Star anise beef-rice noodle soup

Yield: 8 Servings

Measure Ingredient
2 \N (1-in) chunks fresh ginger
3 \N Shallots; unpeeled
1 \N Onion; unpeeled
2½ quart Water
1½ pounds Oxtails chopped into sections
1 pounds Beef shank
2 \N Whole star anise
1 \N Cinnamon stick
3 \N Whole cloves
¼ cup Vietnamese fish sauce (nuoc mam)-
1 teaspoon Salt; or to taste
½ pounds Flat rice-stick noodles soaked in water for 20 minutes
6 ounces Sirloin steak trimmed of fat & sliced into paper-thin slices
1 \N Onion; sliced thin
2 cups Bean sprouts
¼ cup Fresh coriander leaves (coarsely chopped)
2 \N Green onions cut into 2-in-long thin julienne slices
1 \N Lime; sliced into 8 wedges
2 \N Red chiles; thinly sliced

PUT GINGER, SHALLOTS AND ONION on a baking sheet; place under a hot broiler until charred. In a stock pot, bring the water, oxtails and beef shank to a boil. Thoroughly skim and discard the scum from the surface of the stock. Drop the charred ingredients, star anise, cinnamon stick and cloves into pot, reduce to low heat; simmer for 2 hours. Remove the meat. Remove and shred the meat from the shank and reserve. Return the bone to the simmering stock. Simmer 1 hour longer. When soup is done, remove and discard bones. Strain and degrease stock; add fish sauce and salt. Keep warm. In a separate pot, bring 3 quarts water to a boil. Drain noodles and add to boiling water; cook for 1 minute. Drain in a colander. Divide noodles among 8 soup bowls (about 1-to-2-cup-size bowls). Divide and top each bowl of noodles with shredded cooked beef, the raw sirloin steak slices, onion slices and bean sprouts. Ladle about 1¼ cups hot soup stock (this will cook the beef) to cover the noodles and beef, top with fresh coriander and green onions. Serve with squeeze of lime and chiles.

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