350 grams (3/4 pound) eye of round steak or roast (you could also use thinly pre-sliced beef available in Asian grocery stores for pho and bulgogi)
1 large finger of ginger (about 4 inches in total)
4 garlic cloves
2 star anise pods
1 cinnamon stick
5 whole cloves
8 cups beef broth (low-sodium if store-bought, or home made)
1 teaspoon Asian fish sauce
125 grams rice noodles (vermicelli or rice sticks)
1 head bok choy or 4 baby bok choy, spinach, kale or your choice of greens (about 4 cups)
125 grams mushrooms (I used shiitake, oyster and enoki, but you can use any kind you like)
fresh basil or cilantro
small red chili pepper, sliced
green onion, sliced
sriracha or hot sauce
Slice ginger and peel and smash garlic cloves. Heat a large pot over medium-high heat and add the ginger, garlic, star anise, cinnamon stick and cloves. Toast for 3-5 minutes until lightly browned. Add the beef broth and bring to a boil. Simmer for 20 minutes, partially covered. Meanwhile, if your beef isn’t already thinly sliced, place it in the freezer to get cold enough to slice paper thin.After 20 minutes, remove the ginger, garlic and spices from the broth. Make sure to get all the cloves. Add fish sauce and salt to the broth, taste and adjust seasoning.
Prepare rice noodles according to package directions (boil or pour boiling water over them). Drain and add to large soup bowls. Top with garnishes if desired (sliced chilis, green onions and herbs).
Add the mushrooms and bok choy to the simmering broth. Cook for 3 minutes. Thinly slice the beef and add it to the broth to cook for just a few seconds, then remove the beef to the bowls with noodles. Ladle the mushrooms, greens and broth over the beef and noodles in the bowls. Sprinkle with additional herbs and garnishes. Add sriracha and hoisin sauce if desired.
Slurp and enjoy! This will warm you up on the coldest winter night and makes the house smell amazing.