I won’t have the effrontery to tell you that this Yet Ca Mein Asian Noodle Soup recipe is as authentic as it gets. Truth is, I haven’t the slightest clue exactly what goes into the making of a truly authentic bowl of any given kind of Asian Noodle Soup.
And then again, I think it’s even pretty hard to come across “the real deal” on this side of the ocean, except if you know exactly where to go.
But you see the thing is, I don’t really crave authenticity all that much. To me, food doesn’t have to be perfect, far from there. As long as it tastes good, nourishes my body well, and brings a great big smile to my face, I’m a fan.
And that soup, well, it did exactly all that!
I chose to use Yet Ca Mein noodles in my soup because it happens to be one of my favorite Asian noodles of all times — seriously, when I was a kid, I was OBSESSED with them! — but if you couldn’t find them, you could very well replace them with any other kind of noodles, like ramen, udon or vermicelli. If you’d rather stay away from wheat, rice noodles work particularly well in this dish!
I’m thinking that zoodles could be a very interesting alternative, too, if you preferred to stay away from noodles altogether. And in that case, there’s no cooking required, either! BONUS!
The first thing that you’ll want to do, though, is tackle the beef so it has a chance to marinate while you work on the other components of the soup. You’ll need to place thin strips of beef in a small, non-reactive shallow dish. You could also use a resealable zipper bag, if that was easier for you.
Then, mix some soy sauce (you could use coconut aminos instead if you preferred), sesame oil, minced ginger, sambal oelek and garlic together in a small bowl and then pour this right over the sliced beef.
Toss delicately until the meat is well coated and then send your beef to the fridge while you prep the rest of the stuff you’ll be needing. You could also let your beef marinate until the next day; it would be even tastier!
Next, combine the chicken broth or bone broth, water, soy sauce (or coconut aminos), sesame oil, honey, rice vinegar, sambal oelek, fish sauce, garlic, and ginger in a stock pot. Pound the lemongrass with a meat mallet or other blunt object until it’s well bruised and fragrant and add it to the pot. Bring this to the boil and then lower the heat to a slow simmer. Cover loosely and simmer for 30 minutes.
Once that’s done, you’ll want to strain the soup stock through a fine meshed sieve, return it to the pot and keep it nice and warm until you are ready to serve.
While the stock is slowly simmering away, cook the noodles according to the directions on the package and then rinse them briefly under cold running water; drain well and reserve.
If the noodles that you chose to use actually need cooking, that is…
Now that your beef, stock and noodles have been dealt with, and before you start putting your beautiful bowls of soup together, make sure that all your other components are good and ready to go as well!
- Hard boiled eggs? Check
- Grated carrot? Check
- Bean sprouts? Check
- Sliced green onions? Check
- Sesame seeds and lime wedges? Check!
Note that you are in no way obligated to follow this list to a T; you can feel completely free to improvise and throw in your own personal favorite ingredients!
All clear? Alright! Now all that’s left to do is divide the noodles between 4 large bowls, top with beef strips, bean sprouts, grated carrots, green onions and hard boiled eggs.
Or your own personal favorite ingredients…
Ladle the hot stock over the soup… and be sure that your stock is very hot indeed, because it will be solely responsible for cooking the meat and reheating (or heating up) the noodles.
Plus, I think soup is meant to be enjoyed PIPING hot!
Garnish with the lime wedges and sesame seeds, if desired, and then dig in without further delay.
- 400g (14oz) thin beef strips
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
- 1 tbsp grated ginger
- 1 tsp sambal oelek
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 4 cups (960ml) chicken broth or bone broth
- 2 cups water
- ¼ cup soy sauce
- 2 tbsp toasted sesame oil
- 2 tbsp unpasteurized honey
- 2 tbsp unseasoned rice vinegar
- 1 tbsp sambal oelek
- 1 tsp fish sauce
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp minced ginger
- 1 stalk lemongrass
- 300g (10.6oz) dry Yet Ca Mein Noodles (or other noodle of your choice)
- 1 large carrot, peeled and grated
- 2-3 cups bean sprouts
- 2 green onions, sliced
- 4 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and cut in half
- Black and white sesame seeds
- Lime wedges
- Place the beef strips in a small, non-reactive shallow dish or resealable zipper bag.
- Mix the soy sauce, sesame oil, minced ginger, sambal oelek and garlic together in a small bowl; pour over the sliced beef, toss to coat well then cover and refrigerate for about an hour while you work on the other components of the soup, or up to overnight.
- Combine the chicken or bone broth, water, soy sauce, sesame oil, honey, rice vinegar, sambal oelek, fish sauce, garlic, and ginger in a stock pot. Pound the lemongrass with a meat mallet or blunt object until well bruised and add it to the pan also. Bring to the boil and then lower the heat to a slow simmer. Cover loosely and simmer for 30 minutes, then strain the soup stock through a fine meshed sieve. Return to the pot and keep warm until ready to serve.
- While the stock is simmering, cook the noodles according to the directions on the package and then rinse them briefly under cold running water; drain well and reserve.
- When ready to eat, divide the noodles between 4 bowls, top with beef strips, bean sprouts, grated carrots, green onions and hard boiled eggs. Ladle the hot stock over the soup, garnish with the lime wedges and sesame seeds, if desired, and serve without delay.