2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 cloves garlic, very thinly sliced
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
1 stalk lemongrass, tender inner stalk very finely chopped
6 cups good beef stock
2 star anise
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 tablespoons Shaoxing Chinese cooking wine
¼ cup tamarind concentrate
3 tablespoons fish sauce
3 tablespoons grated palm sugar
1 tablespoon lime juice
300 grams beef sirloin, trimmed and very thinly sliced
300 grams fresh rice noodles
handful of coriander
3 spring onions, thinly sliced
sliced red chilli
crisp fried garlic or shallots
Heat the oil in a large saucepan and gently cook the garlic, ginger and lemongrass for 1 minute. Add the stock and all the remaining ingredients except the lime juice and beef and bring to the boil. Simmer for a further 15 minutes.
Trim the beef of all fat and sinew and slice very thinly and add to the broth. Bring the soup back to the boil, remove from the heat and stir in the lime juice.
To serve: Drop the fresh rice noodles into a large saucepan of boiling water for 1 minute. Drain and divide between deep serving bowls. Ladle over the hot soup, dividing the beef evenly. Garnish with coriander, spring onions, chilli and fried garlic.
Shaoxing cooking wine: (pronounced SHAU-sing) this wine for cooking is derived from glutinous rice. The flavour enriches braised dishes and marinades. Available from Asian food stores.