In preparation for the Chinese New Year that’s coming up this week on February 4th, 2011, I have decided to make some Taiwanese Niu Row Mein (Taiwanese Beef & Noodles).  This will be our fifth recipe for the International Pressure Cooking theme.

I am Chinese.  Born in Taiwan, but raised in the U.S.  And with the new Lunar year starting this week, there’s going to be lots of cooking, eating, cleaning and cooking some more.  Although Beef & Noodles aren’t really considered a traditional New Years dish, it’s still got noodles in it, and noodles signify longevity in the Chinese culture.  Which means, no cutting of the noodles when you eat it, or else it will cut your life short.  Which also means, when you see Chinese people eating noodles, there’s always a lot of noisy slurping.  See, now it all makes sense!  Okay, that’s all just silly superstition anyway.  To learn more about the Chinese New Year and the special foods that are prepared and the history, click here.

There are many different variations of Niu Row Mein.  Some are more spicy, some are more salty, and some are more about the soup.  This particular recipe is from my mom.  I told her I wanted to make it last week and she up and went to the Chinese Supermarket and bought me all the ingredients.  I could’ve totally gone on my own, but it’s a good thing she went because I think I would be wondering around in the store for hours looking for certain things.  Of course, she always makes it in a big pot on the stove and it usually takes 1-2 hours.  But in our trusty Peggy the Pressure Cooker, it should only take about 30-45 minutes.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 Serrano Chiles; chopped
  • 5 cloves of garlic; chopped
  • 1 one-inch cube of ginger; sliced
  • 3 Tbsp Rock Sugar
  • 2 Tbsp Spicy Bean Paste
  • 5 Star anise
  • 2 Tomatoes; sliced into wedges
  • 1 cup Rice cooking wine
  • 2 cup Light sodium soy sauce
  • 1 Medium Onion; sliced
  • 4 Cups Water
  • 3 pounds of beef shank; cubed into 1-2” chunks

(In case you’re wondering why my tomatoes look a little strange.  I happened to come across these at Trader Joes, they’re called Kumatos, brown tomatoes.  Thought I’d give them a try.  😛
There’s also a  jar of Spicy Bean Paste before I spooned some out into my little ramekin.)

NOODLES & GARNISHES:

  • 1-2 Packages of Oriental Style Noodles;  slightly flat, yellow noodles.
  • 6-8 Stalks of Small Bok Choy
  • 8 stems of Cilantro; chopped (Not pictured)
  • 3 stems Green Onions; chopped (Not pictured)
  • Sesame Oil (Not pictured)

First, let’s wash the beef.  Doesn’t that sound funny?  Put all the chopped beef shank into the main cooking pot of the pressure cooker.  Fill it up with water, enough to cover all the meat.  Press the START button on the pressure cooker.  This will start the heating element in the machine.  It’s not necessary to shut and lock the lid at this time.
Within about 10-minutes or so, you’ll start to see particles that you want to get rid of.  It’s sort of foamy and grimy.  It looks pretty gross.  Use a spoon and start spooning the gunk out and discard.  Turn the pressure cooker Off by pressing CANCEL.  Use an oven mitt and pour all the grimy water out.  Rinse the beef 1-2 times with fresh water and discard the water again.

Now comes the real cooking part.  The beef should be inside the main cooking pot still.  Add the soy sauce, the rice wine, water, and spicy bean paste.

Chop up all the other ingredients except leave the Star Anise and Rock Candy whole, then add them all into the pot.  Give it a good stir if you like but it’s not necessary.

Shut the lid and turn it counter clock-wise to lock.  Make sure the Pressure Valve is set to Airtight.  Program the pressure cooker to 30-minutes by pressing the SET PRESSURE COOK TIME button.  Now press START.  Let the machine do its thing.

At this time, you can start boiling a big pot of filtered water to cook the bok choy.  Get the water to a rolling boil.  Add the bok choy to the hot water and only cook them for under 5 minutes.  Remove and strain.  You can add the noodles to the same water and cook for 10-minutes until they are tender.  Do not overcook, of they will become mush.  Remove and strain the noodles.

When the pressure cooker has completed the 30-minute cooking cycle, it will beep and automatically go to Keep Warm.  Release all the pressure by turning the valve to Exhaust.  Unlock and open the lid.  Everything should smell totally spicy and like my HB said, it smells really Chinese.  (Not sure what that’s suppose to mean.  Hmmm….)
Stir the beef mixture and do a taste test.  If it’s too salty, add more water.  Find all the ginger and star anises pieces and discard.

Put noodles into a serving bowl first.  Top it with 1-2 bok choy stalks.  Then ladle the beef and soy sauce mixture onto the noodles.  Garnish with a splash of sesame oil, chopped cilantro and green onions.  Happy Chinese New Year!  GONG SHI FA TSAI!

**As a side note and completely optional, if you like my blog, I’d really appreciate it if you’d help me out by clicking on the few ads I have now on the site.  It’s completely safe and no spam or malware, and totally free as well.  But every click a reader makes, will earn me some extra $ to fund this blog.  All you have to do is click on an ad you find interesting, and that’s it.  Thanks!!!

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19 Comments

  1. Angie on the 31. Jan, 2011 remarked #

    Looks quite tasty!!

  2. Kevin (Closet Cooking) on the 14. Feb, 2011 remarked #

    That looks really tasty!

  3. Tania on the 10. Mar, 2011 remarked #

    Delicious! Tastes really authentic. Yum!

  4. Faye @ GreenOrganicMama.com on the 24. Jul, 2011 remarked #

    Peggy, I love your recipes. BTW, I am Chinese, too. Parents are from Hong Kong, and raised me in Canada. I now live in South Florida.

    This dish looks amazing! Thanks for these awesome recipes 🙂

    • patee333 on the 25. Jul, 2011 remarked #

      Peggy is the name of my cooker. My name is Patty! 😛 hehe

  5. Vdugg on the 20. Sep, 2011 remarked #

    Quick question: My pressure cooker is a Cusinart Digital pressure cooker and has a high and a low pressure button to it – which one would you recommend when cooking this recipe?

  6. Patty on the 20. Sep, 2011 remarked #

    I believe setting it on HIGH will be fine. The Elite model has a set high setting for the pressure gauge.

  7. Martina on the 06. Apr, 2012 remarked #

    This was awesome. I could not find the rock sugar so I just omitted that piece. The meat was so tender and the broth very flavorful. I am going to make this again tomorrow as I just made a trip up to Uwajimaya and found some really nice beef shank. The one that I got from the local butcher was kinda scary. My husband and daughter enjoyed it as well and my husband is not much of a soup or cilantro guy.

    • Patty on the 07. Apr, 2012 remarked #

      Great! You can use brown sugar too for substitute.

      • Martina on the 07. Apr, 2012 remarked #

        thanks for sharing about the brown sugar. Same amount? I also think that I will cook the bok choy, green onions and cilantro into it next time for about 2 minutes or so.

  8. Eugene on the 09. Dec, 2012 remarked #

    Love this recipe–our first pressure cooker attempt was a success. If you write a book, I will buy it!

  9. Laura on the 29. Dec, 2012 remarked #

    I cannot believe that I stumbled upon this recipe while researching how to use my new electric PC. I lived in Taiwan for a year over 20 years ago. I tell my kids about how I used to go into little cafes in Tienmu and order this as a standard favorite for lunch. It’s been 22 years since I have been able to satisfy my craving. Wait no more, thanks to you!

  10. Heather on the 22. Jan, 2013 remarked #

    Hi! Came on this site from a fb comment made by Annette. Love the recipe, your detailed recipe account. Going to make this but i don’t have a pressure cooker. I just recently got a slow cooker. Do you have directions for regular cooking? Does this come out spicy. Asking because of the chilies.

    • Patty on the 22. Jan, 2013 remarked #

      Hi Heather, you can cook this on a stove top in a big pot if you want. It’ll just longer, maybe 2 hours? And it was not spicy with the chilies. I’m a big spicy wimp and it was tolerable.

  11. Nancy Pryor on the 27. Sep, 2013 remarked #

    I am enjoying your blog immensely! I bought an elite p/c off the shopping channel 2 yrs ago and could not find any decent recipes..all I have made is different kinds of applesauce as I live on a farm and have 120 apple trees. Then I actually read the manual that came with the cooker..lol your site was in it! It also said NOT to make applesauce in it..sigh! Yes I am a blonde…love to cook, put up preserves and craft..pintrest is banned as I lose days on that..and the chickens don’t get fed..Thank you so much for the lovely recipes and step by step pics..I wish I had the patience and time to blog myself..as you can see..I like to chat 🙂

  12. Valerie on the 30. Jan, 2015 remarked #

    I was looking online for a manual as mine was misplaced and found this blog. How awesome , no need to buy a cookbook now! thank you

  13. Vicky on the 02. Dec, 2016 remarked #

    Tried the recipe, but it came out incredibly salty. Way too salty!!

  14. Teresa on the 02. Apr, 2017 remarked #

    This looks delicious! I’m going to give this a try with a regular pressure cooker – how long should the beef be cooked for?

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