Beef & Pork vermicelli soup (Ktiew Khmer)

Preparation: 3 hrs (soup)
Cooking: 10 mins
Complexity: medium
Serves: 5


  • ½ pork or chicken bones
  • ½ kg any tender cut of beef
  • ½ kg pork mince
  • 1 star anise
  • 1 lemongrass stalk crushed
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 carrot peeled 1 inch long and thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • 20 garlic cloves finely chopped
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 4 tsp salt
  • 1 packet of dried thin rice noo-dles soaked in warm water for 10 mins and drained

Seasoning and Garnishes

  • 5 shelled prawn boiled (optional)
  • Soy sauce
  • Freshly ground Kampot pepper
  • 1 bunch of spring onion thinly sliced
  • ½ kg bean sprouts
  • 1 cup coriander roughly chopped
  • 3 small fresh chilies thinly sliced



  1. Bring the water to a boil in a large stock-pot and add the bones, star anise, lemongrass, onion and carrot.
  2. Return to a boil and skim off any froth.
  3. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 2 to 3 hours, until all the flavor of the bones is released into the broth.
  4. Strain the broth and discard the bones and vegetables.
  5. Add the sugar and salt then stir to dis-solve and turn off the heat.
  6. Use half a cup of the broth to add it into a separate small saucepan and cover the remaining broth.
  7. Simmer the pork mince over medium-high heat until cooked through for 2 to 3 minutes, breaking it apart as it cooks. Set aside.
  8. Heat the oil in a separate small pot over medium heat and fry the garlic until well browned for 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the oil and set aside.


  1. In a medium-sized pot that can accommodate a strainer fill in three-quarters full with water and bring to a boil.
  2. Put the strainer in place so that it dips into the water.
  3. Add the soaked noodles and shake the strainer to make sure the water reaches all the noodles, lift and drain for about 2 seconds and then remove the strainer.
  4. Divide the noodles into large individual soup bowls. Add 2 spoonfuls of sliced beef to each bowl
  5. Create a bowl of soup to suit your own taste following a general guideline: In the center of the bowl, on top of the noodles, put 2 tablespoons cooked mince pork and a few slices of the sliced beef. Around the edge of the bowl, in small piles, arrange, 1 teaspoon each of the fried garlic and spring onion, soy sauce, pepper and a handful of bean sprouts. Using a ladle, generously spoon the broth to cover the content of your bowl and sprinkle with coriander, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, chilies and the cooked shrimp.


  • Serve with crispy fried bread sticks on the side.
  • Soup can keep in the fridge for up to 3 days.
  • Other meat such as chicken, pork balls, fish balls, chicken liver, tripe, beef tendon can be used also.


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