2 litres(8 cups) veal or beef stock (see note)20 gm(4cm) piece of ginger, sliced 4star anise1cinnamon quill4green cardamom pods, bruised280 gmdried medium rice stick noodles1 tbspfish sauce, plus extra to taste400 gmpiece of sirloin, thinly sliced across the grain2green onions, thinly sliced1 cup each(loosely packed) Vietnamese mint leaves, mint leaves, coriander leaves and beansprouts, to serveTo serve:sliced red chillies and lime wedges
Bring stock to the boil in a large saucepan. Add ginger slices, star anise, cinnamon and cardamom and simmer over medium heat until infused (4-5 minutes). Keep hot.
Meanwhile, place rice stick noodles in a heatproof bowl. Cover completely with boiling water and stand until noodles are soft (3-5 minutes), then drain.
Divide noodles and sirloin among bowls, pour over hot stock and serve immediately with remaining ingredients to taste.
Note A good-quality veal or beef stock, available from select delicatessens and butchers, is essential for this recipe.