Savory and tendered beef on top of the luscious, fragrant beef broth and springy rice noodles. This is definitely heaven in a bowl.
So what exactly is Pho and why we are so obsessed with it?
You probably have countless times of Pho already since it has become so popular in the US. This national dish of Vietnam is no stranger to anyone who loves soup. Pho has captured the attraction of many people because of its delicious and complex flavors. It is the perfect comfort food
This Vietnamese noodle soup is made with beef or chicken broth with added flavored of various spices and various herbs topping. The definition seems too simple to describe because it does not entail the simmering time of rich beef bones on low heat, tender beef slices and crunchy bean sprouts and herbs
Of course there are different variations of Pho, depending on the region you live in Vietnam. For example, Pho from the north focus on its deep and delicate flavor. Also is more focus on just the sliced beef and broth, but not so popular with herbs topping. Pho from the South focus on more spices, experience with more beef parts and herbs toppings
Pho is definitely heaven in a bowl because of its versatility and attractiveness. And you can have a bowl of this amazing, warm comfort soup any time of day.
Every Thanksgiving, beside the classic turkey, gravy and other good stuff, we often end up with a big old pot of Pho. I’m sharing with you our family version of Pho today. Our version used store brought premade soup base powder and we use less spices. I hope you enjoy it as much as we do during our Thanksgiving gatherings
Tips and tricks on recipe:
- Use beef bones that contains marrow, even beef oxtail if you can afford it. This will yield a more intense broth flavors
- Parboiling and rinsing the bones under cold water is a must. This will ensure you’ll have a cleared broth
- Char the onion and ginger – I used the help of the oven to do this step. This will bring out the distinctive flavors of onion and ginger
- If time permits, simmer the broth for at least 2hrs, skimming fats on top often to ensure a clearer, flavorful broth
- Use rock sugar: rock sugar will not only make the broth sweeter and added flavors. It’ll add a nice touch to the broth
- For the broth:
- 7 quarts water
- 1 daikon Radish (about 19 oz)
- 6-7lb of beef bones (marrows, knuckles or even oxtail if you can afford it)
- 1 large onion (halved & charred)
- 1 large knobs ginger (sliced lengthwise, around 5 oz)
- 5 star anise
- 5 tablespoon Pho stock powder (I use this brand)
- 2 tablespoon beef powder
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 3-4 small rock sugarr
- 2 tablespoon fish sauce
- For the bowls:
- 2 package rice noodles (fresh or dried)
- 1 lb beef flank (thinly sliced)
- 1 package of beef meatballs (frozen section)
- 0.8 lb beef tripes (optional)
- 1 lb boneless beef shank
- 1 medium onion (thinly sliced)
- 1 cup green onion (chopped)
- Mints, bean sprouts, sliced onion, green onion, lime wedges
- hoisin sauce & sriracha sauce
- Preheat oven to 400 degees F. Place ginger and onion on a baking sheet
- Roast the ginger and onion for about 10 minutes until they begin to char in the oven.
- While waiting for the onion and ginger to char, wash the beef bones very well under cold water.
- Place the beef bones in a large pot of water and bring it to boil over high heat. Boil vigorously on high heat for 10 minutes. Then drain and rinse the bones under cold water. Wash the pot and refill the pot with 7 quarts of cold water.
- Place the cleaned bones back into the pot along with onion, ginger, star anise, daikon radish, rock sugar. (see notes)
- Bring it to a boil and lower to simmer for about at least an hour or two if time permits. Occasionally skim off any scums or fats on top to achieve a clearer broth. If using beef shank, you can also add it to the pot because it takes at least an hour to cook
- After an hour, add content of soup base, (dont tear the filter bags) and 5 tablespoon of stock powder
- Also check the beef shank to see if it is ready and transfer to a bowl of ice cold water to prevent the beef from drying out. Then thinly slice the beef. Transfer the sliced beef to a bowl. Add about a soup spoon of broth into the bowl to prevent the sliced beef from drying out later.
- Season the broth with beef powder, sugar, fish sauce. Taste the broth and season again according to your taste
- Remove the onion from the broth and continue to simmer the broth if you have time. You can also add the meatballs at this time
- If using beef tripes, boil a pot of water and cook the beef tripes for about 30 minutes. Then transfer to a bowl of ice water and thinly slice
- If using beef flank, thinly slice and set aside for the bowl later
- Cook rice noodles according to package instructions
- To assemble the bowl: place some cooked rice noodles on the bottom of the bowl. Place sliced beef, raw beef, ganish with green onion. Then ladle the hot soup over the bowl. Garnish with mints, bean sprouts, squeeze of lemon and top it off with hoisin sauce and sriracha.
- Notes: I only use star anise vs the package of Pho spices. You can also use other spices like cinamon sticks, cloves, cardamom but just make sure don't leave it to long in the broth or it'll become bitter ( I speak from experience ;))