Thursday, January 04, 2007

Vietnamese beef and noodle soup...

otherwise know as pho bo or juice with wiggley worms.

It's probably crazy making this at home as it's a soup dish that is easily and cheaply avaliable in Vietnamese restaurants. However the satisfaction to effort ratio makes it a winner. It is also on of those great dishes that allows those of us who love chilli to go to town, whilst not offending the children. The recipe is from Meera Freeman's The Vietnamese Cookbook. A peculiarity with this recipe is that while it claims to serve 6-8, the three of us manage to consume most of it in a sitting. For more servings the soup may require a little diluting (probably not a bad idea, as this recipe makes a very strong stock).

1kg beef shin bone (cut into pieces)
500g brisket (gravy beef is fine)
1 thumb sized knob of fresh, peeled ginger
2 scrolls cassia bark (cinnamon would probably do)
2 star anise
2 finely sliced brown onions
500g fresh rice noodles or hokkien noddles (not authentic, but prefered in this house)

2 spring onions, finely sliced
a piece of rump steak or scotch fillet, finely sliced
2 tbs coriander, finely chopped
fresh red chillies, finely sliced
lemon or lime juice
bean shoots, washed

Bring three litres of water to boil with shin bones and ginger. Skim any scum off and add brisket/gravy beef and 4 tablespoons of fish sauce. Simmer for four hours.

Add cassia bark, star anise and onions, and cook for an additional half hour. Strain into a fresh pot and allow to cool. Skim fat as desired.

When ready, boil water and drop rice noodles in for 10 seconds, just to heat through (a bit longer if you use the yellow hokkien noodles). Bring soup to the boil. Place noodles in serving bowls and put thinly sliced raw beef on top, plus chopped spring onion. Add a few cupfuls of the boiling soup to each bowl and watch the meat cook before your eyes. You can also add some thinly sliced brisket if desired.

Serve with chillies, lemon/lime juice, bean shoots, sliced onion, corriander, etc to taste.


Anonymous kitchen hand said...

Vietnamese soup is a favourite around here - both home made and in restaurants.

2:55 pm  

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