Sep 032012

Chinese West Lake Beef Soup

West Lake Beef Soup

5.0 from 3 reviews
Recipe: West Lake Beef Soup
Recipe type: Soup
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
  • 1 block of silken (or soft) tofu
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ lb of beef (round eye cut)
  • ⅔ cup of chopped cilantro
  • ¼ cup chopped green onions
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tbsp corn starch
  • 8 cups of water
Beef Marinade:
  • 2 tsp rice wine
  • 1 tsp oyster sauce
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp of sesame oil
  • ½ tsp sugar
Soup Seasoning:
  • 2 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp grounded white pepper powder
  • ¼ tsp mushroom bouillon granules
  1. Rinse and cut the beef* to short thin strips - about ⅛ inch thin and 1 inch long. Mix beef and baking soda in a bowl. Let sit for 20 minutes to tenderize.
  2. Cut the tofu to small cubes and set aside. In a small bowl, mix the cornstarch with 2 tbsp of cold water and set aside. In another bowl, beat the eggs and set aside.
  3. When the beef is tenderized, rinse the meat thoroughly with cold water. Lightly squeeze the meat and drain liquid. Add beef seasonings to meat and mix well. Marinate for 15 minutes.
  4. Boil 8 cups of water in a soup pot. When the water boils, lower the heat to Medium and add beef. Cook for 2 minutes while stirring lose the meat to prevent clumping.
  5. Add tofu, cilantro, and green onions to the soup. Stir. Add in the soup seasoning and stir.
  6. Pour the beaten eggs very slowly into the soup. Continuously stir the soup while pouring to create the egg drop.
  7. Pour cornstarch mixture to the soup. Stir. Turn off heat and serve**.
*Cut the beef against the meat grain to break the meat fiber. **Add more white pepper powder to the soup as desired for a more peppery taste.

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  14 Responses to “West Lake Beef Soup – Gratifying and Flavorsome”

  1. I’m so happy you’re posting again! I’ve often wondered how you were doing … busy I guess. :) This soup sounds totally wonderful! It’s getting autumn over here, so I’m craving soups more and more. :)

  2. Thank you Kath for visiting and for leaving a comment! I missed sharing soup recipes and writing on this blog too. Life has certainly been busy lately but I hope to write more regularly again. I will write you separately to catch up. Talk to you soon! =)

    Sharon |

  3. Sharon these are some beautiful scenery shots of West Lake. The soup looks very nourishing as well. I hope you are doing well. Take care, Bam

  4. Hi BAM,

    Thank you very much for your comment! West Lake certainly seems like an astonishing place and I do hope to visit someday. Whoever was the photographer of the scenery shots, they certainly did a fantastic job!

    Have a great day!
    Sharon |

  5. Mmm this soup looks so comforting! I can understand why you ate the whole pot :-)

  6. We had this the other day at a Chinese restaurant. We rarely order this one but it was such a cold day and I wanted to order something that kids would enjoy. It’s a healthy comforting soup!

  7. Is THIS what it’s called? It’s one of my favorite soups of all time, but NEVER knew what it was called! So exciting!!

  8. This soup looks so satisfying and comforting! A big bowl for me would be perfect!

  9. Your soup looks magnificent! I’ve never heard of tenderizer beef this way…what a great tip!

  10. tenderizing….I should proof before I submit :)

  11. Dear Sharon,

    I fondly remember this soup during my childhood but never thought it was a famous dish from a beautiful place. I love the egg drop in this soup.

  12. Hi Sharon! Love soup! would really like to try out this recipe. I was wondering would there be any substitutes for the mushroom bouillon granules if i can’t find that near where i live?

  13. Hi Adrienne,

    Thank you very much for your visit! Thank you also for submitting a fantastic question!

    The mushroom bouillon granules that I use is similar to this one, but the ingredients are natural and made with real mushrooms.

    A substitute you can also consider is the bouillon from a brand called Better Than Bouillon which I like because it doesn’t add msg. They make a mushroom base, chicken base, and a vegetable base which can be added to soups and other dishes. For this soup, you can try adding a small amount so that you can still taste the West Lake Beef Soup without the flavor enhancer overpowering it.

    I hope this helps! And thank you again for your great question!

    Sharon | Chinese Soup Pot

  14. I love west lake beef soup. I had this soup a handful of times when I lived in China. However I didn’t get to try the original one from west lake. Your recipe looks absolutely delicious and authentic. Thank you so much for sharing it! Great post!

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