Beef Soup w/ christmassy taste

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Jun 20th, 2011, 12:41 AM
  #1
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Beef Soup w/ christmassy taste

Hi guys, I'm trying to identify a soup I ate while in Macao last year. Knowing that some residents patronize these forums, I hope it's ok to post a rather culinary than travel-centered question.

I had this beef and noodle soup for breakfast in a local place - rich and brownish, not clear. Nobody in there spoke enough English to answer questions about ingredients. What struck me as rather unusual was a subtaste vaguely reminiscent of Christmas bakery. I assume that one or more of cinnamon, cloves, anise are part of the recipe. Now, while this was the one time I remember most vividly, I came across this "christmassy" soup more often, in Hongkong, but also Thailand, so it is definitely not something pertaining just to Macao. It was certainly different from Vietnamese Pho though.

Maybe somebody could give me a name to start googling or even link to a recipe. It would make my day!

Thanks, Hendrik
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Jun 20th, 2011, 03:58 AM
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Beef and noodle soup for breakfast? Are you sure it's not rice porridge ("congee") instead?
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Jun 20th, 2011, 04:34 AM
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Oh yes, quite sure. I really dislike porridge or congee, so I would know.
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Jun 20th, 2011, 04:53 AM
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Here are my guesses:

1/. Beef brisket noodles - http://smurfmatic.net/blog/archives/...ood-in-hk.html

2/. Beef noodles - http://www.quirkymalaysia.com/2011/0...ade-macau.html

3/. Lai Foong Beef Noodle - http://tummyfull.blogspot.com/2008/0...ef-noodle.html

4/. Beef noodles with french toast! - http://www.worldisround.com/articles...0/photo28.html

* all the above I just google.

Non of these are traditional breakfast dishes and the only thing that I can think of is "Par Kou Teh", popular with the Malay and Singaporean Chinese but that has a clear broth and use mostly pork. Beef with noodles, IMO, is very rare for a breakfast dish but perhaps you ate there late morning?
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Jun 20th, 2011, 03:36 PM
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I have no idea whether or not this was typical BF fare, just ignore that bit. I ordered it by pointing - politely - at what a guy at another table was having. It could've been sheep testicles, but luckily wasn't. The one defining thing I'm looking for are these typical Christmas spices, very unusual in savioury cooking to a Middle European.
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Jun 20th, 2011, 05:56 PM
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I think the soup is made from odds and ends of bones and meat and internal organ. Cloves and anise are common in braising beef and it can also disguise the gamey taste of the organ meat. Throw in some ginger, shallots, little onions, Szechuan peppers, some hoisin sauce at the end if you have it. It's one of those things that you improvise with whatever you have or the cheapest cut of meat and bones or whatever the butcher is willing to give you. It cannot go wrong. Just keep tasting the soup as it goes along.
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Jul 7th, 2011, 03:56 AM
  #7
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Just to wrap this up, from further searching and finally trying recipes I think it is Niu Rou Mian that I was looking for. Having eaten it again, I agree it is not very much a bf item. But then for a Westerner so is chicken rice soup. And congee is no item at all, ever ;-)

Thanks for helping everyone, enjoy your travels and your food.

Hendrik
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