• (SBS Food)

Combining tender beef cheeks and just-blanched bok choy with a lush, layered broth, this easy Taiwanese dish makes for a hearty and wholesome dinner. Try the slow-cooked wonder on the weekend and swap Sunday roast for hearty noodle soup.






Skill level

Average: 3.4 (105 votes)



  • 1 litre water
  • 1 kg beef cheeks
  • 1 carrot, peeled and roughly chopped 
  • 1 tomato skinned (see Note) and cut into chunks
  • 3 cloves crushed garlic
  • 3 slices ginger, bruised with side of cleaver
  • 2 green shallots roughly cut to fit in the pot
  • 1½ tbsp chilli bean paste (see Note) 
  • 100 ml soy sauce
  • ¼ tsp ground pepper
  • 2 tsp chilli oil (see Note)
  • 2 tsp honey or raw sugar
  • 60 ml (¼ cup) rice wine (miuchu) (see Note) or red wine
  • 1 five spice pouch (see Note

To serve

  • 300 g dried rice noodles (or preferred type)
  • 1 bunch baby bok choy, quartered lengthways
  • chilli to serve (optional)

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


The following recipe has been tested and edited by SBS Food and may differ slightly from the podcast.

Combine the broth ingredients in a large pot, bring to boil, simmer gently for 3 hours until beef is tender. (Note: If a thermos pot is available, simply bring the broth ingredients to boil in a pot for a few minutes, transfer into the thermos pot and leave overnight.) Slice cooked beef and set aside.

Fill a separate saucepan with water, bring to boil, then simmer noodles until just cooked, adding bok choy for the final 30 seconds to 1 minute, drain. Place noodles, bok choy and beef in bowls, pour over hot broth, adding more water to taste if necessary.



• To skin a tomato, cut a small cross at the base, cover with boiling water and sit for 30 seconds. Place into cold water then peel off skin.

• Chilli bean paste, chilli oil, miuchu and five spice pouches are available from most Chinese food stores. If spice pouches are unavailable, combine star anise, whole cloves, cinnamon, fennel and Sichuan pepper in a small square of cheesecloth and tie with cotton string.