This is a quick version of pho – a wonderful soup made with beef or chicken that the Vietnamese eat for dinner, lunch and even breakfast.
300 g beef fillet, trimmed of sinew
1 clove olive oil
200 g rice stick noodles
500 cl beef stock
1 clove fish sauce
1 emongrass stem (white part only), bruised, cut into 6cm lengths
11 cl cups bean sprouts, ends trimmed
Rub the beef fillet with the olive oil and season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Heat a large frypan over high heat. Add the beef and cook, turning, for 2-3 minutes until seared on all sides and rare in the centre. Remove from pan, cover loosely with foil and set aside.
Place the rice noodles in a large heatproof bowl and pour over enough boiling water to cover. Leave to soften for 5 minutes, then rinse and drain well.
Place the stock, lemongrass, fish sauce and 2 cups (500ml) water in a large heavy-based saucepan and bring to the boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 3-4 minutes.