Vietnamese-Style Beef Soup

Alex and I like beef. Like, a lot. I haven’t made this in a while and I really need to because it’s good, and it’s simple. There’s like, practically no cooking (hooray!!).

Ingredients:
bok choy, or baby bok choy (can use Napa Cabbage)
veggie broth or spiced water
onion
ginger
some form of lean sirloin or other tender, lean meat
3-4 whole cloves
cardamom
minced garlic
1 tsp sugar
1 small chile, sliced thin

For Spiced Water (if you want to use this)
drinking grade water
black pepper
sea salt
cumin
paprika
white pepper
garlic salt
onion powder
ground cloves
cardamom

Method:
1. Pop the meat in the freezer for about ten minutes. This makes it easier to cut.
2. Slice your onion thin. Peel and cut the ginger into thin slices. I generally use about three inches of ginger.
3. Put the onions, cloves, ginger, few good shakes of cardamom (or two very lightly crushed pods, if you have pods), and minced garlic in a large saucepan. Cook on about 5-6 for about five minutes, stirring frequently.
4. Add the broth or spiced water. I prefer spiced water to the broth. Let it hang out in the pot for a while and warm up with all the other goodies in there.
5. Get your meat out of the freezer, and start slicing it as thinly as possible. Do the slices in little bite-size strips. As you slice, put the meat into the bowls you will be serving the stew in.
6. Slice that chile really thin (I use a jalapeno) and put maybe two slices in each bowl. I put more than that the last time I made this and Alex was dying. And we’re talking about someone who likes jalapenos in all their spicy glory.
7. Chop your bok choy or napa cabbage. I have made this with both, both are fine. Bok Choy is more interesting of a flavor though. Slightly oniony in the stems, and slightly spinachy in the leaves. It’s yum-delicious. Put some in each bowl.
8. Bring the broth to a boil, add the teaspoon of sugar, stir, and boil again.
9. Pour the hot broth into the bowls over the meat, chiles, and bok choy/napa cabbage. Don’t worry about cooking the meat, or it being raw. The boiling hot broth cooks it.

Serve immediately.

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