For easy Vietnamese noodle soup, gather 12 ounces lean beef sirloin, 5 star anise pods, 8 ounces rice noodles, 3 cups beef broth and 1 cinnamon stick. Also organize 4 scallions, 2 jalapeños, 14-inch piece of ginger, 1 large onion and 1/2 cup cilantro. Finally, prepare 1 cup bean sprouts and 2 to 4 tablespoons fish sauce, depending on taste.
Pierce the beef sirloin with either a fork or meat tenderizer to soften it, season it with salt and pepper, and char it slightly over high heat in a large pot, making sure to set it aside while the center is still rare. Add the ginger and onion to the pot, both halved, allowing them to cook approximately four minutes before adding the stock, three cups of water, the anise and cinnamon. Simmer for around 20 minutes. Cook the noodles according to package directions in a separate vessel, and drain them.
While the stock is simmering, slice the scallion and jalapeños, and tear the cilantro. For less heat, remove the membrane and seeds from the peppers. Add the fish sauce to the stock, remove the ginger and cinnamon, remove the onion and slice it. Bring the pot back to a boil, and place a quarter of the pre-cooked noodles in each of four bowls. Top each of the bowls with the finished broth, sliced beef, peppers, onions, cilantro, bean sprouts and scallions.