Asian Beef Soup

  • 4 cups beef stock
  • 2-4 tablespoons Asian fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 4 ounces beef sliced as thin as possible (sirloin works well)
  • ½ cup thinly sliced red onion
  • 2 cups rice noodles
  • 1 plum tomato thinly sliced
  • 1 bunch scallions sliced thin
  • 1 jalapeño pepper sliced paper thin on a mandolin
  • 1 large bunch of cilantro roughly chopped stems and all
  • 8-10 large basil leaves
  • 8-10 mint leaves
  • 2 limes cut into wedges
  • 1 small bottle hoisin sauce

Bring the beef broth to a simmer in a small pot over medium high heat. Add the fish sauce and the sugar a little at a time, tasting for strength. How much should be used will be determined by the strength of the fish sauce and personal taste. With the stock still at a simmer, turn off the heat and add the sliced beef and onion. Stir until the beef is just cooked. Place some of tomato, scallions, and jalapeno pepper into 4 large soup bowls. Ladle the hot soup on top of the vegetables. Place the remaining vegetables along with the chopped cilantro, basil, mint, and limes on a large plate and allow your dinner companions to flavor their own soup. Add hoisin to taste. Makes 4 servings.

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