Pho Bo (Vietnamese Beef Noodle Soup)
From Annabel Jackson's Street Café Vietnam. Serves four.
450g fresh flat rice noodles or rice sticks
225g beansprouts, blanched briefly to soften slightly
8 shallots, thinly sliced
4 tbsps finely chopped fresh coriander
225g beef fillet, thinly sliced For the broth 1.7 litres beef stock or canned beef consommé
115g piece fresh ginger, peeled and smashed
2 sticks cinnamon bark
½ tsp coriander seeds
3 pieces star anise
1 tsp each caster sugar, sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 tsps nuoc mam (Vietnamese fish sauce) To serve Hoisin sauce and chilli sauce
2 limes, cut in half
2 fresh red chillies, thinly sliced
Bunch of fresh ngo gai (if available) -- this is a Vietnamese herb
Bunch of fresh Thai basil
1 To make the broth, bring the stock to boiling point. Add the ginger, cinnamon sticks, coriander seeds and star anise. Simmer for about 15 minutes. Add the sugar, salt, pepper and fish sauce. Strain the broth and return to the pan. Keep hot over a low heat.
2Bring a pan of water to the boil and warm through fresh noodles or cook the rice sticks until al dente. Drain and divide among individual bowls. Add a handful of blanched beansprouts, some shallots and coriander to each bowl and top with the beef (still raw). Ladle the hot broth over the food in the bowl -- this will cook the beef slightly.
3At the table, each guest can add hoisin sauce, chilli sauce, lime juice, fresh chilli, ngo gai and basil leaves to taste.