Asian Beef Broth Soup

It was rainy and cold and I was out of ideas for dinner one day. Craving this type of soup, I found a several recipes, made changes, and ended up with this soup. I like stir frying the veggies separately, as it keeps them from becoming over cooked. This requires a little more effort, and there is the standard recipe at the bottom.

I think this soup could be made in to a cool summer time alternative, if I were organized enough to not be starving when I made it. Still, it’s savory in the winter and not too hot in the summer. It passes the taste test for my kid, and when the veggies were kept separated, added just before eating, it traveled well, unlike second day Pho!

Lots of Veggies. Warm & Soothing. Quick to make. I like this soup very much!


Asian Beef Broth Soup


1 ½ cup rice – Bonton (semi-sticky white) or Jasmine work well

1lb ground turkey or ground beef, cooked into large chunks over medium heat or 1 lb stew meat in 1 inch cubes

½ Tablespoon Olive Oil

1/2 teaspoon Sesame Seed Oil


4 Cups Beef Broth, or Beef Bone Broth

¼ Cup Soy Sauce

¼ cup Sake or Cooking Sherry

2 Teaspoons Sesame Seed Oil

4-6 green onions chopped

3 Tablespoons Brown Sugar

1-2 cloves minced garlic or 1 scant teaspoon prepared garlic

1 Tablespoon minced fresh ginger, or 1 ½ teaspoon minced ginger


1 ½ cup sliced carrots

1 ½ cup sliced bokchoy    (I love this stuff)

1 cup Chinese pea pods (flat) or green pea pods (puffy)

1 ½ cup sliced mushrooms

(I like portabella’s, shitake is nice too, but doesn’t pass the daughter-taste test)

Hot sauce: Sriracha or Ground Chili Garlic Oil



Start rice.

In a cooking pot, brown the meat on all sides. Drain meat if necessary (beef). Add beef broth, soy sauce, sherry, brown sugar, sesame seed oil, garlic and ginger. Have a sip of sherry. See – it’s only worth cooking with! Good thing your not drinking!  Cover bring to a boil and simmer for 10 – 20 minutes.

Stir fry the vegetables and add separately to soup. Cook carrots on high for 3-5 minutes, add bokchoy stem pieces for 2 minutes, then add onions, leafy bokchoy and mushrooms, stir intermittently, until tender, then add the pea pods last, so everything is still fresh and brightly colored.

Add hot sauce to flavor.

Serve jasmine rice, or optionally: finish rice by adding sushi seasoning to bonton rice and stir well while hot.

Serve soup, add vegetables, and finish with a scoop of rice in the bowl. Serve hot, or in summer, slightly cooled.


Alternatively you can add the vegetables to the broth. Add carrots first, cook until starting to become slightly tender, but still bright – 5 to 10 minutes. Add the rest of the vegetables and cook 3 to 5 minutes so color is bright and tenders or vegetables are just slightly tender. It is harder to maintain freshness in the vegetables if you cook the soup this way, and left-over’s are not as nice, but it is easier, so warrants mention!


To add some herbal medicine, other than the fresh veggies, consider using some shitake mushrooms, and definitely throw in a slice of Astragalus root (often found at Asian Markets or health food stores, some Gobo root (Burdock – found at Asian Markets).

Burdock Information:

My daughter loves it, I think it’s fine, we think it tastes like celery. My fiancé dislikes it. He says it tastes like flowers, and is not something he wants in his soup.

Burdock root, with the Japanese name ‘Gobo’, and the scientific name Arctium lappa, is the tap root of a burdock, grown as a vegetable and flavoring agent in Asian cooking.

It is considered a winter tonic in Western herbal medicine, thus, it goes in most of my soups in the winter. It’s herbal actions also include use of the roots, seeds and leaves.

It is a perennial in the Asteraceae Family. There are no know side effects from Burdock or drug interactions, however , it is reported that you can get contact dermatitis from handling the plant. I suspect this means the whole plant and not the nice little roots you can by at Asian markets.

It is a great source of manganese and magnesium, calcium, phosphorus, iron, or copper.  It also has good amounts of folate, vitamin C, and pantothenic acid. Burdock has a high inulin, a prebiotic, it supports the growth of healthy bacteria. However, it is important to cook it well, or it can give you gas.

“The Difference between a Weed and a Flower is a Judgment” –  Unknown


by Tama Cathers

Burdock in the ‘wild’
Soup broth


Spicy options
Second Day Soup
Spicy options



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