Quick Vietnamese Noodle Soup with Beef

This soup has all the flavors that I love. Richness from the stock and soy, heat from the chili sauce, tartness from the lime, and noodles. I know noodles are not a flavor, but in my book they are the best thing on the planet. I found myself alone for the night and still wanted to make a great dinner. This soup was perfect as it took only 20 minutes to make and was great for leftovers. Best thing is that it is light, refreshing, and filling, which is not a combination you can find often. The recipe came from the March issue of Food & Wine which featured recipes that chefs make for themselves to keep slim. Rocco DiSpirito was the author of this and he really knows how to deliver delicious food with a light calorie count. As written by him this is only 160 calories per serving. I could not find the special noodle that he has listed. Although, I called around to some natural food stores, Trader Joe's, and Whole Foods and you may be able to find them at one of those in the refrigerated foods aisle. They are known as "Miracle Noodle" for their very low calorie count and are made of tofu or sweet potato. I substituted what I like best, which has more calories. But, I did not feel one ounce of guilt since the calorie count was still very, very low.

Quick Vietnamese Noodle Soup with Beef
Rocco DiSpirito, Food & Wine Magazine, March 2011
serves 4

3 cups chicken stock (I used beef stock)
2 cups water
1 tablespoon agave syrup (you can use honey also)
1 tablespoon finely grated ginger
1 tablespoon soy sauce
Two 8-oz packages shirataki noodles, rinsed and drained (I used Udon noodles, use any noodle and adjust cook time as necessary)
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice, plus lime wedges for serving
Salt and pepper
1/2 lb. trimmed beef tenderloin, very thinly sliced across the grain
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
1/2 cup chopped basil
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1/4 cup chopped scallion
1 cup bean sprouts
Sriracha or other garlic-chili sauce for serving

1. In a large saucepan, combine the chicken stock with the water, agave syrup, grated ginger and soy sauce and bring to a boil. Add the noodles and simmer over low heat for 2 minutes. Add the lime juice and season with salt and pepper.

2. Using tongs, transfer the noodles to bowls. Add the beef to the noodles and ladle the hot broth on top. Drizzle with the sesame oil and top with the basil, cilantro, scallions and bean sprouts. Serve with lime wedges and chili sauce.

Note: If storing for leftovers, you can drop the meat into your leftover hot broth. Then just reheat when ready to eat. Serve topping with the oil, herbs, and bean sprouts, just like above.


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