Spiced Beef, Cabbage & Noodle Soup


Typically, the Vietnamese noodle soup pho may take hours to make, as the broth simmers away becoming more and more flavorful. But for this recipe inspired by pho, we cook the aromatics and spices before adding the broth, which helps releases more flavor from them, cutting down on simmer time.

Cook Time:
30 mins
Total Time:
30 mins
4 servings


  • 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

  • 2 ½ 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


  1. Heat 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.

  2. Prepare rice noodles according to package directions. Drain and rinse well with cold water. Divide among 4 large soup bowls.

  3. Carefully 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.

  4. Divide 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.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

311 Calories
8g Fat
33g Carbs
26g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 4
Calories 311
% Daily Value *
Total Carbohydrate 33g 12%
Dietary Fiber 3g 10%
Total Sugars 4g
Protein 26g 52%
Total Fat 8g 11%
Saturated Fat 2g 12%
Cholesterol 44mg 15%
Vitamin A 1414IU 28%
Vitamin C 26mg 29%
Folate 91mcg 23%
Sodium 868mg 38%
Calcium 84mg 6%
Iron 3mg 18%
Magnesium 45mg 11%
Potassium 727mg 15%

Nutrition information is calculated by a registered dietitian using an ingredient database but should be considered an estimate.

* Daily Values (DVs) are the recommended amounts of nutrients to consume each day. Percent Daily Value (%DV) found on nutrition labels tells you how much a serving of a particular food or recipe contributes to each of those total recommended amounts. Per the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the daily value is based on a standard 2,000 calorie diet. Depending on your calorie needs or if you have a health condition, you may need more or less of particular nutrients. (For example, it’s recommended that people following a heart-healthy diet eat less sodium on a daily basis compared to those following a standard diet.)

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a special diet for medical reasons, be sure to consult with your primary care provider or a registered dietitian to better understand your personal nutrition needs.

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