For the Taiwanese soup:
- 2 tbsp peanut oil
- 1 large spring onion or shallot, finely chopped
- ½ a large onion, chopped
- 2 tbsp grated fresh ginger (young ginger with soft light-coloured skin is best)
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 fresh red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
- 1 dried red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
- 200-225g boneless short ribs or chuck beef, diced into ½-inch cubes
- 950ml beef stock
- 110g flat dried noodles (or fresh if possible)
- 2 tsp light brown sugar
- 1-2 tsp chilli-bean sauce (or to taste)
- 1 tsp dark soy sauce
- 1 tsp cornflour, mixed to a paste with 2 tsp water
- 1 small romaine lettuce heart, shredded
For the garnish:
- 2 spring onions, finely chopped
- medium bunch fresh coriander, finely chopped
For the soup, heat the oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat. Add the spring onion and chopped onion, and cook until soft.
Stir in the ginger, garlic and chillies, and cook for 1 minute.
Add the beef and stir-fry until it begins to turn golden-brown. Pour in the beef stock and bring to the boil.
Reduce heat to a simmer, cover and cook until the meat is very tender (about 1½ hours).
Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook the noodles according to pack instructions.
Drain and rinse the cooked noodles under cold water and then set aside.
Whisk together the sugar, chilli-bean sauce and soy sauce in a small bowl until the sugar is dissolved, and stir into the soup. Add the cornflour paste to the soup, stirring continuously, and cook for 1 minute or until thickened.
To plate, divide the noodles between 2 deep bowls. Stir the lettuce into the broth and ladle the hot soup into each bowl.
Garnish with chopped spring onions and fresh coriander and serve immediately.
TIP: For a real touch of local Taiwan try adding a little fiery chilli oil when serving.
Recipe courtesy of MasterChef Travel
For more about MasterChef check out Good Things magazine’s Tour with a MasterChef in 2015.