Peel and quarter the onion. Thickly slice the ginger. Halve the chilli.
Warm a dry, heavy-based pan over a medium heat. Drizzle in ½ tbsp oil. Add the beef strips and fry for 3-4 mins till browned. Using a slotted spoon, remove the beef and place in a small bowl.
Add the onion quarters, ginger and half the chilli to the pan. Fry them for 3-5 mins, turning them a few times, till they’re a little browned.
Pour 1 ltr boiling water into the pan. Peel the garlic clove and drop it in. Crumble in the stock cube. Add 1 cinnamon stick and 1 star anise. Add a pinch of salt. Put the lid on the pan and bring to a simmer. Cook
for 20 mins.
Finely slice the remaining half chilli. Chop the lime into quarters. Finely slice the cabbage leaves and stems. Set aside for later.
After 20 mins, pour the broth through a colander into a bowl. Take the pan off the heat. Carefully pour the broth back into the pan (mind out for any steam as the broth hits the pan) and add a pinch of salt. Put it back on the heat. When it’s boiling, add 2 bundles of noodles and the cabbage. Simmer for 3 mins to just cook everything.
Taste the soup and add a little more salt if you think it needs it. Place the cooked beef in warm bowls. Ladle the soup on top. Top with sliced chillies. Serve with plenty of lime wedges for squeezing.