- 3 star anise pods
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
- 8 cups beef broth, store-bought or homemade
- 2 cups water
- 1 onion, thinly sliced
- 8 ounces noodle of your choice
- 2 tablespoons fish sauce
- 12 ounces beef eye of round, very thinly sliced (see note)
- 4 sprigs fresh Thai or regular basil
- 4 sprigs fresh cilantro
- 1 jalapeño pepper, sliced
- 1 lime, cut into wedges
- Hoisin and hot sauce, for serving (optional)
Tie star anise, cinnamon and fennel seeds in cheesecloth. Add to a stock pot along with beef broth, water and onions. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, prepare noodles according to package directions. Divide noodles between four large soup bowls.
Remove cheesecloth bundle from broth and stir in fish sauce. Add beef and simmer until just cooked through, 1 to 2 minutes. Ladle hot broth and beef over noodles in soup bowls. Place basil, cilantro, sliced jalapeños, lime wedges, hoisin and hot sauce on a platter. Top each bowl with desired garnishes.
To make slicing easier, freeze beef for 30 minutes and then slice. Leave at room temperature to thaw before adding to the soup.