Feast from the East – Ngau Yuk Fun – Beef Noodles across two borders

Recipe courtesy of Psychologies Magazine (February 2017) and taken from “Malaysia : Recipes from a Family Kitchen” written by MasterChef 2014 winner, Ping Coombes.

This is a wonderfully comforting dish influenced by a delicious food stall in Ping’s home town of Ipoh in Malaysia and one in Thailand.

Makes : 2 bowls

Beef noodlesIngredients :
1.5kg beef bones
5cm cinnamon stick
30g fresh root ginger, cut into thick slices, unpeeled
2 star anise
8 cloves
1.7l water
1 1/2 tblsp chicken stock powder
200g mooli or daikon radish, peeled and cut into chunks (optional)
50g calf’s liver, trimmed, very thinly sliced and covered with cold water until required
100g prime beef fillet, very thinly sliced, at room temperature
Few pinches of sea salt
2 x 100g balls of wonton noodles
Vegetable oil for dressing
1 spring onion, finely chopped
4-5 celery leaves
Bird’s Eye Chilli and Soy Dip or dried red chilli flakes, to serve

Step One : Preheat the oven to 200oC / 400oF / Gas Mark 6.  Place the beef bones in a roasting tin and roast for 20 minutes.

Step Two : Put the roasted beef bones, cinnamon, sliced ginger, star anise, cloves, water and chicken stock powder into a large saucepan and bring to the boil.  Lower the heat and simmer for 1 1/2 hours.  After 15 minutes of simmering, remove the cinnamon from the stock.

Step Three : Add the mooli or daikon radishes, if using, to the pan after the broth has been simmering for approximately 1 1/2 hours.  Simmer for a further 20-30 minutes, until softened.  If you’re not using the radishes, ignore this step and just simmer the broth for approximately 1 3/4 hours.

Step Four : Strain the broth through a fine sieve into a separate pan and set aside, discarding everything left in the sieve, except the mooli or daikon radishes, if using.  Place these back into the broth.

Step Five : Drain the calf’s liver and pat it dry.  Season the beef fillet and calf’s liver with a pinch of salt and put to one side.  Bring the broth to the boil and season with salt to taste.

Step Six : Bring a separate pan of water to the boil, add a pinch of salt and cook the noodles for a few minutes, until al dente.  Drain in a colander.  If the noodles are a little slimy, keep them in the colander and pour over some boiling water to get rid of the excess starch.

Step Seven : Dress the noodles with a little vegetable oil to keep them from sticking together, and divide them between two bowls.

Step Eight : Arrange the slices of beef fillet on top of the cooked noodles.  Place all the slivers of calf’s liver in a large slotted spoon, then lower them into the broth and cook for 10-15 seconds.  Then, lift them out and arrange on top of the noodles.

Step Nine : Take the mooli or daikon, if using, out of the broth and place them around the meat in the bowls.  Make sure the broth is still boiling and ladle it generously over the beef and liver.  Garnish generously with spring onion and celery leaves.

Step Ten : Serve immediately with the Chilli and Soy Dip or a large pinch of dried red chilli flakes.

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