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- 4 lb Beef shin with bones or 2 medium oxtails, cut up.
- 1 md Onion, unpeeled
- 5 Slices fresh ginger
- 1 Piece star anise
- 1 t Salt
- 2 1/2 tb Chinese fish sauce
- 1 Bundle medium Chinese vermicelli
- Boiling water
- 1/2 lb Leftover cooked sirloin (or beef tenderloin or eye chuck), thinly sliced
- 3 Scallions, chopped
- Fresh cilantro sprigs
- Fresh chiles, sliced
- Boil beef (with bones) or oxtails in 3 qts cold water. Skim off foam and fat. Cover and simmer for 4 hours.
- Broil onion until flesh is soft, turning often. Peel. Add onion, ginger, anise, salt, and fish sauce to beef broth just before it has finished simmering.
- Also just before beef broth finishes simmering, drop vermicelli into a pot of boiling water. Cook 8 minutes, remove from water, rinse in cold water, and drain.
- Divide vermicelli into three equal portions and place in 3 individual serving bowls.
- Divide beef into 3 equal portions and place on top of vermicelli in the bowls. Garnish each bowl with scallions and 2 or 3 fresh cilantro sprigs.
- Strain broth, reserving beef and flavorings. Pour one cup broth over contents of each bowl. Sprinkle with pepper and chiles. Serve immediately.
- Reserved beef, flavorings, and extra broth can be eaten separately