Yes, it is a vegan Taiwanese beef noodle soup 牛肉麵! That is what Taiwan is famous for! This noodle soup dish is often served and considered as national food in Taiwan, served with fresh noodles, beef broth, vegetables, stewed and/or braised beef (and I don’t even want to talk about the specific beef parts here in this blog, because it is beyond gross for my appetite).
In my late teens as an omnivore, my mother would take me to the best noodle soup restaurants in Taipei and it’s always Taiwanese beef noodle soup, popcorn chicken, shaved ice dessert, oyster omelette and loads of gross pork floss. The non-vegan food list goes on. Then I became a vegan in late 2006 and I’ve been eating less Taiwanese foods, except for basic noodle soups and fried rice. In 2011, Doni and I traveled to Taiwan for the first time together and learned that these noodle soups can be made vegetarian with a variety of vegetables, tea, seasoning and spices.
You can make this dish using a pressure cooker or in a pot. For the Vegan Taiwanese Beef Noodle Soup 牛肉麵, I used Gardein Home Style Beefless Tips, which are optional to add to the dish. Otherwise use chunky shiitake mushroom (the cap parts) for a bit of texture. I personally like my dish a bit more plant-based.
You might recognize a few ingredients as pictured above, including the Gardein Home Style Beefless Tips and Trader Joe’s sunflower seed oil. You can use any kinds of vegetable oil. This garlic crusher tool is pretty handy to have around in the kitchen (pictured above). It is dishwasher-safe and made of odor-resistant stainless steel material. It is a timesaver and doesn’t make your hands stink of garlic.
Joseph Joseph Rocker Garlic Crusher
On the right (pictured above), you will see a glass bowl of hot bean sauce, aka 辣豆瓣醬. It is a Taiwanese brand, and has very few ingredients: soybean, wheat flour, fresh chili, salt, sugar, water and citric acid. It contains no MSG. You can find them at your Asian markets and they come in cans or glasses. Just ask your staff for hot bean sauce (Szechuan-style) or this character (辣豆瓣醬) or this photo, and they will find it for you. However, they are also available on Amazon.com here. The hot bean sauce is very useful in a variety of Asian and Taiwanese dishes, so it doesn’t hurt to have one in your pantry.
Hot Bean Sauce – Szechuan Style
One of the major ingredients in this dish calls for spice/tea bag. I prefer to make the spice pack on my own. All you need is black tea leaves bag, a bit of soy sauce or tamari, dried star anise, brown sugar, peppercorns, dried tangerine peel, cinnamon stick, and few cloves. I will include the recipe for the spice pack.
Vegan Taiwanese Beef Noodle Soup 牛肉麵 cooking away in a Le Creuset Round Wide 3-1/2-Quart Dutch Oven
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My Vegan Taiwanese Beef Noodle Soup 牛肉麵 recipe will be featured in August newsletter. If you have already signed up for vegan miam weekly feed or the newsletter, you are all good so no worries.
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