( serves 4)
2L (8 cups) beef stock (home-made if possible)
2 thick slices of ginger
1 medium brown onion, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, sliced
3 star anise
2 cinnamon quills, lightly bruised
2 tbs caster sugar
1/3 cup (80ml) fish sauce
375g flat rice noodles
400g beef eye fillet, very thinly sliced
4 cups of bean sprouts
1 – 2 long red chillies, seeds removed, thinly sliced
1 cup each of basil, mint and coriander leaves, to serve
Place stock in a saucepan with ginger, onion, garlic, star anise, cinnamon, sugar and fish sauce. Bring to the boil, then reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Strain, discarding solids, then return soup to pan. Cover and return to the boil.
Meanwhile, prepare noodles according to packet instructions. Drain well.
Divide the noodles among warmed soup bowls, then top with the sliced beef fillet. Pour over the hot soup mixture (the heat will gently cook the meat) and top with the bean sprouts. Serve garnished with chilli and fresh herbs.