The first time we ate Vietnamese beef noodle soup was when we were studying in Australia over 10 years ago. To us this dish we associate with Cabramatta in Sydney, where there is a large Vietnamese population and where we first ate it. In an attempt to relive that experience, my wife decided to cook this for dinner on Monday.
There are different parts of this dish which needs to be prepared.
Beef stock: This is made by heating various spices – star anise, cinnamon and cloves, and adding these and the roasted ginger and onions to soup stock. This is brought to boil and then allowed to simmer.
Beef and noodles: My wife bought a nice slice of rib-eye steak for this dish; ideally it should be sirloin steak. The beef was kept in the freezer for a short period of time to allow it to harden enough to enable easier slicing into very thin slices. Once it is firm enough, my wife took it out and sliced it very thinly. The raw slices of beef were then placed on the flat rice noodles (which has been softened in cold water).
Serving: The next step involves pouring the simmering beef stock onto the noodles and beef strips, which will gently cook the beef slices.
Once that is done, it is ready to serve.
My wife prepared a plate with all the garnish to add to the Vietnamese beef noodle soup. I have to say that when I first went into the kitchen when my wife was preparing everything, the aromas that I experienced were exactly what I remember from the times when we ate this dish in Australia.
I have to say that the noodles were excellent – so much so that I had a second bowl.
Now because today is my brother’s birthday, we decided to celebrate by serving our one remaining Christmas pudding – a luxury one from Asda.
This was microwaved and then served as per instructions. Then all that remained was to heat the brandy up and pour it onto the Christmas pudding.
After that is done, it is served with double cream which goes very well to balance with the sweetness of the pudding.
My only contribution to this meal was the purchase of fresh basil, coriander and the lime. I have to say that the noodles did not disappoint – it tastes just as I remember it from that many years ago.