• 1 T oil
  • 1 thick slice of ginger
  • 2 dried red chili peppers
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1.5 lbs of beef shank (usually sold as one piece)
  • 2 cups of water
  • 0.5 cups of soy sauce
  • 1 star anise spice
  • noodles
  • vegetables


  1. Take a thick (1/4 inch) slice of ginger and smash it with the flat of a knife to severely bruise it.
  2. Cut the beef shank into cubes about 1.5 inches on the side.
  3. Sauté ginger, garlic, and crushed red chili peppers in oil in a pressure cooker.
  4. Brown beef shank in the pressure cooker.
  5. Add water and soy sauce. If necessary, add more liquid in the same proportion to mostly cover the beef.
  6. Add the star anise. Seal the pressure cooker and heat it up to full pressure.
  7. Let the pressure cooker cook at full pressure for about 25 minutes.
  8. Remove from heat, and allow pressure cooker to cool enough for the pressure to be released before opening.
  9. Separately, boil noodles and vegetables and combine with beef and soup from the pressure cooker to serve.

Note: Different pressure cookers have different instructions. Ours required 25 minutes of cooking under pressure, which we only determined after some experimentation. Beef shank has some pretty tough tendons and if they aren't easy to bite through, then you didn't cook it long enough. It was only after re-cooking the beef in the pressure cooker that ours became tender enough.

It is also possible to cook the beef with all the same ingredients in a regular pot. It will take longer than a pressure cooker, but to aid in tenderizing the beef, bring the mixture to a boil for a couple of minutes, allow it to cool, and then repeat a few more times. This method should be faster than keeping it at a constant boil.

Beef shank comes from the lower shin of a cow. It's pretty tough but very flavorful. It's possible that other stew meat may also work.

Basic chinese flour-based noodles work well in this dish with baby bok choy. Spaghetti noodles also work surprisingly well. We recommend Barilla brand spaghetti if you try this.

This recipe cooks enough beef for four large bowls of noodles.