Hanoi beef noodle soup

For New Year’s eve we had some friends over for dinner, and Belinda wanted to cook some Vietnamese dishes from her new cookbooks by Luke Nguyen.  I was the sous chef for the evening!  This is the first of the dishes, very yummy and we had leftovers the next day for lunch.  The recipe calls for oxtail to make the broth, but I couldn’t get any from the butcher so I bought ossobuco (cross-cut veal shank) instead; It provides more meat to freeze or use in another dish (it’s not actually served in the soup).

IMG_0463 IMG_0464


soup stock

2 kg (4 lb) oxtail or ossobuco

2 kg (4 lb) beef brisket

1 whole bulb garlic, unpeeled

4 large brown onions, unpeeled

150 g (5.5 oz) ginger, unpeeled

80 g (2.75 oz) rock sugar (I had never used this before but our local asian supermarket had it)

185 ml (3/4 cup) fish sauce

1 Tb salt

spice pouch

8 whole cloves

5 whole star anise

2 pieces cassia bark (cinnamon), 4 inches in length

1 Tb whole black peppercorns

to serve

400 g (14 oz) beef sirloin (I used porterhouse, or T-bone), trimmed and thinly sliced against the grain

4 spring onions (scallions), sliced on the angle

2 bird’s eye chiles, sliced (not shown in photo)

1.75 kg (4 lb) thick rice noodles, boiled according to instructions and then rinsed with hot water to remove excess starch (done last minute)

Place the oxtail/ossobuco in a bowl, cover with salted (3 Tb) water and let sit for 30 minutes, then rinse.  Using a BBQ grill or a grill plate, cook the  garlic, onion and ginger until tender and blackened.  Meanwhile, dry roast the spices for the spice pouch in a pan, then wrap the spices in a cheese/muslin cloth and tie off with some cooking string.  Put the oxtail/ossobuco, brisket and 6 litres (24 cups) cold water in a stockpot and bring to the boil, constantly skimming the impurities off the surface for the first 15 minutes (this will ensure a clear broth), then reduce to a simmer.  Add the rest of the soup stock ingredients and the spice pouch, cover and simmer for 3 h or until the stock has reduced by half.  Strain the stock through a cheese/muslin cloth, retaining the brisket (and the ossobuco if used), and return the stock to a pot and simmer to keep hot.  Let the brisket cool and then thinly slice.  To serve, using large bowls, place about 200 g (7 oz) of the freshly cooked rice noodles in each bowl, top with healthy portions of brisket, scallions and 3-4 pieces of the raw sirloin.  Pour over the hot stock to cover the noodles and beef, and serve.

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Love the look of your recipes, especially this one. Did it taste authentic? I love Vietnamese food so would definitely give it a go!

    1. jacobhhollis says:

      Thanks! I have yet to make it to Vietnam, but it tasted as good as what I’ve had in Melbourne. The recipe was classic in style for a ‘Pho’ soup.

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