Bun Bo Hue (Vietnamese Hot and Spicy Soup)

Aha! I knew tht being a graphic artist would pay off once in a while -- I illustrated a book called Living And Cooking Vietnamese a few years ago and became good friends with the author, Paula Tran. Let me know if you want more recipes or even the ISBN. It's a good cookbook/memoir, and I guess it's still in print. Anyway, here's Paula's recipe (fairly complicated, but sure to be authentic).

From Lyn Belisle in San Antonio


4-6 pork feet
1-1 1/2 pounds roast beef
1/2 tsp. meat tenderizer
1-3 stems lemongrass, cut into 3" pieces
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 teaspoon chopped dry onion
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon shrimp paste
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon MSG
1 package rice vermicelli noodles, cooked and drained

Boil the pork feet 10 minutes, then drain. Cut the beef into bite size cubes, boil for 10 minutes, then drain. In a deep saucepan half filled with water, add pork feet and meat tenderizer. Cook over medium heat for 15 minutes. Add the beef cubes and continue to cook over medium heat. In the meantime put oil in a small skillet, heat until very hot, remove from burner and immediately throw in the dried onion and the chli powder. Stir well and pour into soup. Add the shrimp paste and seasonings to taste. Let soup simmer for 30-45 minutes until pig's feet are well cooked. Soup is ready to serve. Fill bowls half full of rice noodles and ladle the soup over them. Serve with chopped green onion, cilantro, sliced peppers, and lime.

Serves 4-6