Hunan Beef and Shining Noodle Soup

Source: Henry Chung's Hunan Cookbook

Total Cooking Time: 1 to 1 and 1/2 hours

2 ounces beef, shredded

1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
dash black pepper
1 teaspoon soy sauce

2-3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon fermented black beans
1 teaspoon minced garlic
4 cups chicken broth
1 cup shining noodles (soaked in warm water for 20-30 minutes until soft)
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon scallions, chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
1 teaspoon hot red pepper powder (optional: this will make soup spicy)

In a dish, mix the beef with the marinade. Use your fingers and make sure the meat is thoroughly coated to keep it from drying out as it cooks.

Heat a wok over highest heat for a minute; then add vegetable oil and heat until smoking hot. Add salt, black beans, and garlic, and mash them all together over high heat to create a strong smell. Add the chicken broth and the noodles and heat to a full boil. Add the shredded beef, soy sauce and hot red pepper powder (if you want the soup to be spicy) and stir until soup returns to a boil.

Remove the soup from the heat. Garnish with sesame oil and chopped scallions.

You can make the soup thick by added more shining noodles and/or beef.