26/11/2011

Vietnamese Beef & Spinach Soup

With beef stock, spinach and a piece of fillet steak too small for two, too big for one, I sought out and set about following a Ken Hom recipe that I'd seen on the television a couple of weeks ago.

Me? Follow a recipe?

Yes! And it was a good job it was very simple and straightforward or I'd be off, deviating and freestyling!

Furthermore, a step into East Asian cuisine is something new for me. I've made similar hot noodle soups before, but that is about the limit of my venturing East where I tend to stop in South Asia, culinarily speaking.

There is a little preparation, but it is simple - Ken Hom's method is to make a quick and easy soup.

Let's get cooking ...

Slice the fillet steak into thin strips and place in a mixing bowl along with a couple of tablespoons of fish sauce, some lemon juice, minced garlic, spring onion and chilli - I used a Scotch Bonnet pepper; I like hot chillies!

Actually, I did deviate from the recipe ... I used a little red onion as well.

Allow the meat to marinate for an hour, or so.

Some recipes also make complex extractions of star anise, first blanching the spinach and so on ... but not this one.

In a wok (sorry, Ken ... I don't have a wok) or saucepan, bring some stock up to temperature. Maybe three cups is fine, up to the boil and then off the heat.

Push maybe a pound of spinach into the pan, using the residual heat to wilt the spinach and now pour in the marinated meat along with all the ingredients from the marinade.

Simmer for a couple of minutes, sufficient to just cook the meat and serve out into hand bowls. Eat with chopsticks.

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