6 garlic cloves, peeled, roughly chopped
6 coriander roots, cleaned, coarsely chopped
1 tsp whole black peppercorns
1 tbsp vegetable oil
500g (1 lb) beef chuck steak (or gravy beef, stewing beef or brisket)
3 whole star anise
1 cinnamon stick
¼ cup soy sauce
1 tbsp dark soy sauce
6 cups beef stock
300g (10.6 oz) Asian beef balls (optional)
2 cups sliced Asian greens (e.g. bok choy, pak choy, Chinese young kale)
cooked noodles to serve (e.g. rice noodles or egg noodles)
1 cup bean shoots to serve
fish sauce to season to taste before serving
Thai basil leaves to serve
Use a mortar and pestle to pound the garlic, coriander and peppercorns to a rough paste.
Heat oil in a large saucepan over high heat. Add the garlic mixture and cook for 30 seconds until fragrant. Add the beef and cook for 2-3 minutes or until evenly coloured. Add the star anise, cinnamon stick, soy sauces and beef stock. Reduce the heat to low. Cover with a lid and simmer for 90 minutes or until beef is tender.
Use a slotted spoon to scoop out the cinnamon stick and star anise. Then use the slotted spoon to transfer the beef pieces to a chopping board. Run a knife through the beef so that you get tender bite-sized pieces. Set aside until ready to serve.
Add the beef balls and Asian greens to the beef broth. And simmer for 2-3 minutes to warm through. Taste the soup and adjust the seasoning if necessary with fish sauce.
Divide noodles among serving bowls. Top with beef balls, Asian greens, braised beef and ladle over the beef broth. Top with bean shoots and Thai basil leaves.