Vietnamese Beef Noodle Soup (Pho)
Vietnamese beef noodle soup is sometimes referred to as “pho.” I have to say, without a word of a lie, this is one of the most delicious soups I have ever had. It’s aromatic, flavorful, with a unique blend of spices. The soup literally dances on your palate. I love this served up on a cool rainy day.
I usually use beef knuckles and legs in this recipe. I have heard of oxtail being used, as well. It’s important to bring it to a fast boil, rinse the bones off in cold water, and clean them well. This will give you a nice, clean broth. It’s also a good idea to periodically scoop the scum off during the second boil. I let the pho simmer for about 2 hours. This is usually a sufficient time for the beef to tenderize and the broth to develop. You can use just about any noodle you want, but Vietnamese rice noodles seem to work about the best. I like to put the thinly sliced raw beef and spring onions into the ladle and blanch them in the broth for about 5 seconds This seems to nicely start the cook on them and doesn’t present the raw beef in the bowl effect. You can add whatever garnishing you like after that; although, I like the traditional bean sprouts, basil leave, and lime wedges.
- 1/2 kilo of beef bones, legs or knuckles
- beef tenderloin, cut into thin strips
- 1 tsp of salt
- 1 tbsp of sugar
- 1 whole unpeeled onion, sliced in half
- 2 pieces of ginger (thumbsize), sliced in half
- 4 star anise
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- spring onions, cut into 6 inch pieces
- spring onion, finely chopped
- Thai basil or basil
- bean sprouts, blanched in hot water for about 10 seconds
- rice stick noodles
- lime wedges
- Servings: 3
- Time: 3 hours
- Level: Medium
- Cuisine: Vietnamese
(5 / 5)
- Place the ginger, star anise, cinnamon sticks, and onion on a baking tray line with parchment paper. Placed on the highest rack of the oven. Turn the oven to broil and bake until they start to char. This usually takes 15 to 20 minutes. You can also use a stove with a ceramic top to achieve the same effect. To do this, turn the burner on medium high, place the ingredients on the burner area, and allow them to char.
- Place the beef bones in a boiling pot of water. Boil them for about 10 minutes. Discard the scummy water and wash the bones over cold water.
- Clean the pot, fill it with cold water, and place the cleaned bones in. Bring it to a boil over high heat. After a boil, Reduce the heat to low and add in the salt, sugar, cinnamon sticks, star anise, and onion. Allow it to simmer for 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Occasionally skim off the scum and fat.
- In the meantime, slice the beef tenderloin thinly, put it on a plate, cover it with cling wrap, and set it aside in the fridge.
- After about 2 hours, taste the broth and adjust the seasoning accordingly. Stain it and set the meat aside. Discard the onion, cinnamon sticks, ginger, and star anise. Return the broth to the pot. Continue simmering the broth over low heat until you’re ready to serve it. Remove the beef from the bones and slice it into strips.
- Cook the noodles according to package instructions. Add them to the bottom of a bowl. Place the finely chopped spring onions on followed by the cooked beef. Place 3 to 4 slices of the raw beef and 4 of the 6 inch spring onions in ladle, submerge them in the broth, and stir it for about 5 seconds. Add the broth, beef, and onions to the bowl. If you need more broth to fill the bowl, ladle it in. Garnish it with the bean sprouts, basil, and a lime wedge.
- Serve and enjoy you Vietnamese inspired beef bone soup – Pho.