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Pho (Beef and Rice-Noodle Soup)


This could almost be called the national dish of Vietnam, and is ubiquitous in Vietnam and in Vietnamese restaurants in this country.

1 large onion, unpeeled

1 (3 to 4 lb.) beef shank bone, cut into several large pieces water to cover beef

11 cups water

1 (1-inch) piece ginger root, sliced

1 (1-inch) cinnamon stick

1 T. salt

1/4 t. black peppercorns

1/4 lb. rice noodles, 3/8 inch

12 oz. beef eye of the round, partially frozen

1/2 lb. bean sprouts

1 or 2 jalapeno chilies, sliced crosswise

1 lemon, cut in four wedges

hoisin sauce

fish sauce

1 small onion, quartered, thinly sliced

1/4 c. chopped green onions, incl. some tops


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place unpeeled onion in a pie pan and bake 45 minutes. Place beef bones in a 6-quart Dutch oven. Cover with water; bring to full boil. Pour off water. Rinse pan and bones. Return bones to pan. Add the 11 cups of water, roasted onion, ginger root, cinnamon stick, salt and peppercorns. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, 3 hours. Remove bones and strain broth. There should be about 6 cups; if not, add water to make 6 cups. Place in a large jar or bowl, cover and refrigerate overnight. The next day, remove solid layer of fat on top. Just before serving, boil rice noodles in 3 quarts water for about 10 minutes, or until tender; drain. Cut beef across the grain into paper-thin slices; set aside. Arrange bean sprouts, chilies, and lemon wedges on a serving plate. Pour hoisin sauce into a small bowl. Divide rice noodles among 4 heated large soup bowls; bowls should hold at least 3 cups. Meanwhile, bring chilled broth to a boil in a large saucepan. Add beef and sliced onion; boil until beef is no longer pink, 1_ to 2 minutes. Divide broth, beef and onion among soup bowls. Sprinkle 1 T. chopped green onion over each serving. At table, add bean sprouts and chilies, as desired. Squeeze in lemon juice; add 1 or 2 T. hoisin sauce. Serve with soup spoons for broth and chopsticks for meat, vegetables and noodles.


Lemon Grass Beef with Rice Stick Noodles


1 lb. boneless beef round roast, partially frozen

1 T. fish sauce

1 1/2 t. sugar

2 garlic cloves, minced

1/4 lb. rice stick noodles

tops of 4 green onions, chopped

1 T. unsalted roasted peanuts, chopped

8 leaves butter or other leafy lettuce

5 oz. bean sprouts

8 mint sprigs

1 1/2 T. butter

1 lemon grass stalk, thinly sliced


Dipping Sauce

1/3 c. lemon juice

1/3 c. distilled white vinegar

1/3 c. fish sauce

1/3 c. water

1/3 c. sugar

1 large garlic clove, minced

1/2 small serrano chili, sliced

4 t. shredded carrot

Cut meat in slices 1/16 to 1/8 inch thick. Place in a medium bowl. Stir in fish sauce, sugar, and garlic. Cover and marinade in refrigerator 2 to 3 hours. Bring to room temperature before cooking. Make Dipping Sauce (instructions below). Soak rice sticks in a large saucepan in water to cover 20 minutes; drain. Just before serving, bring 2 quarts of water to a boil in a large saucepan. Add drained rice sticks, boil 3 minutes and drain. Arrange on a platter. Top with 1 T. green onion tops and chopped peanuts. Arrange lettuce leaves, bean sprouts, and mint sprigs on a separate platter. Heat butter in a non-stick skillet. Add lemon grass, saute 1 minute. Add meat and onion tops, cook until meat is browned on all sides, about 4 minutes. Spoon onto a separate heated platter. To eat, tear off a portion of lettuce leaf. Add some of the meat, bean sprouts and mint leaves. Wrap and dip in bowl of sauce. Serve with rice noodles or wrap some of the rice noodles in the lettuce. Makes 4 servings.

Dipping Sauce: Combine lemon juice, vinegar, fish sauce, water, sugar and garlic in small saucepan. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 1 minute. Remove from heat and add chili, if desired; cool to room temperature. At serving time, divide among 4 small bowls. Add 1 teaspoon carrot shreds to each.



Fruit with Rice Dumplings in Ginger Syrup


3 c. water

2/3 c. sugar

1 T. thinly slice ginger root

1 (11 oz.) can mandarin orange slices

1 (8 oz.) can pineapple chunks

1/3 c. glutinous rice flour

3 T. warm water

1 t. toasted sesame seeds

Combine 3 cups water, sugar and ginger root in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil. Continue to boil until reduce to 2 cups. Cool, then cover and refrigerate until chilled, retaining ginger in syrup. Chill cans of fruit. Just before serving, drain fruits, discarding liquid; divide among 4 dessert bowls. In a small bowl, blend rice flour with warm water to make a soft dough. Add more water if needed. Divide dough into 16 pieces. Roll each into a ball. Bring 3 cups of water to boil in 1-quart pan. Add dumplings. Cook at a medium boil, uncovered, until dumplings rise to surface. Cook 1 more minute. Lift from water with a slotted spoon. Rinse with cold water. Place 4 dumplings in each bowl with fruit. Strain ginger from syrup. Add _ c. ginger syrup to each bowl. Sprinkle each with 1/4 t. sesame seeds. Makes 4 servings.