Pho, that mesmerizing Vietnamese beef soup, takes time. So let's get this out of the way: This is not authentic pho. Rather, it is inspired by pho - and one of my favorite teas, a rooibos (red herbal) chai, that includes the spices of pho's intoxicating broth: cloves, allspice, nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom.
Makes 4 servings
2 ounces rice noodles
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 onion, diced
1 tablespoon chopped
1 tablespoon honey
48 ounces chicken broth
2 to 3 tea bags herbal
rooibos chai tea
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1/4 to 1/2 pound rib-eye or strip steak, very thinly sliced, pounded thin
2 cups bean sprouts
1/2 cup basil or mint, coarsely chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, thinly sliced
1 lime, quartered
1. For noodles, heat large saucepan of water to a boil. Prepare according to package instructions.
2. Meanwhile, heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat; add onion and ginger. Cook until ginger yields its fragrance, about 1 minute. Stir in the honey, letting it meld with the onion and ginger, about 30 seconds. Add broth; heat to a boil.
3. Lower heat; add tea bags. Cook, stirring occasionally, until tea releases its fragrance and flavors, about 2 minutes.
4. Stir in fish sauce; raise heat to medium-high. When mixture reaches a boil, lower heat to a slow boil. Add beef. Cook until meat is medium-rare, about 2 to 5 minutes.
5. Remove pan from heat; discard tea bags. Stir in noodles, bean sprouts, basil or mint, and jalapenos. Taste for seasoning. Serve with lime wedges for squeezing at the table.