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Quick Beef & Napa Cabbage Pho
“Classic Vietnamese noodle soup typically takes hours to make, but this healthy pho recipe gets tons of flavor from cooking the aromatics and spices before adding the broth. Serve with hoisin, Sriracha and lime wedges.”
1 tablespoon peanut or grapeseed oil
1 medium onion, cut into 6 wedges
1 (2 inch) piece fresh ginger, sliced
2 star anise (see Tip)
1 cinnamon stick
1 teaspoon cardamom pods
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
4 cups unsalted beef stock or low-sodium beef broth
2 cups water
2½ tablespoons fish sauce
4 ounces thin rice noodles or rice sticks
8 napa cabbage leaves, cut into 2-inch pieces
12 ounces top sirloin or boneless rib-eye steak, very thinly sliced
2 cups mung bean sprouts
1 cup fresh mint and/or Thai basil leaves
1 jalapeño pepper, sliced
1Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add onion and ginger; cook, stirring, until starting to brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Add star anise, cinnamon stick, cardamom pods, coriander and fennel seeds; cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Add stock (or broth), water and fish sauce; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to maintain a lively simmer, cover and cook for 5 minutes.
2Prepare rice noodles according to package directions. Drain and rinse well with cold water. Divide among 4 large soup bowls.
3Carefully pour the broth through a fine-mesh sieve into a large bowl (discard solids). Return the broth to the pot and bring to a boil. Add cabbage, cover and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in beef and cook for 1 minute. Remove from heat.
4Divide the cabbage, beef and broth among the bowls. Top with bean sprouts, mint and/or basil and jalapeño.
Tips: Star anise—named for its star-shaped pods that come from a small evergreen tree native to China—lends a licorice-like flavor to many Asian dishes. Look for it with bulk spices in natural-foods stores or at Asian markets.