Vietnamese-Style Beef Soup

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Makes: 4


  1. 8 cups (2 L) reduced sodium beef broth
  2. 4 star anise
  3. 1 cinnamon stick, broken into 3 pieces
  4. 1 onion, quartered
  5. 1 large garlic clove, chopped
  6. 1 tbsp (15 mL) chopped fresh ginger
  7. 2 tbsp (30 mL) soy sauce
  8. 1 tbsp (15 mL) fish sauce (optional)
  9. salt and pepper to taste
  10. 1/2 lb (250 g) thin Asian-style rice noodles
  11. 1 lb (500 g) top sirloin or strip loin steak, cut into very thin slices
  12. 2 limes, cut into wedges
  13. 6 green onions, thinly sliced
  14. 1/2 cup (125 mL) whole or coarsely chopped fresh basil, cilantro, or mint leaves, or a mix of all three
  15. Asian-style hot chili sauce to taste (or thinly sliced hot red chilies to taste)


  1. Combine beef broth, star anise, cinnamon stick, onion, garlic and ginger in large saucepan; bring to boil then reduce heat to bare simmer for 30 min.
  2. Strain beef broth mixture into heatproof bowl; pour strained broth back into saucepan. Set over medium heat; mix in soy sauce and fish sauce, if using. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Fill second saucepan with water; bring to boil. Add rice noodles and cook until tender, about 45 sec. Drain noodles and divide among 4 large deep bowls.
  4. Add sliced raw beef to beef broth mixture (still on medium heat); cook about 2 min. until meat is pink just in middle; or to desired doneness. Ladle broth and meat over noodles. Serve with limes, green onion, basil, cilantro or mint and hot chili sauce to garnish.