Asian Beef Noodle Soup

After a pretty heavy snowfall last week, I've been craving soup. Lots of soup. My favorite soup on a cold and winter day is one with a flavorful broth. Something about a broth soup just feels so comforting, cleansing, and just healthier. This Asian Beef Noodle Soup is one I made recently and it reminded me of the Vietnamese soup known as 'pho.' Hearty rice noodles swim in a flavorful beef broth with thin slices of beef and fresh cilantro, giving it the perfect Asian twist to a beef noodle soup...

I actually made this recipe a couple of times in the past month. The recipe below uses beef sirloin which is fairly easy to find at local supermarket chains. Another time, I made this with beef oxtails - a more unique cut of beef that you might be able to find or perhaps order from your butcher. I happen to enjoy oxtails and when I used it in this recipe in place of the sirloin, I found it had much more beef flavor. To use with oxtails, season about 3-4 pounds of oxtails with salt and pepper. Place them in a crockpot and add enough water just to cover the oxtails. Cook on low for 6-8 hours or just until the meat falls off the bone. Allow the oxtails to cool enough to handle by hand. Use the  beef stock in place of the broth in the recipe below and use the meat from the oxtail in place of the sirloin. It really was amazing and I imagine the soup would work well with other kinds of beef cuts.

Asian Beef Noodle Soup
recipe adapted from America's Test Kitchen
serves 4

6 cups low sodium beef broth
2 tablespoons soy sauce or gluten free tamari
2 tablespoons mirin
2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
1 tablespoon Asian chili garlic sauce (or to taste depending on your preferred spice/heat level)
1 pound beef sirloin, thinly cut
8 oz of fresh or dry rice noodles
3 scallions, sliced thin
1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves, minced
4 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
pinch of red pepper flakes for garnish (optional)

Bring broth, soy sauce/tamari, mirin, ginger, and chili garlic sauce (if using) to a boil in a large saucepan or Dutch oven. Add the beef to the pot and simmer, covered, over medium-low heat until  cooked through.

Meanwhile, cook or warm the rice noodles per package directions. Add noodles into the broth  cook, stirring occasionally, until warmed through. 

Stir in the scallions and cilantro and serve in bowls. Garnish each bowl additional fresh cilantro leaves and a drizzle of 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil. If you like things on the spicy side, sprinkle a few red pepper flakes for garnish too!

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