One of my favorite Vietnamese dishes is Pho Noodles. Pho is a Vietnamese noodle soup, usually served with beef (pho bo) or chicken (pho ga).The soup includes noodles made from rice and is often served with basil, lime, bean sprouts, and peppers that are added to the soup by the consumer. The key ingredient to a good bowl of Pho noodle soup is on the broth. The broth is generally made by simmering beef (and sometimes chicken) bones, oxtails, flank steak, charred onion, and spices, taking several hours to prepare. Seasonings can include cinnamon , star anise, roasted ginger, roasted onion, black cardamom, coriander seed, fennel seed, and clove. It took me about 3 hours to make the broth but it is so worth it. The Pho noodle itself can be brought fresh from Asian store in their refrigerated section or in dried form. I got this Pho Bo (Vietnamese Beef Noodle soup) recipe from Into the Vietnamese Kitchen by Andrea Nguyen with slight modification. The key ingredient to making a good Pho Noodles is on the soup and this recipe does it for me.

The main work is mainly on the broth, Now you will feel like you are in Vietnamese restaurant eating Pho Noodles :)

What you will need:
  • ¼ lb of beef sirloin/flank - freeze them in the fridge for 15 minutes and this will help you to be able to slice them very thinly
  • 1 lbs pho noodles (dried or fresh) - If use dried, you must soak until they are soft. If use fresh, follow instruction on packet on cooking them
  • 1 lime
  • 3 Jalapeno peppers (sliced)
  • Fresh Bean sprouts
  • Handful of mint, cilantro, basil
  • 1 onion (halved)
  • 2-inch ginger (halved)
  • 3 lbs of beef bones marrow or bones leg/knuckles
  • 1 Tbsp of salt
  • 1 oz of sugar
  • Spices packet in mesh bag (tied up): 1 cinnamon stick, 1 Tbsp coriander seeds, 1 Tbsp fennel seeds, 5 star anise, 1 cardamon, 6 cloves)
  • ¼ cup fish sauce
  • 3 quarts of water
  1. Place ginger and onions on a lightly oiled baking sheet. Brush some oil on the onion and ginger as well. Turn broiler on high and broil for 15 minutes. This will char them a bit and that's okay
  2. Fill a big pot with 6 quarts of water and boil the beef bones for 15 minutes. Drain off the water and rinse the bones with cool running water. Refill the pot with bones and new 6 quarts of water. This is to get rid of the "meaty" smell from the bones. Bring the water back to boil and skim off the scums as they appear
  3. Add the charred ginger, onion, spice packet, sugar, fish sauce, salt and simmer uncovered for 3 hours
  4. Strain the broth after 3 hours and discard all the stuff in there. Taste it and see if it is to your liking. Adjust with more salt, sugar or fish sauce if needed. At this point the broth is ready
  5. Portion noodles and thinly sliced beef onto individual serving bowl. Laddle the hot soup over and this will help to cook the beef. If you want it fully cooked, you can submerge the beef slices into the soup briefly for few seconds until they turned brown
  6. Serve with fresh bean sprouts, basil, mints, lime and peppers at a side. You can also eat it with Hoisin sauce and SriRacha chili sauce.


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