Delicious Vietnamese Beef and Spinach Soup Recipe

Are you looking for the perfect comfort food that will warm you up on a cold winter day? Look no further than this authentic Vietnamese Beef and Spinach Soup recipe! This hearty and savory soup is packed with bold flavors that will tickle your taste buds and leave you feeling satisfied.

As an experienced chef specializing in Vietnamese and Asian cuisine, I have created this recipe with a careful selection of traditional ingredients such as Thịt Bò (Vietnamese beef), fresh spinach, and fish sauce. Blended with a combination of garlic cloves, shallots, and red chili pepper, this nourishing soup is bound to revitalize you on even the dreariest days.

This soup recipe is not only nutritious but also easy to make. With just one hour in the kitchen, you can create a bowl of soup that will last through the week, making it perfect for meal prep or family dinners.

So why not add this delicious and comforting dish to your culinary repertoire? Whether you’re a fan of beef noodle soup or just crave freshly-made vegetable soup, this recipe will satisfy both your cravings! Warm up with a steaming bowl of my Vietnamese Beef and Spinach Soup recipe today – bon appétit!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Vietnamese Beef and Spinach Soup
Vietnamese Beef and Spinach Soup

This Vietnamese Beef and Spinach Soup recipe is a must-try for all food enthusiasts out there! Not only is it easy to make, but it’s also packed with flavor that will surely tantalize your taste buds.

One of the reasons why you’ll love this dish is because of its versatility. You can choose to use different types of spinach, such as the Vietnamese Malabar spinach or the water spinach, depending on your preference. You can also add your choice of protein, whether it be beef, shrimp, pork, or even vegetables.

The blend of flavors in this soup is another reason why it’s a stand-out recipe. The savory beef broth pairs well with the fresh spinach and gives off a delectable aroma that will entice anyone around you. The addition of fish sauce, garlic, shallots, and red chili pepper rounds out the flavors and makes it a true feast for the senses.

If you’re looking for a healthy option that’s rich in nutrients, you’ll be pleased to know that this soup is packed with vitamins and minerals. Spinach is known for its high iron content while beef provides protein that your body needs.

Best of all, this soup recipe is perfect for any occasion whether you’re cooking for yourself or entertaining guests. It’s an ideal starter for any meal or can stand-alone as a complete dish if paired with rice noodles or any noodle of your liking. Your taste buds will surely thank you for trying out this superb Vietnamese Beef and Spinach Soup recipe.

Ingredient List

 Dive into this savory bowl of Vietnamese Beef and Spinach Soup!
Dive into this savory bowl of Vietnamese Beef and Spinach Soup!

Ingredients for Vietnamese Beef and Spinach Soup Recipe

  • 1 lb. Vietnamese beef, thinly sliced
  • 5 cups chicken broth (or beef broth)
  • 2 cups fresh spinach, cut into thin slices
  • 2 shallots, finely sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp. fish sauce
  • 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. bouillon powder
  • 1/2 tsp. sugar
  • 1 red chili pepper, sliced
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Rice noodles, cooked according to package instructions

Additional ingredients for substitutions and variations:

  • Ground beef or pork: If you prefer using ground meat instead of thinly sliced meat, use 1 lb. of ground beef or pork.
  • Malabar spinach: Instead of regular spinach, you can use Malabar spinach which is commonly used in Vietnamese cuisine.
  • Shrimp: You can add shrimp to your soup recipe. Use ½ lb. of small shrimp, peeled and deveined before cooking.
  • Vegetables: You can add any vegetable of your choice such as bokchoy, carrots or mushrooms to this soup.

The Recipe How-To

 Who needs a hug when you have a bowl of warm Vietnamese soup?
Who needs a hug when you have a bowl of warm Vietnamese soup?

Prepare the Ingredients

First off, let’s gather all the necessary ingredients for this Vietnamese Beef and Spinach Soup recipe:

  • 1 lb Vietnamese beef, thinly sliced
  • 5 oz fresh spinach, cut into thin slices
  • 2 shallots, finely sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp oil
  • 4 cups water or chicken broth
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1/2 tsp bouillon powder
  • Salt
  • Fresh ground black pepper

Cook the Beef

In a large pot over medium-high heat, add oil and sautee the garlic and shallots for 30 seconds until fragrant. Add the sliced beef and stir-fry for about two minutes until they are cooked on the outside.

Add the Broth

Pour in water or chicken broth into the pot of cooked beef. The liquid should be enough to cover all ingredients in the pot. Season with fish sauce and bouillon powder. Let it boil and cook for another ten minutes.

Add Spinach

After ten minutes of boiling, add in the chopped spinach leaves to the soup. Let it cook for additional five minutes or until the spinach is wilted.

Serve Hot

Season with salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste. Serve hot with rice noodles, Phở or Vietnamese meatball soup. It also pairs perfectly with some pork dish or dried shrimp soup. Bon appétit!

Remember that you can always tailor this recipe according to your taste preference! Would you like it spicier? Add some minced red chili pepper on top. Do you prefer something more tangy? Throw in a squeeze of lemon juice before serving. Be creative! Enjoy cooking!

Substitutions and Variations

 The aroma of this soup will make your taste buds jump for joy!
The aroma of this soup will make your taste buds jump for joy!

Are you looking to switch things up with this Vietnamese beef and spinach soup recipe? Here are some substitutions and variations that you can try:

– Protein: If you’re not a fan of beef, feel free to use chicken or pork instead. You can also substitute shrimp for the beef for a different flavor profile.

– Greens: While Malabar spinach is traditional in this recipe, feel free to substitute with regular spinach or water spinach, also known as morning glory in Thai cuisine. You can also add other leafy greens such as bok choy or kale.

– Noodles: This soup can also be enjoyed with rice noodles. Simply cook the noodles separately and add them to individual bowls before ladling over the soup.

– Spice level: Adjust the spice level of this soup by adding more or less red chili pepper according to your preference.

– Broth: Chicken broth can be substituted for beef broth or vegetable broth for a vegetarian-friendly option.

– Flavor boosters: You can enhance the flavor of this soup by adding aromatics such as lemongrass, ginger, or lime leaves. Fish sauce and dried shrimp powder are also commonly used in Vietnamese cuisine to add depth and umami flavors.

Remember that experimenting with substitutions and variations is what makes cooking fun and exciting. Don’t be afraid to incorporate new ingredients and flavors into your dishes!

Serving and Pairing

 This soup is the perfect comfort food for a chilly day.
This soup is the perfect comfort food for a chilly day.

Now that you’ve prepared this delicious Vietnamese Beef and Spinach Soup, it’s time to serve and pair it perfectly. This soup is best served hot, so make sure to serve it immediately after it has finished cooking. It’s perfect for cold weather, or when you’re craving something warm and filling.

To pair with the soup, some great options include rice noodles or steamed rice. You can also add some fresh herbs like cilantro or Thai basil on top of the soup for added flavor and texture. Additionally, you can serve this soup alongside some crunchy baguette for extra texture and crunch.

As for beverages, a warm cup of green tea or jasmine tea pairs very well with this soup. If you prefer something cooler, a glass of white wine or light beer will also complement the soup nicely.

For those who are adventurous eaters, trying pairing this soup with Vietnamese meatball soup (phở), pork or even dried shrimp soup. Besides soups, vegetable dishes like sautéed green beans or crunchy stir-fried carrots are also great accompaniments.

Bon appétit!

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 Have a taste of Vietnam with this delicious Beef and Spinach Soup recipe!
Have a taste of Vietnam with this delicious Beef and Spinach Soup recipe!

One benefit of this Vietnamese beef and spinach soup recipe is that it can be made ahead of time and stored for later enjoyment. After preparing the soup, let it cool to room temperature before transferring it to an air-tight container. It can be refrigerated for up to three days or frozen for up to three months.

When you’re ready to enjoy the soup, simply reheat on the stove over medium heat until hot all the way through. If the soup has thickened in storage, add a splash of chicken broth or water to thin it out.

It’s important to note that the spinach in the soup may lose some of its vibrant color when reheated, but it will still taste great. Additionally, the flavors of the soup may meld together even more after being stored, making it even more delicious.

While this soup can be reheated on the stove, you may also use a microwave if you’re short on time. Place the soup in a microwave-safe dish and cover with a microwavable lid or plastic wrap with a few fork holes punched in it. Microwave on high for one to two minutes, stirring occasionally, until heated through.

Whether enjoyed immediately after cooking or reheated later, this beef and spinach soup recipe is sure to please friends and family alike with its delicious flavors and comforting warmth.

Tips for Perfect Results

 One spoonful of this soup will transport you to the streets of Hanoi.
One spoonful of this soup will transport you to the streets of Hanoi.

Now that you know how to make Vietnamese Beef and Spinach Soup, it’s time to ensure that your dish comes out perfectly. To help you achieve this, I have put together a list of tips and tricks that will elevate your cooking game.

1. Choose the right cut of beef

To make the best beef spinach soup, ensure you select the right cut of beef. I recommend using Vietnamese beef, also known as thịt bò bằm in Vietnamese or ground beef. It is leaner than most cuts of beef, making it perfect for soups.

2. Use fresh ingredients

Ensure that all your ingredients are fresh for optimal flavor. Using stale spices or herbs can dull the taste of your soup. So, choose fresh garlic cloves, shallots, and fresh spinach in the market and use them immediately.

3. Season well

As with any dish, correctly seasoning this soup is critical to its success. Be generous with the salt but don’t forget to regulate it well because we’re using fish sauce which is already salty. Add freshly ground black pepper for an added punch of flavor and red chili pepper if you want some heat.

4. Don’t overcook the spinach

Spinach is delicate and cooks very quickly. Therefore, be careful not to overcook or simmer it for too long as it can turn mushy and ruin the texture of your soup or spiralized effect of spinach leaves.

5. Serve hot with rice noodles

This soup pairs well with rice noodles to add texture to the broth base. Simply cook up a batch of rice noodles while you’re finishing up on the soup preparation and serve hot together!

With these tips in mind, I am confident that your next attempt at making Vietnamese Beef and Spinach Soup will be nothing short of perfect!

Bottom Line

With all of the ingredients and instructions in hand, there’s no doubt that anyone can make this delicious Vietnamese beef and spinach soup recipe. This soup is sure to become a staple in any kitchen, especially for those who love hearty soups filled with vegetables, seasonings and proteins.

The use of fresh ingredients like water spinach and ground beef, combined with the perfect blend of spices and seasonings such as red chili pepper, garlic cloves, fish sauce and shallots, make this soup an extremely healthy and flavorful option. The addition of lemon juice and sugar adds a nice touch of tanginess to the dish while chicken broth ties everything together with its rich and savory depth.

I hope that this recipe has given you not only a great meal idea but also a taste of the Vietnamese culture. Served alongside some noodles or even on its own, this recipe proves that every meal should have a balance of flavors, textures, and nutrients. Try it out and take my word for it that you are in for an unforgettable experience. Bon appétit!

Vietnamese Beef and Spinach Soup

Vietnamese Beef and Spinach Soup Recipe

Peppery spinach, tender beef fillet and a flavoursome broth make Ken Hom's quick to cook Vietnamese Soup a sensation. This light soup is typical of the subtle cuisine of Vietnam. It is easy to make, and many of the steps can be done in advance.
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Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 5 mins
Course Soup
Cuisine Vietnamese
Calories 244.3 kcal


  • 1 lb fresh spinach, stalks removed
  • 6 ounces lean steak fillets, cut into thin slices about 2in long
  • 2 shallots, finely sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons fish sauce
  • fresh ground black pepper
  • 5 cups chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 small red chili pepper, deseeded and chopped


  • Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil and blanch the spinach leaves for a few seconds until they are just wilted. Drain well and refresh in cold water to prevent further cooking. Drain again, squeezing out excess water.
  • Combine the steak strips with the shallots, garlic, 1 tablespoon of fish sauce and a grinding of black pepper, and then set aside.
  • Just before you are ready to eat, bring the chicken broth to a simmer in a large saucepan and stir in the remaining fish sauce, together with the lemon juice, sugar and chili.
  • Stir in the blanched spinach and the beef, with its marinade.
  • Bring the soup back to simmering point; add another good grinding of black pepper and serve at once.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 460gCalories: 244.3kcalCarbohydrates: 10.6gProtein: 19.9gFat: 13.9gSaturated Fat: 5.1gCholesterol: 32.3mgSodium: 2114.5mgFiber: 2.7gSugar: 3.6g
Keyword < 60 Mins, Asian, Clear Soups, Greens, Healthy, Inexpensive, Low Cholesterol, Meat, Savory, Spinach, Steak, Vegetable, Very Low Carbs, Vietnamese, Weeknight
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