Beef Soup with Star Anise (Pretty-Much-Pho)

As some of you may already know, I love Pho, aka Vietnamese Noodle Soup. My favourite is satay beef. I have once before tried to make this at home and found it to be not worth the effort. Especially when I can drive 10 minutes down the road and buy a bowl for $8.95. BUT then my amazing mother rescued me with this gem. It is technically Thai, not Vietnamese, and the recipe is called Beef Stew with Star Anise, but I will hence-forth refer to it as Pretty-Much-Pho. Hope you enjoy!

Beef Soup with Star Anise (Pretty-Much-Pho)
Prep time: 5-10 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
Serves 2

1 litre beef broth (no salt added)
450g beef, sliced into slivers (I used two rib-eye steaks)
3 garlic cloves minced
2 cinnamon sticks
4 whole star anise (if you do not have star anise, use a pinch of all spice powder)
30ml low-sodium soy sauce (or 2 tbsp)
30ml fish sauce (or 2 tbsp)
1 tsp sugar
115g bag bean sprouts
1 package rice vermicelli noodles
1 green onion, finely chopped (for garnish)
Cilantro, coarsely chopped (for garnish)
Hot pepper sauce, if desired

Pour the stock into a pot, add the garlic, cinnamon sticks, star anise, soya sauce, fish sauce and sugar. Bring to a boil, add beef, and reduce heat to a simmer for 30 minutes.  Skim off any form that rises to the surface of the liquid.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil; add vermicelli noodles and cook 3-5 minutes until soft. Drain, rinse with cold water, and set aside.

Divide the noodles and bean sprouts among 2 bowls.  Remove and discard the cinnamon sticks and star anise from soup before serving.  Ladle the soup over the bean sprouts and noodles, garnish with green onion and cilantro. Add hot sauce (Sriracha or Sambal Oelek recommended) if desired.

This recipe originally comes from Thai, the Essence of Asian Cooking by Judy Bastyra. I added in noodles and hot sauce. 



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