Garlic sprout works better in bringing out flavor. The thicker taste of braised beef noodle is, the more garlic sprout is required for bringing out flavor; only a small amount of chopped green onion is needed. However, lighter taste beef noodle, especially clear stewed, should use more chopped green onion and less garlic sprout.
* Chinese pickled cabbage is absolutely needed!
Beef noodle without pickled cabbage is equal to a finished make-up without lipstick; the effect of final touch up suddenly is lost. However, the cabbage must have outstanding quality and finely sliced and diced before it may be pan-fried at low heat to slowly dehydrate the moisture within the pickled cabbage, so that it will emit aroma without heavy taste and grease, and will not cap out the gracefulness of beef noodle.
When beef noodle is served, have some soup and noodle first to taste the original stock soup, and then add pickled cabbage according to your preference, allowing the pickled cabbage to blend in with the beef soup. Noodle will taste better, and the bowl of noodle will be finished without noticing.
* The Heavy Metal Rock of Beef Noodle: Spicy Oil:
Typically there are two types of spicy oils in beef noodle restaurant. One is red oil refined from dried red chili pepper. The scent of red chili is emitted through the deep red color; it may increase spiciness. The other one is marketed red chili paste. Added into soup and the stimulus of taste is enhanced. There is spicy beef tallow on top of these two spicy oils. It is made by flushing boiling hot beef tallow into chili powder. It can instantly upgrade the scent and taste of beef noodle.
* Adjust saltiness; add salt instead of soybean sauce
After a bowl of beef noodle is served, if the taste is too light, then adjust saltiness with salt. Do not add soybean sauce directly into the soup to prevent spoiling the taste of soup.
* Other Ingredient: Vinegar
If Chinese pickled cabbage is not available for beef noodle, then a small amount of rice vinegar is the alternative. The sourness may relief the grease and thick taste of having the entire bowl of noodle.
*The “Three-Must” of eating beef noodle:
Color: Clear stew must not have any floating grease. Braised should have the rich color resulted from adding adequate amount of simmered soybean sauce and spicy broad bean paste.
Aroma: Thick and fresh without odor; the unique scent of beef must be distinguishable.
Flavor: Adequately cooked and softened without odor. Tastes of pan-fried and simmered ingredients such as ginger, green onion, garlic, red chili, and beef must be distinguishable from braised beef noodle.
*Beef Noodle Taste Lesson:
1. Beef: The leading actor of beef noodle. For material selection, ribs and half-tendon and half-meat are all excellent selection; chewy, great texture, not too greasy, and not too dry.
2. Stock soup: Fine braised beef stock soup has the aroma of broad bean paste blended in for smooth and thick flavor. All spices and soybean sauce and seasonings are gently and tenderly balanced in soup without exaggerated aroma of spices taking away the essence of beef. Saltiness is fine-tuned to perfection; rich flavor without heavy saltiness. Freshness and pureness are the primary concerns for clear stewed stock soup. Clear color soup tastes pure but not greasy. After tasted, the sweet flavor still remains at tongue tip; not the fake sweet flavor of licorice, artificial sweet, or beef essence powder.
3. Noodle: Whether it is plain noodle, hand-rolled home style noodle, hand-made knife-shaved noodle, knife-shaved noodle, or thin and flat noodle, beef noodle should have a certain level of elasticity without stiffness or turning into paste. Hard noodle that soaks in hot soup will still absorb soup and results in different texture. In addition, noodle is supposed to reveal the scent of flour; some noodle has corn starch added in to increase elasticity, despite the texture is slippery and chewy, it totally loses the scent of flour and is not adorable.
(Tasting Consultants: Lu, Yaodong;
Jiao Tong; Li, Meisian; Xia, Huiwen; Wang, Zhiyu; Hu, Tianlan; Zeng, Xiubao）