Jul 30, 2012

Taiwanese Ruo Gen Soup Noodles - 酸辣肉羹麵

Ruo Gen is the pronunciation for a traditional Taiwanese food. The two most common ingredients for Ruo Gen are ground pork and blended fish meat. Some also add vegetables such as chopped mushrooms and carrots. Basically just mix all the ingredients together, usually with additional corn starch or other type of binding agent to form the base of ruo gen.

Bring a big pot of water to a boil, simply use your hands to squeeze out an irregular, rectangle or stick liked shape of ruo gen and let it cooked through in the water. Ruo gen can be store in the freezer for quite some time. This ingredient is usually utilized as the main ingredients for a type of Taiwanese glutinous soup or soup noodles.

Taiwanese Ruo Gen Soup Noodles -

Ingredients (3 to 4 portions)?

2 cups of ruo gen
5 cups of unsalted chicken stock
5 shitake mushrooms
4 wood ears
1 carrot (however I forgot to use it during the cooking process)
1 small bamboo
1 small bundle of cilantro
2 shallots
2 garlic cloves
3 tablespoons of olive oil
3 tablespoons of black vinegar
Some soy sauce
1 teaspoon of Chinese chili sauce
1 teaspoon of grated ginger
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon of black pepper
Some white pepper powder
Some corn starch and water mixture
Some fresh alkaline noodles


My mom helped me to buy most of the ingredients from a local market, thank you! As for the ruo gen, I got it for free from a local fish vendor. Thank you too!

*I'll make my own ruo gen and share the recipe in the future.

Prepare the ingredients first. Remove the mushroom stems. Slice the caps into strips and set aside. Discard wood ears' tough center stems. Slice the remaining section into strips and set aside. Peel and discard bamboo's outer tough skin. Slice and chop into thin strips. I forgot to use the carrot, otherwise peel and chop into strips also.

Grate the ginger, give the cilantro a few chops. Peel and chop the shallots and garlic cloves into tiny pieces.

Most people prefer to cook the soup with a deep pan, I used an iron cast pot instead. Drizzle the olive oil, add in chopped shallots and garlic along with some salt and pepper into the pot. Bring to medium high heat and cook till the aroma comes out, about 2 minutes.

Add in sliced mushrooms and wood ears. Give it a quick stir, cook till the mushroom appears softened. Next, transfer the bamboo into the pot along with grated ginger, soy sauce. Cook for another minute.

Pour in the chicken stock, black vinegar, chili sauce, and ruo gen. Bring to a boil first then turn down the heat a little bit. Just let it simmer for a while, about 10 minutes. Add in some chopped cilantro and white pepper powder, mix well.

Have the corn starch and water mixture ready. Slowly pour into the pot while stirring at the same time to prevent lumps. You might need to adjust the amount of corn starch and water mixture in order to reach your desired thickness for the soup.

Bring a pot of water to a boil and cook the fresh alkaline noodles till desired texture. Once ready, drain well  then transfer to individual bowls. Scoop in the soup and garnish with some fresh cilantro.

You can adjust the taste by using more black vinegar and chili sauce. For my personal preference, I like it extra spicy with lots of vinegar. The glooey character of the soup helps in clinging on the noodles, making every bite packed with flavors.


  1. The vinegar also helps to "loosen" up the thick gravy by the end of eating, right? Your Rou Gen Noodles looks very authentic.

  2. To Tigerfish~
    Thank you! I think so plus I added extra vinegar, it's more like a super sourish soup noodles for me in the end!