Hanoi Beef Noodle Soup

Otherwise known as pho this traditional beef noodle soup soup is associated with the city of Hanoi, where the first pho restaurant opened in the 1920s. It always includes rice noodles and is generally served with Asian basil, mint leaves, lime and bean sprouts so that they can be added to the soup at the table.

4
  • 1 large onion, peeled
  • 5cm (2in) piece fresh root ginger
  • 2 1/2kg (5lb) beef shank (with the bones)
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 4 star anise
  • 4 tbsp Thai fish sauce
  • juice of 2 limes, plus extra wedges to serve
  • 450g (1lb) fillet steak, well trimmed
  • 450g (1lb) dried flat rice noodles
  • 100g (4oz) bean sprouts
  • 6 spring onions, thinly sliced
  • handful fresh Asian basil or coriander leaves
  • 2 red chillies, thinly sliced
  • 1 large onion, peeled
  • 5cm (2in) piece fresh root ginger
  • 2 1/2kg (5lb) beef shank (with the bones)
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 4 star anise
  • 4 tbsp Thai fish sauce
  • juice of 2 limes, plus extra wedges to serve
  • 450g (1lb) fillet steak, well trimmed
  • 450g (1lb) dried flat rice noodles
  • 100g (4oz) bean sprouts
  • 6 spring onions, thinly sliced
  • handful fresh Asian basil or coriander leaves
  • 2 red chillies, thinly sliced

Step 1

Preheat the grill to high and grill the whole onion and ginger until caramelised and deep brown in colour, turning regularly. Cut the beef shank into chunky pieces and place in a large pan with the bones. Add 3.5 litres (6 pints) of water with the charred onion and ginger. Tip in the garlic, cinnamon and star anise. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer gently for 2 – 3 hours until the meat is tender, occasionally skimming off any fat. Leave to cool. This can be done up to two days in advance which allows the flavours to infuse and develop.

Step 2

Remove the beef shank from the stock and shred into small pieces, discarding any fat or gristle. Strain the stock, discarding the bones and return to the pan with the shredded beef. Add the fish sauce and lime juice.

Step 3

Slice the fillet steak into wafer thin slices and set aside. Pour boiling water over the noodles and leave to stand for 10 minutes, then drain well and divide among warmed Oriental bowls. Scatter the thinly sliced fillet steak on top. Serve with the bean sprouts, spring onions, Asian basil or coriander, chilli and lime wedges on the side and allow people to help themselves.

Step 1

Preheat the grill to high and grill the whole onion and ginger until caramelised and deep brown in colour, turning regularly. Cut the beef shank into chunky pieces and place in a large pan with the bones. Add 3.5 litres (6 pints) of water with the charred onion and ginger. Tip in the garlic, cinnamon and star anise. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer gently for 2 – 3 hours until the meat is tender, occasionally skimming off any fat. Leave to cool. This can be done up to two days in advance which allows the flavours to infuse and develop.

Step 2

Remove the beef shank from the stock and shred into small pieces, discarding any fat or gristle. Strain the stock, discarding the bones and return to the pan with the shredded beef. Add the fish sauce and lime juice.

Step 3

Slice the fillet steak into wafer thin slices and set aside. Pour boiling water over the noodles and leave to stand for 10 minutes, then drain well and divide among warmed Oriental bowls. Scatter the thinly sliced fillet steak on top. Serve with the bean sprouts, spring onions, Asian basil or coriander, chilli and lime wedges on the side and allow people to help themselves.