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Super quick cheaters version of the classic warming Vietnamese noodle soup.
Begin by marinating beef strips in a non-reactive bowl with the grated ginger, grated lemongrass, 1/2 teaspoon fish sauce, 1 tablespoon brown sugar and dark soy sauce. Leave it to sit while you chop up the other ingredients.
Heat a deep stock pot over medium heat and add vegetable oil. Once oil is hot add the star anise, coriander seeds and cloves and toast for 1 minute until fragrant. Remove spices and set aside.
Bring the heat up to medium-high. Sear the beef strips in 3 batches, 1 minute per batch. Strips should be golden brown but not over cooked. Slight pink is expected. Remove each batch from the pot and set aside on a plate while you cook all of the beef.
Once all of the beef is cooked and removed from the pot toss in coriander stalks, lemongrass stalk, toasted spices, red onion, water, ginger, stock cube, remaining brown sugar, 1 tablespoon of fish sauce and the soy sauce. Bring to a boil and leave to simmer for 30 minutes. Scrape the bottom of the pot to loosen any browned beef juices left after searing the meat.
Use a slotted spoon and fish out the spices and herbs once broth is ready. Add in tofu, bok choy and oyster mushrooms and simmer until bok choy has wilted slightly but is still vibrantly green, about 1 minute. Taste for seasoning and adjust.
Meanwhile, give the rice noodles a rinse with hot water to get rid of the excess oil and also to warm it through.
Divide noodles into 4 separate bowls (if you’re us, only 2 bowls, leaving excess for another meal). Pour in sufficient broth. Arrange bok choy, tofu and mushrooms on top. Scatter the seared beef, chopped mint, coriander leaves, spring onions and sliced chilies over the top.
Enjoy on a cold cold day or when you are feeling less than well.
Nancy is the Coupon Clipping Cook, which means she not only has an astounding number of recipes to share with us (her TK recipe box is busting at the seams!) but she's also got loads of money-saving tips in her blog (she worked at a grocery store for a number of years, so she knows her stuff). She has some pretty amazing creations, like Roasted Garlic Potato Soup and Nutty Coconut Chicken. Go check them out!
Heather is a Texas native and the blogger behind Heather's Dish. She's mom to Weston, wife to Nate, and they live in Little Rock, Arkansas with their two "stubborn and saucy" dogs Bunker and Keira. In her blog, she shares her photographs, random musings (serious and silly alike), and all kinds of scrumptious recipes---and not just evil variations of her favorite mac and cheese. Her enviable TK recipe box is a testament to that. Go see for yourself!