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Taiwanese beef noodle soup is the comfort food we all need for the chilly months ahead. This spicy soup combines a fragrant broth with tender beef and chewy noodles, and best of all, you can make it in the Instant Pot!

Overhead view of two bowls of Taiwanese beef noodle soup topped with green onions
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I LOVE Taiwanese beef noodle soup (牛肉麵). It’s a simple dish made with warming spices, garlic cloves, ginger, and chilies. Every bite is full of tender beef shank and noodles and warms you from the inside out. This easy beef noodle soup recipe is the next best thing to the real deal you’ll find in Taiwan, where it’s wildly popular year-round. I vividly remember going to the market, getting beef noodle soup for lunch, and slurping away in 90-degree heat and humidity. WORTH IT.

If you love Chinese-American recipes like my Beijing beef and orange beef, it’s time to take a trip to Taiwan with this spicy beef noodle soup recipe.

Why You’ll Love This Taiwanese Beef Noodle Soup Recipe

  • Made in the Instant Pot. Making beef noodle soup in the Instant Pot is a game-changer. It’s quick, tasty, and basically hands-free. The one-pot recipe below is the one that my mom makes, so you know it’s tried and true!
  • Full of flavor. Like other traditional Asian dishes like Vietnamese bo luc lac, this easy beef soup brims with complex, savory, spicy flavors. Juicy beef, chilies, garlic, ginger, and an array of spices combine in a warming broth with tender onions and tomatoes.
  • Perfect any time. Sure, this soup is wonderful when served on a chilly day. But it’s one of those classic comfort food recipes that you can make year-round. The pressure cooker makes it even easier!
Overhead view of beef noodle soup in white bowl, topped with green onions

What Is Taiwanese Beef Noodle Soup?

Beef noodle soup (牛肉麵) is the national dish of Taiwan, though its origins are Chinese. It consists of tender beef cooked in a delectably spiced broth with freshly simmered noodles and tender vegetables. The savory, salty, fresh, chili-infused flavors are reminiscent of Sichuan-style cuisine and Hunan beef. This recipe combines everything in the Instant Pot for a quick, easy, and flavorful bowlful.

What You’ll Need

Below are some notes on the important ingredients for Tawainese beef noodle soup. You’ll find the full recipe with recommended amounts at the bottom of the post. (Whenever my family makes this recipe, we eyeball the ingredients, so feel free to adjust things to your liking.)

  • Bone-in beef shank – Good substitutes are beef arm, oxtail, chuck roast, skirt, and silverside.
  • Onion and Tomatoes – Regular yellow onion and your choice of tomatoes, cut into quarters.
  • Garlic and Ginger – Freshly minced garlic and ginger root will lend the best flavor.
  • Soy sauce – You can use tamari instead if you prefer.
  • Shaoxing wine (Chinese cooking wine) – Dry sherry can be used in a pinch.
  • Spices – Star anise, cinnamon sticks, ground fennel seed, ground cloves, and ground cumin. In Taiwanese cooking, this combination is known as five-spice.
  • Thai red chilies – You can skip these for a milder soup, or use red pepper flakes if you can’t find them at the grocery store.
  • Asian noodles – You can use any variety you like, and you can add as much or as little as you want, depending on your ideal broth-to-noodle ratio.
  • Green onions – For garnish.
Taiwanese Beef Noodle Soup in white bowl with noodles and beef being picked up with chopsticks

How to Make Taiwanese Beef Noodle Soup in an Instant Pot

Since this is an Instant Pot recipe, it’s super easy to make in any kitchen. It probably takes more effort to assemble the ingredients than it does to actually cook the soup. Here’s what you’ll need to do.

  • Prep the beef. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, then carefully drop in the beef shanks for 2 to 3 minutes to cook off the impurities. Remove the beef from the pot and discard the water. 
  • Make the soup. Add the beef shanks to your pressure cooker, along with the remaining ingredients. (You don’t need to add water because the beef naturally releases liquid throughout the cooking process.) Use the meat preset (or similar) to pressure cook the beef for 25 to 26 minutes.
  • Prep the noodles. Cook the noodles according to the package instructions and divide them into soup bowls.
  • Finish. Once the soup is done and the pressure is released, divide the meat and soup into the bowls with the noodles.

Why Do You Blanch the Beef?

Blanching the beef shanks in boiling water before pressure cooking isn’t essential, but it does produce a clearer broth. Blanching beef removes impurities, which are then discarded with the water before you combine the beef with the other ingredients in the Instant Pot. This process prevents the final soup from turning out murky.

Overhead view of ladle full of beef noodle soup with Instant Pot in background

Tips and Variations

Here are some hints and tips for the best Taiwanese Beef Noodle Soup:

  • Adjust the recipe to taste. If you feel the spices and liquid amounts are not enough, feel free to add more. This recipe is easy to customize!
  • Mind the hot steam. As always when pressure cooking, be careful when opening the lid to your Instant Pot after the cooking time is up. Wear an oven mitt if needed, as the steam will be hot!
  • Make a spice sachet. You can tie the anise, cinnamon sticks, and chilies in a cheesecloth if you like, then pull it out before serving.
  • Add greens. Make this soup with different vegetables such as bok choy, kale, or cabbage.

Frequently Asked Questions

What does Taiwanese beef noodle soup taste like?

This homemade beef noodle soup recipe is savory and spicy thanks to a combination of beef, vegetables, umami-rich soy sauce, cozy spices, and hot chilies.

What is beef noodle soup called in Taiwan?

In Taiwan, traditional beef noodle soup (牛肉麵) goes by the name tai wan niu rou mian.

Beef Noodle Soup in white bowl, topped with sliced green onions

Serving Suggestions

We serve our Tawainese beef noodle soup with a side of cooked spinach, but you can enjoy it as-is, use another cooked green, or substitute a different vegetable. You can also serve this soup with a side of plain white rice or sticky rice along with a smashed Asian cucumber salad or a side of cabbage stir-fry, and fluffy steamed buns for dunking.

Bowl of Taiwanese beef noodle soup topped with minced green onions

How to Store and Reheat Leftovers

  • Fridge. Transfer leftovers to an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 days. For best results, reheat in a pan on the stovetop over medium heat.
  • Freezer. Place it in an airtight container and freeze it for up to 2 months. Let it thaw in the fridge overnight, then warm it on the stovetop.

More Asian-Inspired Soup Recipes

4.70 from 10 votes

Instant Pot Taiwanese Beef Noodle Soup (牛肉麵)

Taiwanese beef noodle soup combines tender beef, fresh noodles, and vegetables in a fragrant, spicy broth. Have this easy soup ready in half the time using your Instant Pot!
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 4



  • 2 ½ pounds (1134 g) bone-in beef shank
  • 1 large onion, quartered
  • 2 tomatoes, quartered
  • 4 peeled garlic cloves
  • 1 piece of large ginger, sliced into large thin pieces
  • ⅓ – ½ cup (79 ml) soy sauce
  • ¼ cup (59 ml) shaoxing wine (Chinese cooking wine)
  • 3 star anise
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • ½ teaspoon ground fennel seed
  • ½ teaspoon ground clove
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • 3 dried Thai red chilies, optional
  • 1-2 pounds (454 g) Asian noodles, depends on how much soup vs. noodle ratio you like
  • Green onions, for topping
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  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil then blanch the beef shanks. You don’t want to cook them all the way through, just about 2-3 minutes. This allows the impurities to get cooked off. Remove the beef shanks and discard the water with the impurities. 
  • Add the beef shanks to the pressure cooker then add the remaining ingredients. You DON’T need to add water because the beef naturally releases water throughout the cooking process.
  • Using the meat preset (or similar), pressure cook the beef. With my mom’s pressure cooker, she had to run the meat preset twice. If this confuses you, just pressure cook it for 25-26 minutes.
  • In the meantime, cook the noodles and divide evenly into bowls.
  • Once the pressure cooker is done and pressure is released, add meat and soup on top of noodles.


  • If you feel the spices and liquid amounts are not enough, feel free to add more. My mom gave me this recipe and since she has been making this for years and years, she pretty much eyeballs it all so tweaking this recipe is very easy to do yourself :)
  • We typically serve this soup with a side of cooked spinach but you can enjoy it with any vegetable of your choosing.


Serving: 1serving, Calories: 590kcal, Carbohydrates: 56g, Protein: 61g, Fat: 13g, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 2g

This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition information can vary for a variety of reasons. For the most precise nutritional data use your preferred nutrition calculator based on the actual ingredients you used in the recipe.

The default measuring system for this website is US Customary. Unit conversions are provided for convenience and as a courtesy only. While we strive to provide accurate unit conversions, please be aware that there may be some discrepancies.

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Recipe Rating


  1. This is one of my absolute favorites! It’s the ultimate comfort soup. I used to make it all the time. I got rid of my instapot when I moved but I might have to buy another one just to start making this again 🤭