Spicy Beef and Radish Soup


Today was such a fall day, windy, wet with just a little peek of sun.  Perfect soup weather in my opinion, and since I’m the one that was thinking up dinner that’s what we had.  I’ve had spicy beef soup at restaurants before, and I love it.  Sometimes you get a restaurant that is a little heavy on the spicy part, which my hubs loves, but I’m a little bit more of a wimp.  So to solve this at home I made some chili oil that would add extra heat for those that wanted it but still being able to keep the pot of soup at a decent level for the rest of us.

This version is a bit quicker than the way most restaurants do it, but I really didn’t have the time to make the homemade beef stock from scratch nor did I have the chili paste on hand.  Even with those omissions all the flavors from the spices really make this a delicious soup.  Next time I’ll get some marrow bones to make a more intense broth.  Also, I should note that I added the shitake mushrooms and kombu to add to the flavor of the store bought broth, if you make your own you could omit those.

For the Recipe:

4 c. beef stock, if you have homemade definitely use it

3 c. water

4 inch piece of ginger sliced

10 garlic cloves (if you are not a huge fan of garlic you can reduce)

3 star anise

1 tbsp. Sichuan peppercorns

1 tbsp. white peppercorns (you can substitute black)

1 tbsp. red pepper powder (more if you want it to be spicier)

2 cinnamon sticks (do not substitute powdered cinnamon)

2 tsp. fennel seeds

2 onions, quartered

3 bay leaves

5 inch piece of kombu (dried kelp)

8 dried shitake mushrooms

2 lbs chuck roast, or brisket, or flank steak, cut into bite size chunks

4 baby bok choy (or any other Asian green you like)

2 1/2 cups Korean radish or daikon, cut into chunks

8 oz. noodles, you can use bean thread, Japanese ramen style (my favorite) or any other noodle of choice, cooked according to package

For Garnish:

cilantro, chopped

green onions/scallions, chopped

bean sprouts (I’m the only one that likes these in the soup at my house)


In a pot large enough to hold on the ingredients heat up the broth, water, ginger, garlic, star anise, both peppercorns, red pepper powder, cinnamon sticks, fennel seeds, onions bay leaves, kombu, and mushrooms.  Simmer all ingredients for one hour.  Strain out the liquid, discard all solids, and put back on the stove.  Add the meat and simmer (not boil) another 1 1/2 hours, until the meat is nice and tender.  While the meat is cooking you can cut up your vegetables, also check the cooking instructions on your choice of noodles so you can make sure they are done when the soup is for quick serving.  About 10 minutes before the meat is done add the radish, depending on how large you cut the chunks will depend on cooking time, usually about 10-12 minutes (but they are quite forgiving if you go a little over…).  The bok choy will only take a few minutes, I like to put the stalks in first and the green tops a few minutes later.  Place some noodles in a bowl, add a good amount of the meat and vegetables then ladle broth over the top.  Finish off with the garnish.  Enjoy!!



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