Instant Pot Beef Flank in Clear Broth (电压锅清炖牛腩 Dian Ya Guo Qing Dun Niu Nan)
April 16, 2022  Print
Are you feeling under the weather but still want to enjoy a piping hot beef noodle soup with little effort? This is your recipe.
I made this dish, Instant Pot Beef Rough Flank in Clear Broth, as a bowl of beef noodle soup when my husband was not feeling too well a few weeks ago. He said the soup really hit the spot with its pure beef flavor and clear broth.
This dish emphasizes the beef’s natural flavor since no soy sauce or strong seasoning is used. It’s great when you want to experience more of the pure beef taste through a clear broth. It’s also great for times when you are not feeling too well and can’t eat super heavily-flavored food.
One thing I need to emphasize here is that the beef rough flank (牛腩) is not the typical beef flank you may find in a western grocery store. You will get a pretty disappointing result if you use the beef flank or brisket from Western chain grocery or big-box stores. The beef rough flank (牛腩 Niu Nan) used in many Asian recipes comes from the soft muscle under the cow’s chest. It can be from any of the following three parts: flank, plate, or brisket, but it always has a thin sheet of sinewy membrane attached to the meat. At least in the US, grocery stores (except Asian ones) always remove the connective tissues i.e. sinewy membranes, tendons, and also most of the fatty parts when butchering. Yet those connective tissues and fatty parts become so flavorful and tender, and provide a variety of textures after being braised for a long time. I think it’s such a shame to throw them away!
Once you get the beef part done, simply follow my instructions for turning it into a bowl of noodle soup or a stand-alone dish with some veggies. There are many ways to enjoy this dish.
I will be posting a red braised beef rough flank noodle recipe that has a very different taste profile when compared to this one. You can choose between the clear (this recipe) and dark red (will post later) broth depending on your mood. If you like instant pot beef recipes, check out my Instant Pot Braised Beef Short Ribs.
Gluten Free, Low Carb
Preparation Time: ~40 minutes
Total Time: 2.5 hours
Servings: 4 – 6 people
- ~2 lb beef rough flank (牛腩)1
- 1 2-inch long piece of ginger
- 3-4 green onions
- 2 tablespoons Chinese Shaoxing cooking wine
- 4 – 6 cups of water
- ~1/2 teaspoon kosher salt or more to taste
- pinch of freshly ground white peppercorns
- daikon radish or baby bok choy (optional)
- Cut the beef rough flank into large chunks (about 2 x 2 inch). This is my least favorite step since the beef rough flank tends to be quite slippery. Make sure you have a sharp knife. Rinse the chunks of beef rough flank several times, then soak them in cold water for about 30 minutes. Rinse at least once during the 30 minutes. The more rinsing the better. This helps get more blood and impurities out.
- While waiting, peel and slice the ginger. Cut the green onions into large pieces.
- When the rough flank chunks are done soaking, rinse them one more time. Then add the chunks and half of ginger and green onions in a large sauce pan. Cover with 4 to 6 cups of cold water (make sure the water is cold) so the beef chunks are completely submerged. Bring to a boil. When the liquid starts boiling, remove the lid and skim off the scum that is floating on top. Continue boiling for 10 more minutes while skimming off more scum. Then take all the beef chunks out. Rinse the beef several times to remove any surface scum. Save the liquid in the sauce pan.
- Add the chunks to an instant pot along with the rest of the ginger and green onions. Pour the liquid first through a colander or a thin mesh strainer to further remove any small pieces of scum, then pour the filtered liquid into the instant pot. Add a half-teaspoon of Kosher salt. Add some freshly ground white peppercorns. Close and lock the instant pot. Make sure the steam valve points towards “sealing,” and not “venting.” Press the “Meat Stew” button on the Instant Pot and change the timer to 60 minutes.
- When the Instant Pot is done cooking the beef rough flank, it will switch to the “Keep Warm” mode automatically. You can use a utensil to manually switch the valve to the “Venting” position to let out the steam. (WARNING: Never use your hand to turn the valve as the steam will be hot. ALWAYS follow all safety instructions that come with your particular Instant Pot.) Optionally, if you are not pressed for time, wait 15-20 minutes until the Instant Pot naturally releases pressure. No matter the method, be sure to wait until the little floater next to the valve drops down before opening the lid. Once the lid is open, used a strainer or skimmer to remove all the aromatic ingredients (ginger and green onions). Add more salt to taste.
- Eat the beef and the liquid right away or store them in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. You can use either of the below steps to complete the dish.
- Beef Rough Flank Noodle Soup: (1) Wash a few baby bok choy and cut them in halves or quarters. (2) Heat a large pot of water. When the water boils, add the baby bok choy and a pinch of salt. Cook for 3 minutes then transfer all the baby bok choy out and drain. (3) Add the desired amount of noodles to the water and cook according to the instructions. When the noodles are done cooking, rinse them with cold water. Drain the noodles and add them to large bowls. (4) While waiting for the noodles to get ready, reheat all the beef flank chunks and the accompanying liquid. (5) Add a few baby bok choy into each noodle bowl, then a few pieces of beef rough flank chunks. Pour enough beef broth onto each bowl. Sprinkle some green onions and enjoy!
- Beef Rough Flank with Daikon Radish: (1) Heat the beef and accompanying liquid. (2) While waiting for it to boil, wash and peel a daikon radish. Cut the daikon into cubes or round slices. (3) Once the liquid boils, add the daikon and cook for 5 to 10 minutes. Turn of the heat and add more salt to taste. Sprinkle some green onions and Enjoy!
- You can get beef rough flank (牛腩) from most Asian grocery stores. Make sure there is a thin white sinewy membrane attached to the meat. Beef rough flank can be from any of the following three parts: flank, plate, or brisket, but it always has a thin sheet of sinewy membrane attached to the meat. At least in the US, grocery stores (except Asian ones) always remove the connective tissues i.e. sinewy membranes, tendons, and also most of the fatty parts when butchering.
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