Punchy flavours and aromatic ingredients transform a light broth into an exotic dish that makes a substantial starter or a light meal. The ingredients are not fried before being simmered – making this a great low-fat soup – so select prime-quality lean steak which tastes excellent when poached.
For a vegetarian version of this soup, use tofu and vegetable stock instead of beef and beef stock, and soy sauce or dry sherry instead of the fish sauce. Cook the tofu gently for only 2 minutes or until heated through. * The bean sprouts can be replaced by shavings of carrot and chopped celery. Vary the quantities of spring onion, chilli and fresh herbs to taste. * Any thin Oriental noodles can be used in place of rice noodles, including the readily available Chinese egg noodles. Cook or soak the chosen noodles according to the packet instructions. * For a warm, spicy flavour, add a good pinch of ground cinnamon with the ginger.
In common with other red meats, beef is a good source of iron and zinc, and the iron in meat is far more easily absorbed by the body than iron from vegetable sources. * Beef is now far leaner than it used to be, and well-trimmed lean cuts can contain as little as 4% fat.
B1, B6, B12, E, niacin * iron, zinc