Authentic Chinese Beef Noodle Soup Recipe: Grandma’s Kitchen

Now that I live off-campus, I’ve realized how much I crave home cooking. I didn’t miss it while living off of dining hall food, but that’s probably because they distracted me with differently disguised fat.

While I’m trying to eat a balanced, temporarily-omnivorous diet (earlier this week I realized that I haven’t been eating enough protein), I try to find recipes that are more protein-based rather than carb-based. The good thing about this recipe is that it can be tweaked to reflect either!

Thankfully, my grandma’s taught me the Authentic Chinese Beef Noodle Soup recipe! And because I’m such a savvy cook (ha. ha.) I can cook this for myself anytime! I usually try not to eat red meat though, so maybe not.

(c) Chinese Grandma  Careful now, CG, there's a new grandma on the block.
(c) Chinese Grandma
Careful now, CG, there’s a new grandma on the block.

Chinese Beef Noodle Soup has always been a favorite dish of mine. Usually, Asian dishes are meant for everyone, to be shared and paired with a bowl of rice. However, when you ordered a bowl of Chinese Beef Noodle Soup, people knew you were serious about gettin’ your grub on. How could I have packed on the fat if not for this?

It’s simple and easily replicated so that you don’t have to go to a Chinese restaurant to get your Beef Noodle Soup fix! The next time you go to a Chinese restaurant, you can focus your taste buds on trying new dishes!

THE RECIPE 

Serving size: 4-5

Ingredients: 

ingredients: before
ingredients: before
  • Beef Shank [2 lb, chopped into pieces, usually large bite sizes. Remember: the smaller the piece, the quicker it cooks!]
  • Green Onion/Scallion [1 bunch, ends trimmed, chopped in half]
  • Garlic [1 whole bulb, peeled. You can choose to chop in large chunks]
  • Soy Bean Paste [1.5 tbsp]
  • Star anise [8 pieces] (optional)
  • Soy Sauce
  • Salt
  • Ginger [peeled, sliced 1/2 stem]
  • Sugar
  • Bacardi [2 ladles] (grandma’s special kick)

IMG_1173

IMG_1176

 

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Healthy: 

  • bunch of spinach

Directions: 

  1. Cover the bottom of the pot with vegetable oil and place garlic, ginger, and green onion in to sauté until the garlic is browned. Add the soy bean paste and stir, making sure it is evenly distributed.
    Grandma: “Browning the garlic makes the flavor come out. Smells good, right?”
    IMG_1181
  2. IMG_1170
  3. Add the beef shank pieces and stir, adding the 2 ladles of Bacardi in while doing so.
    IMG_1185
  4. As the beef is browning on the outside, first add 2-3 ladles of soy sauce. Then 2 tbsp of sugar.
    Grandma: “Taste it to see if you like it!”
    Me: But… the beef isn’t fully cooked ye—ok.
    IMG_1186
  5. Add 4 cups of water, or however much gives you the ratio of meat to soup that you like. Add a few more ladles of soy sauce, to taste. If still not to taste, or, if you’re a poor college student like me, add some salt because that soy sauce ain’t cheap. And we don’t use it often enough to get the huge Chinese family economy size.
    IMG_1187

For the rest of the recipe, click [HERE]

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Just so you know, the age limit to see a pediatrician is 18

One day after coming home for break, I told Mom I needed to see a doctor because of some mysterious rib pain (which still isn’t gone, by the way). She gave me a number and told me to schedule my own appointment.

Lady: Hi, how can I help you?
Me: Hi, I’d like to schedule an appointment for mysterious, annoying rib pain? (This is always said like a question for some reason)
Lady: Is this for you or for your child? (really, this should’ve been my first clue about this particular number)
Me: Me….
Lady: Ok! Can I have your name and date of birth?
Me: Michelle… 1991.
Lady: Oh… [extremely awkward pause as she tries to figure how to word it] We usually only accept patients ages 0-18… Do you still want to make an appointment…?
Me: Um… I’ll call you back.

I bet she and her fellow secretaries all had a good laugh that day. “You’ll never believe what just happened… a 21 year old just tried to make an appointment with a pediatrician!”

But I also had some laughs… and some revelations.

First of all, did I not go to the doctor’s for 3 years?? Not even a check up? How else was I (mostly my mom, really) so oblivious to this?? I guess I’m the poster child of health then. Go me. On another note, however, if I die sometime this year, we’ll all know it was because of a lack of yearly checkups.

Or death by chocolate. Or overeating. I guess my death will actually be more of a mystery. Should I be leading a healthier lifestyle?

Crushes History, or, Crushtory (If You Will) Part 1

Before actually entering (a more accurate description here would be pushed into the deep, dark pool of) the dating scene, I only had a few crushes. But the few that I had basically took over my life. It was like being in reciprocated love—the highs when we were together—with a sucker punch of Just-Kidding-you’re-a-crazy-bitch.

Let’s jump back through the time portal.

A few crushes here and there in Junior High and High School which were mostly me slapping a face onto my “ideal man.” Actually, it was me vomiting idyllic projections onto the guy without him knowing. Stalking Admiring from afar.

Give me this instead. I know exactly what to do…

But in college, boy did I wise up. Actual dating seemed weird to me my first two years of college. You didn’t even know them, how would that interaction even happen? “Hi, uh, I think you’re gorgeous so on the off chance that you have an awesome personality, let’s subject ourselves to an hour and a half of maybe-good conversation”? What if you don’t click at all? Then it’s going to be awkward the next time you see each other around campus. “That’s the girl I almost had a thing for. Thank god I found out she’s crazy…”

So, I friendzoned myself. All the time, with a side of Creepy.

That’s a step up, right? Going from admiring from a distance to actually talking to them? I think I deserve a gold medal. It’s not like I have to tell them I liked them. They’re going to fall for me first! … publicly… !

Mario and I met where any other couple meets: the badminton courts. If you’ve ever wanted to climb up the social ladder, I suggest you not look towards badminton. If you wanted a good recommendation for grad school, however…

He caught my attention because he was the first normal-looking white guy I’ve ever seen on the courts.  Usually it’s nerds of all colors in the yellow-brown family. But I dismissed him immediately because he was attractive. In my experience, attractive guys provide the least stimulating conversation.

During this time, it was my Lost Years at the university so I was jonesing for some close friends. Around the time I met Mario, I met Jonie, who was petite and fiery. We clicked on and off the court and were soon inseparable.The three of us traveled to tournaments together, stayed in hotel rooms together, and went out at night together. I wasn’t 21 at the time, so I was the Super Baby of the group.

My love for him grew. But I refused to hang out alone with him. Guys had to make the first move and at least I was getting SOME airtime with him, right? The fact that they hung out without me meant nothing.

A comic strip has never described my love life so well...

The one time we hung out it was at a dive bar indie concert. And it was clearly not a date, although I did treat it like one. I got a little too tipsy on pre-mixed margarita, stood awkwardly while I waited for him to pay cover (not part of the plan, but I made it so), and then bought him donuts afterward. I felt bad, so I paid him back during the ride home.

I was getting desperate because I knew Jonie, my only connection to Mario, was moving away at the end of that year. And Mario? He was graduating soon. But that didn’t matter as much because without Jonie, there was nothing.

So it continued. Nothing. Nothing. Something? Nothing.

Soon, it was summer and whatever small momentum we had was lost.

Anytime anyone asks me about what happened, I get snappy. And they’re confused because everything happened in my head. 

Mom: So, what happened to that Mario guy? Is he still on campus?
Me: I think he left. (Actually he didn’t, but explaining why we haven’t hung out is worse)
Mom: He left without saying goodbye?! I thought you guys were friends.
Me: HE’S JUST LIKE THAT, MA. Pull into McDonalds right now.

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How to Talk to Anyone

Has anyone ever said to you: “Oh my god, we’re like the same person!”? That level of connection that happens on rare occasions and leave you SO happy? Well, currently, I’m the “same person” as about 10 people, all of whom are … Continue reading

Last Minute Spring Break Planning: GO!

I’m actually supposed to be working at my internship right now, but an idea’s in my head and I can’t get it out.

I have a really bad habit of suddenly wanting to flee (escapist, remember?). And right now, with spring break so close on my heels, I want to flee to NATURE.

Originally, I was planning on such a chill spring break. One where I didn’t need to spend money and where I could recharge before getting back to that school grind again. But, I don’t know, is that me? I would feel so sucky if I just bummed around at home for spring break.

Also, lately, I’ve been feeling really grossly lethargic and what’s-the-point-of-all this lately, which I’m hoping is more because of the weather than a recurrence of depression smacking me in the face.

So, I talked to my best friend about it; she also goes through periods like this. She asked me what I would do if I could do just one thing at this moment. And I said I wanted to go hiking.

Thus, my spree of Appalachian/Smoky Mountains research begun. Why those national parks? Well, I kind of also promised my grandparents I’d be visiting them in North Carolina, which happens to be in those vicinities. (Here I cheated and enlisted their help in finding me a roundtrip plane ticket while I secretly searched for things to do other than being a great granddaughter)

Oh, spontaneity.

I don’t recommend this by the way. Spontaneity is hugely fun and rewarding, but soul-sucking in a financial sort of way.

While doing my research, I felt like I was trying to learn about the entire trail. As a pretty visual person, it’s hard just to go off of city names and then trying to locate accommodations and whether or not there’s even a trail nearby. And there are no comprehensive guides for me to start with!

It just had me all frantic.

From experiences, spontaneity in this regard is bad. You need to know the surroundings, the types of accommodation available and the general mood of the town. If you go in with no accommodation planned, you’re either going to sleep in your car or shell out $200 more than you wanted to for a 8-room cabin all to yourself.

But I think I finally figured it out. You can follow my process if you’re having similar difficulties.

First, I narrowed it down to a section of the Appalachian/Smoky Mountains that I’d want to hike. For me, it’s anywhere in North Carolina and the closest from where my grandparents are. The closest one is about 5 hours and 45 minutes away.

Ok, no big…

Second, I googled that area. I chose Hot Springs, NC. The trails, accommodation, quality of the overall place. Read a ton of reviews and then google some pictures so you know what you’re getting. Either way, anywhere near a national park is beautiful, so I would just worry about the availability and popularity of the place. Find the perfect balance between isolated and so crowded you’re basically breathing in someone else’s mouth.

WHERE IS THIS??

You have to check out what kind of trails you’ll be getting and if it’s worth it. I’m not going to drive almost 6 hours away just so I can walk 15 minutes of trail. That’s a waste of time. Make sure it’s not too difficult for you to tackle either.

Once you’ve picked a few trails you think would be fun to try, check out the accommodations, if you want any. Now 6 hours each way… that’s 12 hours out of my day. If I leave around 6 a.m., I’d get there by 12. 6 hours isn’t bad enough to absolutely need accommodation, but if things get really fun, it might be a good idea. If you google your area and add the word hostel, there’s bound to be some cropping….

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Have you ever backpacked through national parks? I’d LOVE to hear about your experiences, tips, whatever you have to share! 

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