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A Vietnamese beef soup, which happens to be the national dish of Vietnam. The most popular Vietnamese comfort food is loaded with beef, flat rice noodles, bean sprouts, herbs and spices and brightened up with lime juice.

The dishes name is pronounced "Fuuh" and not the Louisiana pronunciation of "4". No matter what you call it though, it will grow on you to become one of your favorites.

●  6 cups beef broth
●  1 (¼ inch thick) slice ginger
●  2 whole star anise*
●  1 cinnamon stick
●  ½ pound piece boneless beef sirloin, trimmed of any fat
●  3 ounces dried flat rice noodles*
●  ¼ cup Asian fish sauce* "Nam Pla"
●  ⅛ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
●  1 cup fresh bean sprouts, rinsed and drained
●  ⅛ cup minced scallions
●  ¼ cup fresh cilantro sprigs, washed and finely chopped
●  1 small thin fresh red or green Asian or Thai chilie, sliced very thin
●  ½ cup fresh basil leaves
●  Lime wedges for garnish

*Available at Asian Markets and now being sold in most good supermarket's Asian aisle


1.  In a 2 quart saucepan bring broth, ginger, star anise, and cinnamon to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for
     15 minutes.

2.  With a very sharp knife cut sirloin across the grain into very thin slices.

3.  In a large bowl soak noodles in hot water to cover 15 minutes, or until softened and pliable.

4.  While noodles are soaking, bring a kettle of salted water to a boil for noodles. Drain noodles in a colander
     and cook in boiling water, stirring 45 seconds, or until tender. Drain noodles in a colander. Set aside.

5.  Strain broth into saucepan and bring to a boil. Stir in fish sauce, salt and pepper. Add sirloin and sprouts
     and cook 30 to 45 seconds, or until sirloin changes color. Skim any froth from soup.

6.  To serve, divide noodles into 4 bowls. Ladle soup over noodles. Sprinkle scallion greens, cilantro, chilies
     and basil over soup and serve with lime wedges

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