Taiwanese beef noodle soup is a complex dish. There is no one set recipe, and it can take days just to make one bowl. The soup can take on many different flavor profiles depending on how people choose to cook it.
At Ho Foods in New York, Taiwanese-American chef Richard Ho believes he’s landed on the recipe that best replicates the homemade beef noodle soup he had growing up in Los Angeles.
After graduating from the University of California, Berkeley, with a degree in economics, Ho went to New York to make his bones in the the city’s restaurant scene. He landed a job at Blue Ribbon Sushi and managed the front of the house for six years.
“When you spend 10 years around kitchens, you’re bound to see something and learn something from it,” he says.
After his stint at Blue Ribbon, Ho decided it was time to open his own shop, with Taiwanese beef noodle soup as the sole entrée.
“She didn’t always make it because it took her a long time.”
“The reason we picked beef noodle soup is because as a kid, that was the one dish I would always ask my mom to make for me,” he says. “She didn’t always make it because it took her a long time.”
But when she did, it was special. His mother frequently experimented with flavors, and Ho learned by observing her. Now, he combines some of that home-cooking instinct with restaurant-kitchen precision and fresh, local ingredients.
“On the front end, we want it to remind people of home,” Ho says, “but on the back end, we want to be as consistent and considerate as possible.”
Watch the full video to see how Richard Ho makes his beef noodle soup.