Quick Vietnamese Beef and Noodle Soup


Preparation info

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Appears in

Weeknight Gluten Free

Weeknight Gluten Free

By Kristine Kidd

Published 2013

  • About

Based on the Vietnamese dish pho, this recipe features fragrant broth, supple rice noodles, thin steak slices, and fresh herbs for a complete meal. I make this, or a chicken version, two or three times a month.


  • Vegetable oil, 1 tablespoon
  • Yellow onion, 1, coarsely chopped
  • Fresh ginger, 3 tablespoons minced
  • Low-sodium, gluten-free beef broth, 8 cups (64 fl oz/2 l)
  • Asian fish sauce, 2 tablespoons
  • Sugar, 1 tablespoon
  • Star anise pods, 10
  • Whole cloves, 6
  • Pad Thai rice noodles, 8–10 oz (215–315 g)
  • Thai chiles, 6, or 1 serrano chile, thinly sliced with seeds
  • Bean sprouts, fresh basil sprigs, and lime wedges for serving New York strip steak, ½–¾ lb (265–375 g), partially frozen
  • Green onions, 3, thinly sliced
  • Chopped fresh cilantro, cup (¾ oz/15 g)
  • Freshly ground black pepper


  1. In a large pot over medium heat, warm the oil. Add the chopped onion and ginger and sauté until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the broth, 2 cups (16 fl oz/8 ml) water, the fish sauce, and sugar. Place the star anise and cloves in a tea strainer or wrap in cheesecloth and add to the pot. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes to develop the flavors.
  2. Meanwhile, prepare the accompaniments: Place the noodles in a large heatproof bowl. Cover with boiling water and let soak 8 minutes to soften. Drain the noodles. Place the chiles, sprouts, basil sprigs, and lime wedges on a platter or in small bowls and set them on the table. Cut the steak in half lengthwise and trim off the fat. Slice it across the grain as thinly as possible.
  3. Just before serving, remove the spices from the broth, add the noodles, and simmer for 2 minutes. Using tongs, divide the noodles among 4 warmed deep bowls. Place the steak atop the noodles, arranging it in a single layer. Ladle the simmering broth over the steak. Sprinkle the green onions, cilantro, and a few grinds of black pepper atop each bowl. Serve right away, allowing diners to add the chiles, sprouts, herbs, and lime juice to taste.