Annabel Langbein’s Beef Pho

20 mins




100g dried vermicelli noodles

12 button mushrooms, sliced

3 stalks lemongrass, bruised with a rolling-pin, or 1 tbsp lemongrass paste

1 long red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped, plus extra thinly sliced to serve

1 kaffir lime leaf or finely grated zest of 1 lime

4 cups beef stock

1½ tbsp fish sauce, plus extra to serve

1 tbsp finely grated fresh ginger

½ tsp five-spice powder

a pinch of ground cloves

about 150g raw or rare-cooked beef fillet, cut as thinly as possible across the grain

4 handfuls bean sprouts

½ cup coriander leaves

2 tbsp lime or lemon juice, or more to taste

2 spring onions, very finely shredded mint and/or vietnamese mint leaves, to serve

wedges of lime, to serve

Ingredients provided by:


Place noodles in a bowl, cover with boiling water and allow to stand for 10 minutes while you make the soup. 

Place mushrooms, lemongrass, chilli, kaffir lime leaf or lime zest, stock, fish sauce, ginger, five-spice powder and cloves in a large pot and simmer for 5 minutes.

Drain noodles, snip with scissors in a few places and divide between heated serving bowls. Top with beef slices, bean sprouts and half the coriander/cilantro.

Remove and discard lemongrass and kaffir lime leaf, if using, and divide boiling hot broth between bowls. Add ½-1 tbsp lime or lemon juice to each bowl, or more if desired. Top with spring onions/scallions, the remaining coriander/cilantro and mint and garnish with lime wedges. Pass around extra fish sauce for seasoning if desired, and accompany with a bowl of sliced chillies.

Just one of 650 great recipes in Annabel’s new book ESSENTIAL Annabel Langbein (Annabel Langbein Media, $65), available now at all good bookstores. Find out more at

Wine match:  2016 Waipara Hills Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc

Aromas: Melon, snow pea and a touch of tropical fruit. 

Palate: Rich ripe fruit flavours with a bright refreshing finish. 

The freshness and zest of the Waipara Hills Sauvignon Blanc will complement the coriander and fresh ingredients in this dish.