Thai style beef and noodle soup

Shortly before we moved, we talked our children into trying Vietnamese for dinner one night. Two appetizers, three bowls of pho and a bowl of noodles with chicken was an inexpensive but healthy dinner out for our family of four. And at the end of the meal, we had at least one pho convert from out children, and two children who desperately wanted to learn how to use chopsticks!

Since then, the oldest has learned to use chopsticks and has asked to go back, and the youngest is working on learning how to use kids chop sticks, like these. (And he uses them to get toast out of the toaster without burning his fingers.)

This is a Rachel Ray version of a noodle soup bowl, which was alright, but was not pho. Rice noodles would have been better than pasta in this, and next time I try a noodle soup such as this, I'm going to use them. From her original recipe, I made only minor changes - I forgot to buy the shiitake mushrooms, but then the kids wouldn't have eaten them, and I used half chicken and half steak, to provide a variety.

Thai-Style Grilled Beef in Broth with Lot o'Noodles
from Rachel Ray's Express Lane Meals, page 218-219

1/2 pound thin pasta, such as vermicelli (I found capelleti, but as I said, use rice noodles)
3 inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
4 tablespoons vegetable oil
4 1/2 inch thick shell steaks (or 2 top sirloin steaks, since we don't get shell steaks, and 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts)
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 medium carrot, peeled and grated
2 celery ribs, thinkly sliced (or left bigger if you want the option of eating around them, like I do)
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped
12 shiitake mushrooms, stems removed and discarded, caps thinly sliced (or do as I do and forget to buy them)
black pepper
5 cups chicken stock
1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
3/4 cups bail, chopped (oh yes, I forgot to buy this as well, so much for a grocery list!)
juice of 1 lime

In a shallow dish, combine half of the ginger, the Worcesteshire sauce, 2 tablespoons of the veg oil and the hot sauce. Add the steaks, and chicken if using, and marinate.

Preheat a soup pot over med-high heat with the remaining oil. Add the coriander and cumin, toasting for about 30 seconds while constantly stirring. Add the onions, garlic, carrots, celery, remaining ginger, the jalapeno, mushrooms, salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, for 3-4 minutes. Add the chicken stock and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and let simmer for 15 minutes.

While the stock is simmering, heat a grill pan over high heat, and bring a pot of water to a boil for the pasta. Cook the pasta until al dente, drain, and then run under cold water.

Season the steaks with salt, then grill on high heat until rare to medium rare. If using chicken, be sure to cook thoroughly. When desired doneness, remove to a cutting board and let rest for a few minutes before cutting into thin strips, at an angle.

When ready to serve, add the cooked noodles to the simmering broth, along with some of the cilantro and basil, just until the noodles are reheated. Add lime juice.

Use kitchen tongs to transfer noodles and veggies to bowls, top with slices of grilled meat, then ladle the broth over the meat. Serve with extra cilantro, basil, slices of green onions, chopped jalapeno, whatever else you might like to top your soup with.

Use chopsticks to eat the noodles and meat, and big soup spoons to slurp up the broth.

Expect to dribble some on your shirt.


Terri said...

This looks and sounds really good and seems simple enough to put together quickly.

breadchick said...

Oh I love this soup!

Ashley said...

I came across your blog because I made this tonight and wanted to see if anyone else had typed out the recipe (haha!). We thought it was really good but agreed that rice noodles would be better, and a nice drizzle of soy sauce really added to the broth.

Lovely blog - keep up the awesome work :)