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Hearty Asian Beef Noodle Soup Recipe

This is no appetizer soup—it's a full-on meal in a bowl.
Hearty Asian Beef Noodle Soup RecipeMitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

When it comes to soups that serve as meals, no one can touch the Asian cuisines. From the thick, heady ramens of Japan, to the funky, darkly satisfying beef noodle soups of China, to the spice-suffused bowls of pho from Vietnam, the entire continent seems to have mastered the art of transforming a few scraps of meat and vegetables into a magical eating experience.

The slow-cooker soup here takes a cue from all three, combining a rich ginger and soy-spiked broth with chunks of fork-tender beef, a tangle of springy noodles, and—for a fresh, high note to pair with the dark, brooding ones—a pile of fresh bok choy. This is no appetizer soup; this is a full-on meal.

Nutrition: 350 calories, 8 g fat (2 g saturated), 550 mg sodium

Serves 8

You’ll Need

1⁄2 Tbsp peanut or canola oil
11⁄2 pounds chuck roast, cut into 1⁄2″ chunks
Salt and black pepper to taste
4 cups low-sodium beef stock
6 cups water
1⁄4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
2 medium onions, roughly chopped
4 cloves garlic, peeled
1″ piece peeled fresh ginger, sliced into thin coins
4 whole star anise pods
12 oz Japanese udon noodles, rice noodles, or fettuccine
1 head bok choy, leaves chopped into 1″ pieces, stems thinly sliced
Sriracha, hoisin, cilantro leaves, and/or fresh basil leaves for serving

How to Make It

  1. Heat the oil in a large pot over high heat.
  2. Season the beef all over with salt and pepper.
  3. Working in batches if necessary, sear the beef on all sides for 3 to 4 minutes, until browned.
  4. Transfer to a slow cooker and add the stock, water, soy sauce, onions, garlic, ginger, and star anise.
  5. Cook on low for 6 hours, until the beef is very tender. (Or, simmer everything in the pot over a very low flame for 2 to 3 hours.)
  6. When the beef is nearly ready, prepare the noodles according to package instructions.
  7. Add the bok choy to the soup, and simmer for about 10 minutes, until tender.
  8. Season to taste with salt (if it needs any) and plenty of black pepper.
  9. Divide the noodles among 8 large bowls.
  10. Ladle the broth, along with a generous amount of beef and bok choy, into each bowl.
  11. Top with any of the garnishes you like.

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