Taiwanese Style Beef Noodles
My parents are both from Taiwan and though I’ve never traveled there myself, I feel like I know the flavors of their local food already. In part, that’s due to my parents’ fabulous cooking. In their kitchen, a pinch of this and a dash of that creates taste bud magic.
To this day, Dad still starts each day with a big bowl of noodles. My boys get a huge kick out of that. To most of us, that sounds rather funky, but noodles are a morning staple in many parts of the world.
The noodles-before-noon routine was never my thing (I’m a Bacon and Egg Breakfast Casserole kind of girl)… but I’m all in when it comes to making a big batch of Taiwanese beef noodle bowls as a healthy and hearty dinner for the fam. I aim to make enough for at least a couple of nights, which is so awesome for busy weeks.
A big batch of this flavorful beef with sauce is perfection over all kinds of noodles (including rice noodles and other gluten free noodles,) all varieties of rice, and even in lettuce wraps…
What Ingredients Are needed for Taiwanese Beef Noodle Bowls?
- Noodles of your choice; gluten free noodles, rice noodles, or just rice if you prefer. You’ll want to cook your noodles just to al dente, rinse/drain, toss with toasted sesame oil, and keep warm until ready to serve.
- I use 90% lean ground beef to keep things, well, lean.
- Beef broth; go with regular strength broth. Homemade or store bought both work.
- Gluten free Oyster sauce and gluten-free Tamari soy sauce, both of which provide that fabulous umami flavor
- Chinese five-spice powder gives an aromatic depth; you don’t want to skip this.
- Honey is perfect for that bit of sweet that goes almost unnoticed yet is super important for balancing the flavors.
- Aromatics: fresh garlic, onion, and green onions are essential here.
- I add bamboo shoots, which everyone in my fam fights over. Bamboo shoots are easily found with canned goods in Asian aisles of most major grocery stores.
Got any tips for the Best Taiwanese Beef Noodle Bowls?
Yes 🙂 Here are our favorite simple tips to ensure your beef noodle bowls come out perfect every time:
- Cook the beef/sauce mixture first and the noodles last. It’s easier to keep the beef and sauce warm than it is to keep cooked noodles from sticking if cooked too early.
- After noodles are cooked, rinsed, and drained, drizzle with toasted sesame oil and the following seasonings: onion powder, garlic powder, kosher salt, and pepper. This ensures that every bite has intensely delicious flavors.
- Use fresh garlic and onion, rather than powdered versions. The fresh aromatics simply taste better.
- If bamboo shoots aren’t your thing, try water chestnuts or another type of veggie that gives some crunch to the overall texture.
- Keep beef/sauce separate from cooked noodles until ready to serve. Keep leftovers separate as well, combining only when ready to serve.
- Try the beef sauce over rice noodles, jasmine rice, brown rice, or any variety of grains. It’s also yummy in a lettuce wrap.
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Taiwanese Beef Noodle Bowl (Gluten-free)
For the Beef and Sauce:
- ½ cup regular strength beef broth
- 2 TB gluten-free Asian oyster sauce
- 4 TB gluten-free Tamari, or low sodium soy sauce
- 1 tsp seasoned Asian rice vinegar
- 1 tsp chinese five spice powder
- 1 TB pure honey
- 2 TB olive oil
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 1 tsp freshly peeled/minced ginger
- 7 cloves fresh garlic, chopped
- 1 lbs 90% lean ground beef
- ½ cup canned bamboo shoots, drained
- In a bowl, gently whisk together the beef broth, oyster sauce, soy sauce, rice vinegar, five-spice powder, and honey to combine well. Set aside.
- In a large, deep skillet, add 2 TB olive oil over medium high heat until oil is hot. Add onion and stir 1 minute. Add ginger and garlic, stirring another 1-2 min or until aromatic. Add ground beef and your set-aside bowl of soy sauce mixture. Cook, breaking up the beef into small bits, until fully cooked through; about 2-3 min. Add bamboo shoots, stir, and turn heat off. Cover to keep warm.
- Bring a large pot of generously salted water to boil. Cook your choice of noodles just to al dente, according to package instructions. Drain fully, give noodles a brief rinse with warm water, and drain again to remove all excess water. Return cooked noodles back to large pot, now empty. Toss noodles with 2 TB olive oil and 2 TB toasted sesame oil to coat. Add onion powder, garlic powder, and sprinkle with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
- Divide noodles into individual bowls and spoon generously with warm beef and sauce. Top with freshly sliced green onions.