Thai Beef Soup with Coconut, Lemongrass, and Noodles

  • Active Time 40m
  • Total Time 1h 10m
  • Rating ****

Serves 4

This soup is inspired by a wonderful chef and restaurateur, Hubert Keller. Alsace-born Hubert owns Fleur de Lys, the superb French restaurant in San Francisco, and he is one of the most well-liked and respected individuals in the industry. Hubert has a similar recipe featuring lobster and shrimp, without the noodles included here. The meaty texture of the seafood and the Thai flavors are an exciting combination; our uncommon variation is one of the lightest-flavored beef dishes you'll find. WINE RECOMMENDATION: For a soup so abundantly spiced, a light acidic wine is recommended, such as a Spanish Rioja, Italian Bardolino, Californian Petite Syrah or a Tavel Rosé from the Rhone Valley.


  • For Beef:
  • 1 pound skirt steak, cut across the grain into pieces 1 inch long and 1/8 inch thick.
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
  • For Soup Base:
  • 3 cans (14 ounces each) coconut milk
  • 3 stalks lemongrass, tough outer leaves removed
  • 3 tablespoons minced ginger
  • 3 kaffir lime leaves, or 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 stalk celery, diced (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup minced cilantro
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • For Vegetables and Noodles:
  • 3 Roma tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 sweet onion, finely diced
  • 3 scallions, finely sliced
  • 1 carrot, finely sliced
  • 5 ounces dry rice noodles (or jasmine rice noodles)
  • 1/2 cup finely sliced basil


TO PREPARE BEEF: Place the beef in a mixing bowl, add the soy and sesame oil, and let marinate at room temperature for 2 to 3 hours, or at least 30 minutes, turning occasionally.

TO PREPARE SOUP BASE: Place the coconut milk in a large saucepan. Cut the lemongrass in half across and then in half lengthwise. Crush with the back of a heavy knife and add to the pan. Add the ginger, lime leaves, celery, lemon juice, garlic, cilantro, wine, plus salt and pepper to taste, and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Boil gently for 5 minutes and then remove from the heat and let infuse, covered, while cooking the beef and vegetables.

Heat a dry wok or cast-iron skillet over high heat. Add the beef and marinade and sear for 8 to 10 minutes, stirring constantly, or until the beef is tender, browned, and the liquid has evaporated. Remove the beef and pat dry with paper towels.

TO PREPARE VEGETABLES: Blanch the tomatoes in a small saucepan of boiling water for 2 minutes. Drain, and when cool enough to handle, peel, cut in half, and gently squeeze out the seeds. Dice the tomatoes and set aside. Heat the olive oil in a saucepan, add the onion, scallions and carrot and sauté over medium-high heat for 2 minutes.

Strain the coconut liquid into the saucepan and bring to a boil. Add the noodles and cook for about 5 minutes, or until tender. Add the basil, blanched tomatoes and cooked beef and season to taste. Ladle into serving bowls.

HELPFUL TIPS: Rice noodles are available in the Asian foods section of most supermarkets. Lemongrass is becoming more widely available in supermarket produce sections, and can also be found in Asian markets.

Recipe reprinted by permission of Harper Collins. All rights reserved.

RecID 1948

nutrition information per serving

1068 calories; 79g total fat; 68mg cholesterol; 667mg sodium; 57g carbohydrates; 8g fiber; 34g protein

These nutrition facts are calculated according to the ingredients listed in this recipe. Any substitutions will change these facts. Although we strive for accuracy, please note that food manufacturers occasionally change their food formulas, which could affect the calculations as shown.

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