How to make it

  • Place the bones, gravy beef, ginger, salt and water in a large pan.
  • Bring to the boil, reduce the heat to low and simmer very gently, uncovered, for 3 1/2 hours.
  • Skim off any scum that forms on the surface.
  • Add in the herbs & spices like peppercorns, cinnamon, cloves, coriander seeds and fish sauce.
  • Cook for another 40 minutes.
  • Remove the gravy beef and set it aside to cool.
  • Drain the stock, reserving all the liquid and discarding the bones and spices; return the liquid to the pan.
  • When the gravy beef is cool enough to handle, cut it against the grain into very fine slices.
  • Set aside.
  • Close to serving time, plunge the noodles into a pan of boiling water and cook them for about 10 seconds only, otherwise they will soften and fall apart.
  • Drain the noodles well and divide them among large individual soup bowls.
  • Arrange the toppings on a platter in the center of the table.
  • Bring the beef stock to a rapid boil.
  • Place some slices of the cooked meat as well as a few slices of the raw steak into each bowl of noodles.
  • Ladle the boiling stock over the top, sprinkle over the spring onion, and onion slices and serve.
  • Each diner chooses their own toppings and can also add sauces such as sweet chili sauce and hoisin sauce to their dish.

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