pan. Add the sugar and stir until completely dissolved and just starting to caramelize (you will see a golden brown color appear in the bottom of the pan). Then add the rest of the seasoning paste ingredients and stir vigorously for about 90 seconds. Throw this delicious mixture into the broth pot.
3. Add soy/salt to taste. Simmer a couple minutes more. Remove the peppercorns and star anise with a skimmer. The meat version simmers for hours, but you can’t do that with Gardein beefless tips. This might be a good recipe to make in the morning, let it sit in the fridge all day and reheat for dinner.
4. Prepare your noodles according to the package instructions. Blanch veggies in the same pot of water. In your soup bowl, place a ball of noodles, followed by veggies. Pour about two cups of broth over, then add a few pieces each of beefless tips. Scatter the top with green onions and serve.
This is so good on a cold winter day. It was pretty mild over Thanksgiving and the weather in Taiwan was in the 60s, but it is freezing cold in Chicago now. This really hit the spot.