Vietnamese broth with noodles

Punchy flavours and aromatic ingredients transform a light broth into an exotic dish that makes a substantial starter or a light meal. The ingredients are not fried before being simmered – making this a great low-fat soup – so select prime-quality steak, which tastes excellent when poached.

Perfect Pasta
Perfect Pasta
Perfect Pasta


1 cup (25 g) dried shiitake mushrooms
75 g fine rice noodles, such as vermicelli
175 g lean rump steak, diced
2 cups (500 ml) beef stock
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 heaped teaspoon grated fresh ginger
⅓ cup (30 g) bean sprouts, trimmed½ small onion, thinly sliced
2 spring onions, thinly sliced
2 small fresh red birdseye chillies or 1 medium red chilli, seeded and finely chopped
1 tablespoon shredded fresh mint
1 tablespoon shredded fresh coriander
1 tablespoon shredded fresh basil

To serve
lime wedges
soy sauce (optional)


  1. Rinse the shiitake mushrooms and put them in a small bowl.
  2. Place the rice noodles in a large bowl. Cover the mushrooms with boiling water and leave to soak for 20 minutes.
  3. Cover the rice noodles with boiling water and soak for 4 minutes, or according to the packet instructions.
  4. Drain the noodles and set aside until they are needed.
  5. Drain the mushrooms and pour the soaking liquid into a large saucepan.
  6. Trim off and discard any tough stalks from the mushrooms, then slice them and add to the pan with the diced steak, stock, fish sauce and ginger.
  7. Bring to the boil, then simmer for 10–15 minutes or until the steak is cooked and tender.
  8. Skim off any scum that rises to the surface of the soup during cooking.
  9. Divide the noodles, bean sprouts and sliced onion between 2 large, deep soup bowls.
  10. Use a slotted spoon to remove the steak and mushrooms from the broth and divide them between the bowls.
  11. Ladle the broth into the bowls, then scatter the spring onions, chillies, mint, coriander and basil over the top.Serve immediately, with the lime wedges – the juice can be squeezed into the broth to taste.
  12. Soy sauce can also be added, if liked.

Each serving provides 1256 kJ, 300 kcal, 23 g protein, 4 g fat (1.5 g saturated fat), 42 g carbohydrate (2 g sugars), 0.8 g fibre

Serves 2
Preparation: 20 minutes, plus 20 minutes soaking
Cooking: 10–15 minutes

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