Monday, February 10, 2014

Pho (Vietnamese Rice Noodle Soup)

Another one of my favorite things to eat is Pho. I will still eat a hot (& spicy!) bowl of Pho in the 100 degree summer heat!

A friend (thanks Diana!) gave me this recipe & I haven't made it the easy way (using canned broth) since! 


- beef bones (frozen bag from Asian Market)
- chicken bones (I use 2 leg quarters) - optional
- 5-6 star anise
- 3-5 cloves
- 2 cinnamon stick
- 1 piece ginger
- 1 head garlic
- 1 rock candy
- meatballs (I like the beef ball with tendons)
- yellow onion
- fish sauce
- salt

Herbs & garnish:
- cilantro
- basil
- jalapeƱo 
- bean sprouts
- green onions 
- lime

Spicy Beef (optional)
- 2 lbs ground beef
- 1/2 can red curry 
- 14 oz tomato sauce
- 1 tsp minced garlic 
- 1 tsp chopped lemongrass (or powder)

- pho noodles
- pho basket to cook noodles


1) Using an 8 quart pot, boil the beef bones for 30 mins. Take out bones and wash pot. This makes the soup more clear (I actually skip the first part and throw beef bones & chicken in at once)
2) Fill pot back with water and put beef bones back in & add the chicken. 

3) Chargrill the yellow onion, ginger & garlic. Remove skins and put it in pot. 


4) Heat (I use a pan) the star anise, cinnamon, & cloves until aromatic. Wrap in cheesecloth and put in pot.   


5) Add the rock candy (pic above - don't heat it up with spices though!). Boil soup for at least 4 hours. Add water if needed (if it boils down too much)

Optional: After 2 hours I add beef tendons because it's my favorite thing about pho. 

6) Add salt & fish sauce to taste after 4 hours. 

7) Add meat balls. Boil for addition 30 minutes. 
8) I usually refrigerate overnight and let the fat thicken on top and scoop that up (yuck). The chicken thighs are fatty!

Spicy Beef:
1) Brown beef adding minced garlic and lemon grass. Drain. 

2) Return pan to stove on low heat and add tomato sauce and curry. Mix well. 

3) Let simmer for a couple of minutes. Remove from heat. 

Herbs & garnish:
1) Wash and chop all herbs/garnish. 
1) Boil a pot of water (big enough for the basket)
2) Fill basket with noodles and give it a bath in boiling water for no more than a minute.

3) Place noodles in big bowl and ladle soup into bowl. 
Add spicy beef and herbs/garnish. Some popular items to add are hoisin sauce, Sriracha & hot chili oil. 

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