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Bahn Pho' Soup (Vietnamese Beef and Noodle Soup)

1 lb ox tails, beef ribs, or scraps of bottom round steak
2 T vegetable oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 5-inch piece fresh ginger
4 or 5 green onions or 1 yellow onion, cut in half
2-3 bay leaves
1 stick cinnamon
salt and pepper
1/2 tsp whole cloves
12 cups water
1/4 cup nam pla (fish sauce) plus more, to taste

1lb. bottom round beef, very thinly sliced
1 pkg Bahn Pho' rice stick noodles (fettucine style), boiled till done
4 cups fresh bean sprouts
1 cup chopped scallion
fresh cilantro, chopped (optional)
fresh basil leaves
lime and lemon wedges
hoisin sauce
Asian chili sauce or tabasco sauce

Fry meat in oil and garlic in a stock pot. Meanwhile, slice ginger
in half lengthwise and brown over a flame or broil till dark brown
in areas. Do the same with the green or yellow onion. Add to
stock pot along with the rest of the broth ingredients. Boil,
uncovered for 1/2 hour. Season with salt and pepper. When broth
is done, add 1/4 cup fish sauce.

Ladle a few cupfuls of broth into a saucepan on high heat. Add a
handful of slices of the raw beef to the hot broth and stir until
cooked. In a large bowl, place a handful of bean sprouts, then a
large handful of noodles and top with the cooked beef slices and
broth from the saucepan. Top with two tablespoons of scallion and
cilantro, if desired. Serve with lemon and/or lime wedges, hoisin
sauce, additional fish sauce and chili or tabasco sauce.


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