Winter time is soup time in our home. You might have noticed I have a soup recipe for pretty much every day of January and February! I particularly enjoy spicy soups like this spicy beef and noodle soup, as they seem even more hearty and warming!
One thing I love about Asian soups is their combination of hot, savory ingredients with fresh herbs. I think it is a match made in heaven! This recipe, like most soup recipes, is greatly enhanced by using good stock. I use homemade bone broth made from beef bones. It is something that I make each week and always have on hand for whatever soup recipe is on the menu. (Check out my bone broth recipe.)
One traditional ingredient that you can add or omit are Thai meatballs, which are frequently made with pork and have an almost spongy texture. You can make your own or find them at an Asian grocery store.
If you wanted to, you could use a fish or vegetable broth and use a mild white fish instead of the beef. Or, make a vegetarian version by eliminating the protein and adding some greens such as bok choy, Chinese kale, or even baby spinach. (For a vegetarian version you’ll have to also omit the fish sauce, in which case I would add a good amount of freshly grated ginger and some lime juice).
Easy Thai Beef and Noodle Soup
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Cook method: Simmer
- 2 Tbsp peanut oil
- 1/3 lb lean steak cut into thin strips
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 stalk celery, thinly sliced diagonally
- 6 c. beef bone broth
- 1 Tbsp fish sauce
- 1/4 c. soy sauce
- 1/2 cup bean sprouts
- 2 scallions, thinly sliced
- 3-4 Tbsp fresh cilantro and Thai basil leaves, chopped
- 1 Tsp rice vinegar
- pinch of cinnamon
- 4-8 thin slices of fresh Thai chile, serrano chile, or jalapeño
- cooked rice noodles or angel hair pasta (about 1 lb or 500 g)
- optional: Thai beef/pork balls
1. Heat the oil in a saucepan to medium high and quickly sauté the beef until browned, a few minutes.
2. Set the beef aside, and in the same pot add the garlic, scallions, and celery. Sauté for a few minutes, then add the bone broth, fish sauce, soy sauce, vinegar, and cinnamon. Bring to a boil. Remove from the heat and add the bean sprouts.
3. Cook the rice noodles in a separate pot according to the package instructions.
4. To assemble the soup, put the noodles in the bottom of each bowl. Ladle the broth and bean sprouts over the noodles, then top with some slices of beaf and the herb garnish.
By Peg Kern
Sign up to receive our newsletter, which includes travel tips, recipes, promotions, and information on our best cooking vacations.