Sunday, November 21, 2010

Noodle Soup

When I was in China I ate noodle soup probably 3-4 times a week.  It took me a while to get used to eating it for breakfast, but it was usually my only breakfast option while we were in Beijing.  During that time all I could think about was how much I missed eating cereal and crumpets, but now I look back on my noodle soup and dumpling breakfasts with fond memories.  Anyway, since coming back to the states I have been eating a lot of pho, since there aren't any great Chinese places around.  I decided to make my own, and I started with beef.  I'm going to try making a chicken version in the future, since I know that my sister will actually eat chicken pho.  I found an inauthentic recipe (I didn't want to buy oxtail or any other exotic ingredients) online at Life's Ambrosia
Considering the simplicity of the ingredients (which essentially made seasoned beef broth with noodles) , it was pretty darn good.  Rating 5.5/10.

  • 4 cups beef broth (this is the average size carton of broth)
  • 1 medium yellow onion, cut in half, one half thinly sliced, leave the other half whole
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 teaspoon whole cloves (making this meal made me realize that I have doubles of A LOT of spices, cloves included)
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 pound round steak, thinly sliced
  • fresh cracked pepper and kosher salt
  • 1 (8.8) ounce package of thin rice noodles
  • bean sprouts
  • 1 – 2 jalapenos, sliced (I forgot to add this, and it probably would have had that extra kick that I noticed was missing)
  • cilantro, chopped
  • sriracha and hoisin sauce (optional)
Put garlic, unsliced onion half, cloves, cinnamon stick and beef broth in a pan and bring to a boil.  Cover and lower to a simmer, and let it cook for an hour.  This is probably one of the best aromas that I have ever smelled.  With about ten minutes left on the timer, start cooking the rice noodles according to the package instructions.  Drain the noodles and combine with the broth.  Allow the noodles to truly become married with the flavor of the broth, which will take about 5-10 minutes, otherwise the noodles will taste a bit bland.  Season with salt and pepper to taste, and top with sliced cooked beef, sliced onion, cilantro, bean sprouts, jalapeno, and sriracha and hoisin sauce.  This recipe makes enough for about 2 people.

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