Lanzhou Beef Noodle Soup

Spicy Beef Noodle Soup

Lanzhou Beef Noodle Soup or Lanzhou Beef Lamian is a type of a very spicy soup of sliced beef, radish, red chili oil and chewy hand-pulled wheat noodles. A dish that originated in Lanzhou, China this where it is known for the springy texture of the noodles used. It was said that during the old days in Gansu province noodles use certain kinds of ash to give that effect on the dough, due to the high alkali content of potassium carbonate present on the ash, it makes the noodles soft inhibiting the development of gluten (similar effect of lye water on rice cakes)

Today there might be a different methods but they still achieve the same results, it is also retained its original characteristics of “1 clear, 2 white, 3 red, 4 green, 5 yellow” (一清、二白、三红、四绿、五黄) which signifies clear soup, white radish, red chili oil, green coriander (though I used green onions on mine) and yellow noodles. This noodle dish was credited to a young Hui man who sold this noodle soup in the streets of Lanzhou during the Qing Dynasty.

Today we will be making a nearly similar soup after I tried it on one of the Chinese restaurants here in Auckland, its flavourful broth infused with spicy chillies is so addictive and perfect for the cold weather here in Auckland at the moment. The chewy noodles adds to its character which makes it one perfect comfort meal. This is not your normal beef noodle soup but definitely a better version!

Lanzhou Beef Noodle Soup
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 6
Beef Noodles
  • 2 kg beef leg bones
  • 1 kg beef shanks
  • 1 litre chicken stock
  • ½ small Daikon radish, thinly sliced
  • 2 large onions, quartered
  • 500 g fresh white chewy wheat noodles (Lamian)
  • ½ head large Chinese cabbage
  • Hot and Spicy Chili Oil (recipe below)
  • Spice bag (recipe below)
  • salt
  • fish sauce
  • spring onions, chopped
  • cilantro, chopped
  • water
Spice bag
Hot and Spicy Chili Oil
  • ¾ cup oil
  • 1 tsp Sichuan peppercorns
  • 3 tbsp red pepper flakes
  • 2 pcs star anise
  • 1 small cinnamon stick
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ¼ teaspoon sugar
  1. Place all spices on a cheese cloth tightly tied on both ends. Set this aside.
  2. In a small pot combine oil, star anise, cinnamon and Sichuan peppercorns. Cook in low heat for 15 minutes or until star anise, cinnamon and Sichuan peppercorns are lightly toasted. Remove and discard the spices then set oil aside.
  3. Turn heat off then add the chilli flakes. Let it cool for 5 minutes then add the salt and sugar.
  4. Place beef bones in a baking sheet and roast on a 200C pre heated oven for 45 minutes.
  5. Large pot add enough water to boil the beef shanks, bring it to a rolling boil for 5 minutes then drain. Rinse beef shanks in cold water and remove any scum on stuck on your pot. Add the shanks, roasted leg bones, onion, chicken stock and the spice bag. Top it up with water until meat and bones are submerged, add a tablespoon of salt then bring it to a boil, simmer in low heat for 2 hours.
  6. Remove the beef shanks then set it aside to let it cool, simmer for hour.
  7. Add the radish then continue to simmer for one more hour. Season with fish sauce.
  8. Blanch your Chinese cabbage in boiling water, set it aside.
  9. Thinly slice beef shanks, slice any meat you can also get from the leg bones, set it aside.
  10. Cook noodles according to packet instructions, then place them on bowls. Place Chinese cabbage on the side then top it with the thinly sliced beef. Ladle a big serving of the soup with radish, then drizzle it with the chilli oil, top with chopped spring onions and cilantro if using. Serve while hot.


Spicy Beef Noodle Soup Wide


1 Response

  1. suituapui says:

    I would love this, I’m sure…and what more, with the fresh New Zealand beef, this would be so so good!

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