I made this really straight forward and simple to do. The ingredients list seems long and complicated but it's not, so don't let that put you off making this gem of dish! It reminds me of a classic Malaysian dish called Laksa, it brings back memories of sitting in an outside food court, situated right next to a river, fish dancing on the surface, a cool warm breeze and dragon flies the size of small cats racing by your head. Not sure if it was the view, the food or the chef but the Laksa there was always the best, and that's where my mind is transported to when I eat this. Ok so this isn't a true Laksa but if you can't get hold of the ingredients it's pretty close.
The flavour of this dish is rich but not overpowering, the lemongrass and coconut are the most prominent flavours but the lime juice cuts through the fat and lifts the coconut flavour up to another level, it's not the same if you don't squeeze the lime over the top, the beef is so tender that it just melts in the mouth and it absorbs all that lovely currniess (yes curriness is now a word because I just made it up). On a heat scale, I'd say it was a medium heat to someone that doesn't really eat spice, but to you that do, this will be mild. The soup itself is more like a broth, you can thicken it up to taste if you wish, but it kind of makes drinking it with your spoon less fun.
Even though we are using egg noodles today, this works with any noodles you like and even goes really well with rice. This can also easily be made vegan by not adding some of the ingredients.
2kg beef short rib on the bone ( you may have to get your butcher to cut them into small chunks)
5 cloves garlic or 2 tbsp garlic puree
3 stalks of fresh lemongrass
4 kaffir lime leave
10-15 curry leaves
Fresh red chilli's
70g fresh coriander
1 1/2 tsp Salt
2 1/2 Sugar
4 tbsp Vegetable oil
2 1/2 ltrs water
Take the meat off the bone, the best way of doing this is to use a sharp knife (a blunt knife is a dangerous knife in a kitchen). Find the end of the rib and cut down following the bone, the meat will come away, you may take some bone surface off, so check the meat, if there are grainy feeling spots, trim them off or it will be like eating sand. This happens if you take some of the bone off too. Trim the fat off from the top layer if there is any. DO NOT throw your bones away.
Now cut the trimmed beef into 6-7 cm long chunks, you should get 7-9 "good size cubes"
Place 3 tbsp of veg oil into a large sauce pan and let it get hot. When the oil is hot place the cubes into the pan along with your star anise, allow them to sit for 1-2 minutes or until brown, the turn and repeat for all the sides.
Once the meat has browned nicely, take off the heat and place the meat onto a plate and leave to rest. Leave the star anise in the pan.
Now peel your shallots and garlic, for best result place in a blender and make a paste, but finely chopping will work too as you can see from the photos.
Now bash your lemon grass at the root so it's flat, leave about an inch from the top un bashed, this allows the lemon grass flavour to defuse into the curry, leaving the inch at the end un bashed means it stays together easier
Bring the pan back and place onto a medium heat, add the bones and brown them off.
When the bones have browned add the rest of you veg oil to the pan, lime leaves, half your curry leaves and your garlic and shallot pulp (or your finely chopped if you didn't blitz them) and allow them to cook for 2 minuets, stirring every 20 seconds. Now add the beef back and let any juice drain into the pan.
After 2 1/2 hours have passed place the rest of the curry leaves into the broth. Leave on a very low heat until ready to serve.
When the soup is ready simply place a pan on the hob with enough water in to completely submerge your noodles, bring to the boil and then place your noodles into the water, cooked for 2 minutes, then drain, make sure to wash off the starch in running cold water.
Now crack your eggs in a bowl, add a pinch of salt and beat, place a pan on a medium heat and make a thin omelette, repeat until you run out of beaten egg.
Place each omelette on top of each other and cut into stripes, or however you like really.
Then shred a cucumber, I know for a lot of you this might be weird but it works very well, at the same time if you want to add some heat, slice up a few chilli's.
To bring this all together, divide the noodles in to as many bowls as you wish, then add your soup base over the top, place your cucumber and egg in sections leaving the last for the beef. The bones can be discarded, they were just used to flavour the stock.
Hand rip your coriander and garish over the top (to taste), finish with a squeeze of half a lime over the top.
Its now ready to eat.
If your going eat this, its best on a warm summers evening, with friends and family, in the back garden with a cool bottle of Tiger or Tsing Tao beer, some music and good vibes. Or as I do in front of the TV binge watching breaking bad for the 5th time, ether way its still good!
Don't forget we have a Chinese Takeaway cookbook out already, only available direct from us, and writing a street food cookbook as we speak, hopefully be out for Dec 2021!
Thanks for reading!
Happy Cooking, Happy Eating!
Chin and Choo xxx