A wonderful friend of mine shared their family’s recipe for Pho with me. It’s become one of my favorite meals of all time and I don’t think they’ll mind too much if I share it. If you’ve never had Pho (pronounced ‘fuh’) – Vietnamese Noodle Soup – then you’re in for a treat! It’s extremely simple to make, smells wonderful, and it’s delicious!
You start out by making a huge pot of broth that cooks all day long. You’ll end up having plenty to put in the freezer for future instant meals when you’re done.
- Beef Bones/meat
- 1 large onion – peeled, left whole
- 2 Bay leaves
- 1 Cinnamon stick
- 5 Star Anise
- 1/2 tsp whole cloves
- 1/2 tsp fennel seed
- Assorted raw chopped veggies
- your choice of cooked (cold is fine) asian noodles (my favorite are Somen noodles)
Heat oven to 425. Salt and pepper the bones. (Ox tails work best, but they’re expensive. Any kind of raw bones work… I get scrap stew bones, neck bones, short ribs, whatever is cheap – it won’t matter. Use a couple of pounds of bones.) Roast them about 20 min on each side until they’re nicely browned. While the bones are cooking, start the broth. Use the biggest stock pot you have. Mine is maybe 5 gallons. Leave enough room for the bones to go in later, and fill the rest with water. Start it heating to a boil. Put all of the spices together and place them in a warm skillet on the stove to toast them. It will only take 15-30 seconds or they’ll burn. You may see them smoke just a little – they’re done. Put them all into a piece of cheesecloth and tie the ends up to hold the spices in. Put it in the pot of water along with the whole onion. There’s a LOT of water there, so even though it sounds like a lot, I add a couple of tablespoons of salt. You will want to adjust and add salt to taste at the end. If it tastes bland, it probably just needs a bit more salt. Add the bones, and simmer all day. The longer, the better. When you’re ready, strain the broth and remove the bones – save any meat to add to your bowls.
I serve Pho ‘taco style’ at our house — just putting all the meats and veggies out and letting everyone create their bowls, then pour broth over the top. Meat from the stock, meatballs, shrimp, any rice or flour noodles you prefer, (Raw Veggies) shredded carrot, sliced green onion, red pepper, jalapeno, cilantro, bean sprout, broccoli, mushroom, lime wedges, etc. We always top the bowl with a nice dose of oyster sauce and thai pepper sauce.
Let me know if you like it! 🙂