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Tag: comfort food

Chicken and Cauliflower Rice Soup

Chicken and Cauliflower Rice Soup

It’s official: Fall has arrived in Miami. We woke up this morning to 63 degree weather. I know most other places are already enjoying cooler temperatures but I was walking in 92 degree weather last week. And now finally we can enjoy our days without read more

Pork Bistek

Pork Bistek

We all have our favorite comfort foods that instantly transport us to our childhood. For me it’s definitely my Mom’s Chicken. But for my husband it would have to be this Filipino style Pork Bistek. And I would never hear the end of it if read more

Beef Udon

Beef Udon

So after a couple weeks of traveling through chilly Central Europe, I’m home again and what do you think I’m craving? Asian Noodle Soups! But more specifically- Beef Udon! This Beef Udon is everything good in a bowl. Flavorful, simple, fast, and oh so comforting. Udon noodles are so fabulously slippery and chewy, staying the perfect texture all the way to the last bite. And this Beef Udon dish is a keeper. Juicy bites of beef, a tangle of noodles, a next level savory broth, and some fun garnishes create the perfect bowl.

I know we’re getting ready for summer, but Asians eat hot soupy noodles year round. It’s not reserved for wintry months. So whether you have AC 24/7 like we do in Miami, are still experiencing the last vestiges of a cold spring, or believe in sweating out toxins, this Beef Udon will hit the spot. So let’s get into it.

ingredients beef udon

Beef Udon Starts with Dashi

Beef Udon has 3 separate, but quick, components to cook. The first component is a dashi stock. If you made one of the homemade dashi stocks I posted recently, this is an excellent use for it! (If not, you can still make Beef Udon by whipping up a dashi with some dashi powder mixed with water or with dried anchovy dashi packets.)

beef udon dashi mirin

lid beef udon

The second component is a fast stir fry of the beef and onions. I use shaved beef (like the kind used for Philly cheese steaks) that I purchased from Trader Joes. Any tender shaved or thinly sliced beef is fine. You can either purchase it or cut it yourself. If you’re slicing the beef at home, put the beef in the freezer for an hour or so. The semi frozen beef will be much easier to slice that a chunk of swishy meat.

Once the onions are cooked, I move them aside to make room for the beef. Whenever cooking ground meat or hefty amounts of sliced meat, I always try and leave it alone for a minute or two in the pan, to try and get some sear. It’s very hard at home to generate enough heat to burn off moisture and not steam meat, particularly if you have other items in the pan. Cranking up the heat may solve the meat steaming issue, but the other ingredients will scorch. So for me, the solution is to keep the heat moderately high, but allow the meat to sear before stirring it around.

Try this technique on other recipes and see if you like the results. It’s easier and more forgiving than high heat stir-frying.

beef udon in pan

Once you add the sauce ingredients, stir to coat the beef and then turn the stove off. I prefer a slightly pink beef, plus the residual heat in the pan will continue cooking the beef as well.

Lastly, we head to the third component, which is of course to make the udon noodles. There are two types of udon noodles. Dry and fresh. The fresh ones, which are what I’m using here, come either frozen or vacuum packed, which can be stored at room temperature. I like the frozen noodles best. They have the best chewy texture and only require quick heating as they are already cooked. If you are using vacuum packed noodles, follow the same instructions. However, you will want to proceed with package instructions if you are using dry udon noodles.

cooking udon

While the noodles are cooking I quickly prepare some garnishes. I like to use scallions for their fresh bite and I slice up some Japanese fish cakes for their fun chewy texture and a bit of color. (Love the delicious versality of fish cakes? Try them in this braised pepper dish, in Shabu Shabu, or Japanese Oden Stew.)

japanese fish cakes

Now it’s time to put all three components together, then garnish, and your Beef Udon is ready to serve!

I like to sprinkle a little schichimi togarashi for a little heat.

Now dig in and enjoy- It’s good to be home :)

Love noodles as much as I do? Try some of these other Funky Asian Kitchen faves: Sukiyaki, Mushroom Japchae, or Pancit.

beef udon beauty

Try this Beef Udon tonight, and let me know what you think.  Don’t forget to tag us @funkyasiankitchen, we love seeing your creations!

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feature beef udon

Beef Udon

  • Author: Funky Asian Kitchen
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: serves 2
  • Category: noodles
  • Cuisine: Japanese

Ingredients

Scale

Beef Udon:

  • 1 Tablespoon neutral oil
  • ¼ large onion
  • 8 ounces thinly sliced beef (rib eye, tenderloin, or sirloin are all good choices)
  • 1 Tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon oyster sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 servings udon noodles (7 ounces dry noodles or 1 pound frozen noodles)

Udon Broth:

  • 3 cups of dashi Japanese soup stock
  • 2 Tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons mirin
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt

Toppings (optional but nice to have):

  • 1 green onion
  • 4 slices kamaboko fish cakes
  • Shichimi togarashi chile served on the side

Instructions

  1. Put the dashi in a pot and bring to a simmer. Add the soy sauce, mirin, and salt. Stir to combine. Put a lid over the pot and keep it on low heat while you finish the other components.
  2. Peel and slice the onion thinly. Set aside.
  3. Trim the scallions and slice thin. Set aside.
  4. Slice the kamaboko and reserve the rest for another purpose. (You can freeze it if you do not have an immediate use for it.)
  5. Heat a medium skillet over medium high heat for several minutes. Add the oil and the onions. Sprinkle lightly with salt and stir fry for 3-4 minutes until softened. 
  6. Push the onions to the side and add the beef in one layer. Let it cook untouched for 1 minute and then stir fry for another minute.
  7. Add the soy sauce, oyster sauce, and sugar and continue to cook for another minute or two, making sure to coat the meat well with the sauce as it cooks. Set aside.
  8. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook the dry noodles according to the package. If you’re using frozen noodles, cook them for 1 minute. Drain the noodles and portion them into two deep bowls. 
  9. Top the noodles with the broth, beef, and the garnishes.
  10. Serve Beef Udon immediately.

Notes

*If you do not have dashi you can combine 3 cups of water with 2 teaspoons dashi powder or 1 dashi packet and continue with the recipe.

Keywords: udon, noodles, dashi, beef, fish cakes

Teriyaki Meatballs

Teriyaki Meatballs

It’s hard to believe, but apparently we’re already in back to school mode. And that means easy dinners that will bring everyone to the table. These Teriyaki Meatballs really fit the bill. A juicy and tender mixture of pork and beef with a yummy teriyaki read more

Kimchi Pancake

Kimchi Pancake

One of the most popular Korean dishes is the Kimchi Pancake. Late night snack, savory breakfast, craveable side dish, this kimchi pancake does it all! This is peak Korean comfort food. One bite and you’ll see why, its crispy perfection will have you making this read more

Pork Rib and Radish Soup

Pork Rib and Radish Soup

While much of the country is still digging out of a deep freeze, I thought I would post one of the easiest and most comforting soups that I know. Chinese Pork Rib and Radish Soup has a steaming clear broth, hearty chunks of rich pork ribs, and delicately flavored Daikon radish. Which makes Paigu Luobo Tang the perfect antidote to February’s unpredictable weather. And it couldn’t be easier to prepare. With just a handful of ingredients and only a few minutes of hands on time, this warming Chinese soup is going to be become your new winter secret weapon too.

chinese pork rib and radish soup ingredients

Crystal Clear Broth

The hallmark of Pork Rib and Radish Soup is a really clean, clear broth. This requires parboiling the pork ribs to remove impurities that would otherwise make the soup cloudy. Speaking of ribs, I generally choose St. Louis Ribs because they are meaty and their high fat content adds lots of luscious flavor to this simple soup.

pork radish soup cutting ribs

pork radish soup rib boil

pork rib radish soup drain water

Two Kinds of Peppercorns!

I use both black and white peppercorns in my Pork Rib and Radish Soup. The black peppercorns give their familiar heat, while the white peppercorns add a funky (my daughters say barnyard) flavor I love. But if you only have one or the other on hand, no biggie. The soup will be delicious either way. Crack them coarsely with a mallet to bring out their flavor.

Daikon Radish

Daikon radish is used throughout Asia. It looks like an enormous white carrot, and has a very mild and almost sweet flavor. It is used heavily in stews and soups as it hits peak flavor during cooler months.

pork rib soup daikon radish

Soup’s On!

pork rib radish soup simmering

pork rib radish soup finish

As the broth simmers, you will want to skim the broth occasionally. Pork ribs render out a lot of fat and you want to scoop out as much of it as possible to keep your broth clean tasting and not fatty.

Now that the pork and radish are both tender, it’s time to serve up this gloriously comforting Pork Rib and Radish soup. I like to garnish with some scallions for a nice presentation and a little color. The beauty of this soup is in the pared down ingredients and ridiculously easy technique. It really doesn’t need anything else, but if you’d like to add a handful of greens, such as watercress or spinach right before serving, I’d say that’s a nice touch.

This is a rustic, comforting soup so I don’t bother taking out the garlic cloves, which kind of melt down, or the peppercorns. For the most part, the peppercorns will start to sink to the bottom of the pot so you shouldn’t be getting a lot in your soup bowls. However, if it bothers you, you can strain them out before serving.

When you make this, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and tag us in your photos, @funkyasiankitchen. Show us the goods!

Can’t get enough authentic Chinese food in your life? Try our quick weeknight Char Sui Pork, Chinese Almond Cookies, or Mapo Tofu!

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pork rib radish soup recipe card

Pork Rib and Radish Soup

  • Author: Funky Asian Kitchen
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1.5 hours
  • Total Time: 0 hours
  • Yield: 6-8 servings 1x
  • Category: soup
  • Cuisine: Chinese

Ingredients

Scale

One Tablespoon whole white peppercorns

One Tablespoon whole black peppercorns 

12 garlic cloves

1 rack of St. Louis style spare ribs, cut through the ribs to create smaller bite sized pieces

12 cups water

1 daikon radish

3 teaspoons salt 

1 Tablespoon sugar 

Sliced scallion for garnish


Instructions

  1. Use a mortar and pestle to lightly crack the peppercorns. Alternative, place them in a sealed plastic bag and use a heavy pot or can to coarsely crack. You want them to be in large cracked pieces.
  2. It is fine if there are some whole peppercorns in the mix. In fact the smaller the pieces, the spicier your soup will be, so if you prefer a more mild soup, only lightly crack some of the peppercorns.
  3. Place a skillet over medium-low to medium heat, toast the peppercorns for 2-3 mins until fragrant. Set aside.
  4. Cut the rack of ribs between the bones so you have a pile of mini ribs. Set aside.
  5. Bring a pot with plenty of water to a boil over high heat and then add pork ribs. Bring the pot back to a boil and continue to cook for two additional minutes. Discard the liquid and rinse the ribs under running water.
  6. Clean out the pot and then add the pork ribs, 12 cups of water, 3 teaspoons of salt, and 1 Tablespoon sugar. Bring to a boil over high heat and then lower the heat to medium low to maintain a gentle simmer, skimming off any foam. Add the peppercorns and garlic.
  7. Simmer for 1 hour, with the pot covered with a lid, skimming periodically (the ribs will give off quite a bit of fat.)
  8. In the meantime, peel the radish and cut it in half lengthwise. If the daikon is particularly fat, cut it again in half lengthwise so you have 4 quarters. Slice the daikon into 1 inch pieces. Set aside.
  9. After an hour of cooking, skim the surface fat once more and add the daikon radish. Continue simmering until the ribs and daikon are tender, about 30 more minutes. Check the seasoning and adjust with a little more salt as needed.
  10. Serve the soup garnished with some sliced scallions. 

 


Notes

*Many of the grocery store near me sell spare ribs that are already cut in thirds. If you can only find un-cut ribs, ask the person in the meat department to cut them for you. Unless you have a sharp meat cleaver and some experience, it’s best to leave this to the experts. You can also leave the ribs uncut and just slice up the ribs between the bones. It will work out just fine either way.

*This boiled soup has many variations and you can adjust it to suit your taste or what’s in your fridge. You can use cabbage, potatoes, or turnips instead of the daikon. And some greens like watercress or spinach thrown in at the last minute is a nice touch too. Sometimes I add some sliced ginger or whole scallions to the broth too and fish it out right before serving.