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Get ready for a flavor explosion with this hearty and delicious satay beef noodle soup! Thinly sliced marinated flap meat and noodles are served in a rich and aromatic satay sauce with a hot beef broth base, topped off with crunchy bean sprouts, scallions, and crushed peanuts for an incredibly satisfying meal.
Watch how to make this
What makes this dish special
I believe that you get a glimpse of a country's culture through its food. It's one of the main reasons why I love traveling. You get the experience of trying their traditional dishes, the backbone of their food history. It also inspires me to get in the kitchen and learn how to prepare those dishes. On my latest trip to Taiwan, the dish that inspired me was a beef satay noodle dish I fell in love with.
There was one restaurant in particular that prepared this dish especially well. They made their sacha BBQ sauce which was the main flavor component and quickly cooked tender, thinly sliced beef in the sauce. You have the option of enjoying the noodles dry or in a broth and they are always topped with the beef satay along with a few garnishes.
After many attempts, this satay beef noodle soup recipe is my recreation of that wonderful dish. My recipe follows the soup version with a savory beef broth flavored with BBQ sauce. Top the noodle soup with savory juicy beef swimming in that same sacha BBQ sauce and garnish with crushed peanuts, crunchy beansprouts, and fresh scallions. I hope you enjoy this incredibly satisfying meal as much as I did!
- Flap meat: Also known as sirloin tip or sirloin flap, flap meat is a lean cut with a rich flavor. If you can't find flap meat, use flank steak or skirt steak instead.
- Chinese sacha BBQ sauce: One of the key flavors for this dish, the Chinese sacha BBQ sauce has a complex fairly both sweet and salty with a hint of spiciness. You can also use the spicy sacha BBQ sauce if you want to add some heat.
- Dark soy sauce: A thicker, dark, and slightly sweet soy sauce. If you can't find dark soy sauce, substitute it with regular soy sauce.
- Shrimp paste: The shrimp paste adds umami and salt to the satay beef noodle soup. You can substitute it with fish sauce, but the flavor will be slightly different. I used Pantai Shrimp paste with soya bean oil for this recipe.
- Oyster sauce: Another flavorful ingredient that adds a savory, umami flavor. You can also use vegetarian oyster sauce.
- Curry powder: Although curry is not a dominant flavor, the spice adds another layer of flavor to the noodle soup.
- Vegetables: Fresh bean sprouts, crushed peanuts, and scallions add texture and balance to the dish. You can also add other vegetables such as bok choy or spinach.
How to make satay beef noodle soup
Step 1: Marinate the Beef
Start by marinating the thinly sliced flap meat in a mixture of beaten egg, soy sauce, oyster sauce, cornstarch, dark soy sauce, granulated sugar, and water. Slowly add the water one tablespoon at a time, gently squeezing the beef to help it absorb the liquid. This motion of slowly adding the water while mixing helps tenderize the beef.
Once the marinade is well combined, add a tablespoon of olive oil and mix it in. Let the meat marinate for one hour.
When you're ready to cook the meat, heat a tablespoon of oil in a large sauté pan over high heat. Lay the meat in an even layer; you may need to cook the beef in batches. Cook until browned on both sides, but do not fully cook the beef since we will finish it in the sauce. Then, remove the meat from the pan and set it aside.
Step 2: Prepare the Sauce
While the meat is marinating, you can prepare the satay sauce. In a medium bowl, combine the sacha BBQ sauce, oyster sauce, soy sauce, dark soy sauce, shrimp paste, granulated sugar, curry powder, chili oil, and black pepper. Mix everything until it's well combined, and set it aside.
Next, heat two tablespoons of oil in a sauté pan over medium heat. Add minced shallots and garlic to the pan and sauté until they become aromatic and softened, which should take about a minute. Add the satay sauce mixture to the pan and bring it to a simmer. Lower the heat and let it continue to simmer for about five minutes. Remove one cup of the satay sauce and set it aside. Add the beef to the pan and toss it to coat it in the sauce. Keep it on a low simmer to stay warm.
Step 3: Putting it All Together
Combine the reserved one cup of satay sauce with beef broth in a medium pot to finish the dish. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat and keep it warm.
Cook the flour noodles according to the instructions on the package, then drain them and portion them out into four bowls. Pour two cups of the soup into each bowl of noodles, then top each bowl with the satay beef. Garnish each bowl with bean sprouts, chopped scallions, and crushed peanuts, and serve immediately.
This recipe requires a bit of prep work, but it's well worth the effort. The marinade and the sauce can both be made ahead of time to save time when you're ready to cook. Additionally, if you prefer a milder flavor, you can reduce or omit the chili oil and black pepper. Conversely, if you like it spicier, feel free to add more.
Frequently asked questions
You can find Chinese sacha BBQ sauce at Asian grocery stores or on Amazon.
Yes, you can use a different type of noodle if you prefer such as udon noodles or egg noodles. However, flour noodles are a good choice for this recipe because they have a chewy texture that pairs well with satay beef.
Yes, you can make the satay beef and broth ahead of time and store them separately in the refrigerator. When you're ready to serve, simply reheat the broth and beef and cook the noodles according to the package directions.
More Chinese noodle recipes
Looking for more Chinese noodle dishes? Try these:
Satay Beef Noodle Soup
- 1 lb flap meat thinly sliced into 2-inch strips
- 1 large egg beaten
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon dark soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
- ¼ cup water
- 2 tablespoons olive oil divided
- 2 cups water
- ⅔ cup Chinese sacha BBQ sauce
- ¼ cup oyster sauce
- 2 tablespoon soy sauce
- 4 teaspoons dark soy sauce
- 4 teaspoons shrimp paste
- 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons curry powder
- 2 teaspoons chili oil
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 4 shallots minced
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 8 cups high-quality beef broth
- 12 ounces flour noodles
- 1 cup bean sprouts
- ¼ cup chopped scallions
- ¼ cup finely crushed peanuts
- Marinate flap meat. Combine meat with egg, soy sauce, oyster sauce, cornstarch, dark soy sauce, and sugar until well combined. Very slowly add water 1 tablespoon at a time, gently squeezing beef to help it absorb the water. Add 1 tablespoon oil, mixing to combine. Let marinate for 1 hour.
- Combine ingredients for satay sauce including water, Chinese BBQ sauce, oyster sauce, soy sauce, dark soy sauce, shrimp paste, sugar, curry powder, chili oil, and black pepper in a medium bowl. Set aside.
- Remove meat from marinade. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large saute pan over high heat. Lay meat in an even layer and sear until browned on both sides but do not fully cook the beef. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Wipe pan clean and heat another 2 tablespoons oil over medium heat. Add shallots and garlic and saute until aromatic and softened, about 1 minute. Add satay sauce mixture and bring to a simmer. Lower heat to low and continue to simmer for 5 minutes. Remove 1 cup satay sauce and set aside. Add beef and toss to combine. Bring to a simmer and keep warm.
- Combine reserved 1 cup satay sauce with beef broth in a medium pot. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and keep warm.
- Cook noodles according to directions on package. Drain and portion into 4 bowls. Pour 2 cups soup per bowl and top with satay beef. Garnish with ¼ cup bean sprouts, 1 tablespoon chopped scallions, and 1 tablespoon crushed peanuts per bowl. Serve immediately.