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Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Noodle Tuesday: Beef noodle soup at Hunan Cuisine

If food is entertainment in Taiwan (and it's not much of a stretch to ditch the "if"), then beef noodle soup is its rockstar. It's the national dish in Taiwan, and, every year, Taipei throws a festival in its honor. Last year, the island even scheduled a California tour for the bowl, making stops at the state's capital and Google headquarters.

Taiwanese infuse the broth with five-spice, and it can be fiery hot—finishing a bowl in Taiwan's midsummer blanket of heat and humidity is the most invigorating form of masochism I know.

It's hard to find here, though Hunan Cuisine has a version of hong sau niu rou mian—red-braised beef noodle soup. Since Taiwan's bowl originated in Sichuan, where Hunan Cuisine seems to draw many of its recipes from, I thought I'd try it.

It lacks the warmth and depth of spices in a Taiwanese bowl, but it has its own merits: tender braised beef, pickled mustard greens (aka Chinese sauerkraut) and lettuce leaves (yes, lettuce) add interest. Thin, flat wheat noodles anchor the soup. It doesn't really compare to a bowl in Taiwan, but at least it gives me the memory of one.

Hunan Cuisine, 53 N. Beretania St., 599-8838

Posted on Tuesday, July 2, 2013 in Permalink

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About This Column

From five-star restaurants to hidden holes-in-the-wall, Biting Commentary will let you know what’s hot and what’s not. Find out the latest restaurant news—who’s opening, who’s closing, which chef is moving on, where the great special dinners are. Discover the best menu items, fabulous wines, stunning cocktails, hand-crafted beers. Be the first to hear about upcoming food events and festivals.

Food editor Martha Cheng graduated from Wellesley College with degrees in Computer Science and English. She's a former line cook, food truck owner, Peace Corps volunteer and Google techie. Follow her on Twitter @marthacheng.



 

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