Little Saigon Beef Noodle Soup

By Marcus Samuelsson |

This pho-like soup is rich and aromatic. Where I veer off from classic pho is by adding the crunch of snow peas and carrots to the traditional garnishes of cilantro, mint, and chiles.

If you’ve never experienced the amazing combination of fish and fragrant beef stock, try it here. Substitute cubed white fish (like halibut or cod) or sliced scallops for the London broil and ladle the steaming broth over the fish.

Prep Details

Servings: 6-8


3 quarts low-sodium chicken broth

1 ¼ pounds meaty beef neck bones or shank bones

8 scallions

3 star anise

1 (1-inch) piece of ginger, peeled

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 pound London broil

6 ounces dried rice noodles

1 cup fresh cilantro leaves

1 cup fresh mint leaves

3 serrano chilies, sliced thin

2 limes, cut into wedges

1 ½ cups snow peas, ends trimmed

1 large carrot, peeled and coarsely grated

Sriracha or any other hot chili sauce


In a heavy large stockpot, combine the broth, beef bones, 3 green onions, star anise and ginger and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover the pot and gently simmer for three hours. Strain the broth, discarding the solids. Season the broth with salt and pepper. (You can make this days or weeks in advance. Use your freezer.)

Freeze the London broil for 15 to 20 minutes. Slice it across the grain as thin as possible.

Soak the rice stick noodles for 3 minutes in a large bowl filled with enough hot water to cover the noodles. Using scissors, cut the noodles so that they are approximately 4 inches in length.

Slice the remaining 5 green onions and place them on a platter. Arrange the cilantro leaves, mint leaves, sliced chili and lime wedges on the same platter. Set the condiment platter aside.

Bring the broth to the boil again then add the noodles. Cook them until they’re just barely tender, about 2 minutes. Don’t overcook or the noodles will become mushy.

Divide the snow peas and shredded carrots between 4 bowls then ladle the soup and noodles on top. Slice the London broil thinly against the grain and lay the slices on the top of the soup — the noodles will hold them up. Serve at once, and let each diner dress their soup to taste with lime juice, sliced green onions, cilantro, mint, sliced chilies, and Sriracha.