Vietnamese Soup Recipe

  • 3 pounds beef shank, with bone
  • 1 pound beef bones (optional)
  • 6 quarts water
  • 1 whole shallot
  • 1 piece ginger, about 3 inches
  • 3 pieces star anise
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 (10 ounce) can bean sprouts, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup Chinese cabbage, finely shredded
  • 2 scallions, minced
  • 1 cup cilantro leaves, whole, coarsely chopped
  • 1 whole lime, cut into 6 wedges
  1. Add beef shanks and beef bones to cold water in a large stock pot then put it on high heat. Bring to a boil. Skim off and discard any froth that may rise to the surface. Continue boiling (and skimming as needed) for about 20 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile; peel and thinly slice the shallots and the ginger.
  3. Reduce heat to a very slow boil. Add ginger, shallots, anise and the cinnamon stick. Cover pot and boil very gently for about 2 hours or until meat is easily removed from the bones.
  4. Removes the bones and meat from the pot and set aside to cool for a few minutes. Remove and discard the cinnamon and star anise.
  5. Once the beef is cool enough to handle, pick the meat from the bones and shred into small pieces. Discard the bones. Return the meat to the stock. Reduce heat to a simmer until ready to serve.
  6. Just before serving, add the bean sprouts, cabbage, and scallions. Stir and heat until cabbage just wilts (about 1 or 2 minutes). Immediately remove from heat.
  7. Ladle the soup into 6 bowls. Sprinkle the cilantro on top and serve with a wedge of lime.