Chinese Beef Noodle Soup

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Chinese Beef Noodle Soup is the perfect comfort food, with noodles, tender beef, and turnips in a rich, perfectly seasoned broth that will bring you back for seconds.The deep, beefy broth is highlighted with a hint of aniseed, ginger and garlic that tastes just like the beef noodle soup at my favorite Chinese restaurant. But unlike the restaurant soup, there’s no garlic in this one. Instead, I used garlic-infused olive oil to add the garlic flavor, then skimmed the oil off at the end.

For the most flavorful broth, use flanken-style ribs, which are cut across the bone to expose the marrow, and simmer them in the crock pot until the meat falls off the bones. This soup is best if cooked the day before serving and chilled overnight, since the fat will solidify, which makes it easier to remove than if you try to skim it off while it’s hot. The turnips and noodles are cooked in the broth just before serving. To keep the flavor mellow, choose small, firm turnips, discarding any with woody centers. Turnips complement beef perfectly, but if you can’t find the small ones, substitute baby bok choy.

Chinese Beef Noodle Soup

Serves 5 to 6

3 1/2 pounds (1575 grams) beef short ribs, flanken-style
7 cups (1680 ml) water
1/3 cup (80 ml) wheat-free tamari or soy sauce
1/4 cup (60 ml) dry Sherry
2 tablespoons (30 ml) garlic infused olive oil
1 tablespoon (15 ml) sugar or 1 1/2 tablespoons (22.5 ml) dextrose
6 slices (1/4 inch or 6 mm thick) fresh ginger root
12 green onions, green part only, cut in 1 inch (2.5 cm) pieces
1 (3 inch or 7.5 cm) cinnamon stick
1 teaspoon (5 ml) aniseed
1/4 teaspoon (1.25 ml) red pepper flakes
4 small, firm turnips, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch (13 mm) cubes
8 ounces (230 grams) rice noodles, preferably linguine or spaghetti

Add all of the ingredients, except the turnips and noodles, to a large crock-pot. Cook on low for 7 to 8 hours, or until the meat is tender and falling off the bones. Remove the meat and strain the broth through a fine mesh colander. Discard the bones and trim the fat from the meat. Cut the meat into small pieces and return it to the broth. If using the broth immediately, skim off the fat. If not, cool the broth and store it in the refrigerator. Discard the fat after it solidifies.

Add the turnips to the broth and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and cook for 10 minutes. Add the noodles and cook until they’re done, but still firm in the center. Serve the soup while hot.