Monday, December 9, 2013

Spicy Lemongrass Beef Soup

Out of all the different kind of Vietnamese foods, to me the soups are the best. They all have a ton of flavor and my favorite part about them is that they are always served with fresh herbs and veggies. It's having a hot home cooked meal with the freshness of veggies, best of both worlds.
I've posted a recipe below for another Vietnamese soup called Bun Bo Hue (pronounced more like boom ba way). The broth has lemongrass which makes it unbelievable. It is more of a spicer soup also so when I serve it to my kids I'll dilute the broth with some water and then adding lemon juice brings the spiciness down also then I add a little salt so it is not bland.
Hope you all try it. I know cooking something different is always a pain and stepping outside your comfort zone is always a little nerve racking but it's nice trying new recipes ;)

*Remember everything is optional. Change ingredients to your taste.

2 lbs beef bones
2 lbs beef shank
2 lbs pig knuckles (optional)
1 package Tripe
8 stalks lemongrass
2 cloves garlic
2-4 tablspoons canola oil
1 tablespoon chili powder
2 teaspoons shrimp paste (optional)
1-2 rock sugar (optional)
Salt and Pepper to taste
You can add fish sauce too for salt also

Rice noodles

Fresh Toppings:
Siracha (optional)
Lemon wedges
Thai peppers
Thai Basil
Onions sliced thin
Cabbage mix (lettuce will work also)

Place all the meat in an 8 quart pot and cover with water on medium heat. Place 5 of the 8 stalks of lemongrass in the water also. When it begins to boil reduce to a simmer. Let simmer about 2 hours until meat is tender. You can take the meat out when it is tender and keep simmering the bones. The longer you simmer the bones the more flavor your broth will have. Cut meat into bite size peices.

While the soup is simmering cook noodles according to package directions.Grind the garlic and lemongrass, in a mortar and pestle or spice grinder you can do that also. Heat a pan on medium heat, add canola oil. When hot add the grinded lemongrass, garlic and chili pepper. Cook for a couple minutes or until it is aromatic. Take some broth and add to the spice mixture in the pan to loosen up the bits from the pan. Pour all of it back into the 8 quart pot. Add shrimp paste and rock sugar to the pot. Let simmer another 20 minutes.
Serve by placing noodles in bowl and pour broth with a ladle over noodles. Top with fresh herbs and veggies. Try using some chopsticks while your at it :)

Here is the soup. I like tripe but if your don't like the "weird food" you can make all beef.

Rice Noodles


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