Taiwanese Beef Noodle Soup Recipe

Taiwanese Beef Noodle Soup Recipe

Prep: 30 mins

Cook: 3 hrs 45 mins

Total: 4 hrs 15 mins

Servings: 6 to 8 servings

Yield: 6 to 8 bowls

Considered to be Taiwan’s national dish, beef noodle soup is a staple in restaurants, night markets, and food courts throughout the island country. You can easily find two or three adjacent food stalls serving their original variation on the dish with a devoted fanbase. There's even an annual Beef Noodle Festival, where chefs compete for the title of best beef noodle soup in Taiwan.

While the Taiwanese beef noodle soup has distinctly Sichuan influences, such as spicy bean paste (doubanjiang) and Sichuan peppercorns, the exact dish is nowhere to be found in the Chinese province. That’s because the dish originated from Sichuan veterans who fled to Taiwan from mainland China during the 1940s civil war. Taiwanese beef noodle soup was one of the treasures that emerged from the inter-provincial community and culture that evolved out of the military settlements where soldiers and their families lived.

Taiwanese beef noodle soup is the ultimate comfort food to keep you warm during winter. You’ll love the tender beef stewed for hours in the accompanying savory, full-bodied broth. Traditionally, Taiwanese beef noodle soup is enjoyed with a handful of fresh greens, chopped cilantro, pickled mustard greens, and chili oil. This recipe makes a big batch. So, get ready to invite friends over or save the beef noodle soup for belly-warming leftovers.

“The Taiwanese beef noodle soup had amazing flavor. With so many ingredients, prep took a bit of time, but the soup was easy to make once everything was gathered and measured. I used wide frozen wheat noodles in the recipe, and the soup was excellent.” —Diana Rattray

Taiwanese Beef Noodle Soup Recipe

A Note From Our Recipe Tester


  • 4 star anise pods

  • 1 cinnamon stick

  • 5 bay leaves

  • 2 tablespoons Sichuan peppercorns

  • 1 teaspoon white peppercorns

  • 3 pounds beef soup bones

  • 3 pounds beef shank meat, or chuck, cut into 2-inch cubes

  • 2 tablespoons oil

  • 1 head garlic, cloves smashed

  • 6 slices ginger

  • 6 medium green onions, cut into thirds

  • 1 small onion, quartered

  • 3 Thai chilis, split lengthwise

  • 2 tablespoons sugar

  • 3 tablespoons spicy bean paste, or doubanjiang

  • 2 tomatoes, sliced

  • 1/2 cup Shaoxing Chinese rice wine

  • 1/2 cup light soy sauce

  • 1/4 cup dark soy sauce

  • 1 1/2 pounds wheat noodles, or enough for 6 to 8 servings

  • 3 heads baby bok choy, leaves separated and washed

  • Chopped cilantro, for optional garnish

  • Pickled mustard greens, for optional garnish

  • Chili oil, for optional garnish

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Taiwanese Beef Noodle Soup Recipe

  2. Make a spice sachet with the star anise, cinnamon stick, bay leaves, Sichuan peppercorns, and white peppercorns.

    Taiwanese Beef Noodle Soup Recipe

  3. Add the beef soup bones to a large soup pot. Add enough water to cover the bones and bring the water to a boil. Boil the soup bones for 3 minutes. Drain the bones and wash off any foam and residue from the bones. If using beef shank, boil the beef shank for 3 minutes and drain.

    Taiwanese Beef Noodle Soup Recipe

  4. Brown the beef chuck or shank with 1 tablespoon of oil for 15 to 20 minutes in a big soup pot until the meat is caramelized. Set aside the browned beef on a plate.

    Taiwanese Beef Noodle Soup Recipe

  5. Turn the heat to medium-low. Add the remaining tablespoon of oil to the soup pot. Add the garlic, ginger, green onions, onion, and chili.

    Taiwanese Beef Noodle Soup Recipe

  6. Fry the aromatics until the garlic is lightly browned, about 2 minutes.

    Taiwanese Beef Noodle Soup Recipe

  7. Add the sugar, spicy bean paste, and tomatoes. Fry until the tomatoes are softened, about 3 minutes.

    Taiwanese Beef Noodle Soup Recipe

  8. Add the Shaoxing wine. Deglaze the soup pot by scraping the caramelized bits from the bottom of the pot.

    Taiwanese Beef Noodle Soup Recipe

  9. Add the light soy sauce, dark soy sauce, spice sachet, browned beef cubes, and beef bones to the soup pot.

    Taiwanese Beef Noodle Soup Recipe

  10. Turn the heat to high. Add enough water to cover the beef bones.

    Taiwanese Beef Noodle Soup Recipe

  11. Once the soup is boiling, turn the heat down to a low simmer. Simmer the soup for 3 hours to stew the meat until tender.

    Taiwanese Beef Noodle Soup Recipe

  12. After the soup has simmered for 3 hours, turn off the heat. Remove the beef cubes from the soup and set aside.

    Taiwanese Beef Noodle Soup Recipe

  13. Strain the soup through a colander and discard the solids.

    Taiwanese Beef Noodle Soup Recipe

  14. Cook your noodles according to the package instructions. Cook the bok choy in the boiling water while the noodles are cooking.

    Taiwanese Beef Noodle Soup Recipe

  15. Assemble your beef noodle soup by placing the noodles, bok choy, and beef in a bowl. Ladle the strained soup into the bowl. Garnish with cilantro, pickled mustard greens, and chili oil, if using. Serve and enjoy!

    Taiwanese Beef Noodle Soup Recipe


If you have trouble making a spice sachet, you can skip it. Just be sure to strain the soup through a fine-meshed strainer so that you do not have peppercorns floating in your soup.

Recipe Variations

  • Traditional Taiwanese beef noodle soup calls for beef shank. However, it might be challenging to find beef shank in your local grocery store. You can use beef chuck and beef soup bones to reproduce the full-bodied soup. Try to find a well-marbled cut of beef chuck to provide extra flavor if you’re substituting for beef shank.
  • Another good replacement for the beef shanks is beef short ribs.
  • Find spicy bean paste (doubanjiang), Sichuan peppercorns, and white peppercorns in your local Asian grocery store or from an online retailer. If you can’t track them down, skip the spicy bean paste and substitute the white peppercorns with black peppercorns.
  • Swap out the granulated sugar with brown sugar or a large piece of rock sugar.

How to Store

  • Refrigerate leftover soup and noodles separately in covered containers within 2 hours and eat within 3 to 4 days.
  • Reheat leftover soup in a saucepan on the stovetop or in the microwave oven.

What is the difference between light soy sauce and dark soy sauce?

In Chinese cooking, light soy sauce is the most commonly used soy sauce. It is salty and lighter in color, and shouldn’t be confused with reduced sodium soy sauce. Aged longer, dark soy sauce is darker, thicker, less salty, and more sweet. It is often used to give a deeper color to dishes.

Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6 to 8
Amount per serving
Calories 778
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 26g 34%
Saturated Fat 8g 38%
Cholesterol 164mg 55%
Sodium 1853mg 81%
Total Carbohydrate 54g 20%
Dietary Fiber 8g 30%
Total Sugars 10g
Protein 78g
Vitamin C 33mg 164%
Calcium 166mg 13%
Iron 11mg 62%
Potassium 1840mg 39%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.


No comments yet. Why don’t you start the discussion?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *