My family background is from Cambodia and this is a very traditional dish. It is mostly known as a Vietnamese dish. It is easiest to say the Vietnamese name for this dish which is "PHO" but since I am Cambodian we call it "GA-theau"(not exact, but that is the best I could to translate it to English). This is a wonderful Southeast Asian calming soup, also good for when you are sick or have the brown bottle flu!
1fry chopped up garlic in a big stock pot with a little bit of oil(olive oil or vegetable oil)then once slightly golden add meat and brown for one to two minutes then add onions and saute for one to two minutes.
2Then add water,salt,pepper, and bouillon cubes and star anise soup packet. Bring to rapid boil. Then turn temperature to med low and let simmer for 30 min to an hr.
3while soup is simmering on stove, this is when I prep my condiments. I personally mix up the chopped cilantro, green onion and mint together in a bowl and serve on the side for whomever likes it in their soup. Or you can chop them and place in separate bowls. Or like in restaurants you can place single serving of the herbs on a separate plate for each to tear themselves.
4once soup meat is tender soup is done. Taste it to see if it may need more salt or pepper. Make sure soup is very hot. you may have to bring it back to a rolling boil.It must stay hot in order to cook the optional toppings.
5In a bowl(a big one preferably) add rice noodle to the bowl then add optional toppings of your choice, ladle soup over the noodles just to cover. Sprinkle condiments on top and flavor to your liking.