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Beef and pork noodle in lemon grass flavored broth

 

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Bn go heo - Beef and pork noodle in lemon grass flavored broth (Hue specialty)
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Ingredients:

  • 3 pounds of fresh pork hocks
  • 3 pounds of boneless beef shank
  • 3 stalks of lemon grass cut into 3-inch length or 3 teaspoons of grated fresh or dried lemon grass wrapped in cheesecloth in a ball.
  • 3 teaspoons of fish sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
    pinch of ground black pepper
  • 1 large sweet onion thinly sliced
  • 2 teaspoons of sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of paprika (Vietnamese will use red chili  powder instead, but that's too hot for the American palate.)
  • 3 tablespoons of canola oil
  • 2 pounds of round large rice noodles

    Garnish:
  • 1 cup of thinly sliced banana blossoms or finely shredded cabbage if you cannot find banana blossoms.
  • 1 cup shredded lettuce
  • 1 cup bean sprouts
  • 1/2 chopped green onion
  • 1/2 chopped basil or mint
  • 1/2 cup of chopped coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon of shrimp paste (optional)
  • lemon wedges
  • fish sauce

Preparations:

  • Bring 6 cups of water to boil, blanch the beef and the pork for 5 minutes. Drain and rinse. Scrub the pork hocks carefully. Set aside. Clean the soup pot.
  • Again bring 12 cups of water to boil, return the meat to the pot, add lemon grass stalks or lemon grass in the cheese cloth. Bring to a boil; then simmer the broth for 30 minutes. Remove all the foam on the top of the broth.
  • Remove the meat and set aside to cool. Save the broth.
  • Slice the beef in 1-inch by 2-inch. Bone the hocks and slice the meat the same way as the beef. Marinate the beef and the pork with fish sauce, sugar and black pepper.
  • In a large skillet, heat the oil, brown the onion or shallots, add paprika , stir fry the meat for a few minutes; then add 2 cups of broth. Cover the skillet and simmer for 20 minutes, so the meat will soak in the seasonings. Remove the lemon grass from the broth, add the cooked meat back to the broth. Simmer for 20 more minutes or until the meat is tender.
  • You can add the shrimp paste to the broth before serving (optional).
  • Soak the noodles for 30 minutes in cold water. Drain and set aside. In a large pot bring water to boil; then cook the noodles for 5 to 8 minutes. Do not overcook the noodles. Drain and rinse the noodles with cold water to separate them.

    To serve:
  • Put 1 cup of the cooked noodles in the bottom of a soup bowl. Put slices of beef, pork, chopped onion on top, pour the hot broth in the bowl. Serve on the side a platter of shredded banana blossom, bean sprouts, fresh slices of red hot pepper, coriander, mint, lemon wedges, and a small bowl of fish sauce. Guests can adjust to taste with fish sauce.