Pho Bo - Vietnamese Beef Noodle Soup

By • March 10, 2010 • 11 Comments



Author Notes: This recipe is adapted from the Steamy Kitchen. I have been eating Pho for quite some time and this is a great recipe that, while time consuming, is not difficult. It just take a lot of waiting.Carnivore&Vegetarian

Serves 6-8

Broth

  • 2 yellow onions, halved
  • 3" piece of ginger, halved
  • 5 pounds beef bones, knuckle and leg
  • 6-7 quarts cold water
  • 8 star anise
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 tablespoon fennel seeds
  • 2 cardamom pods
  • 8 whole cloves
  • 1.5 tablespoons salt
  • 1/4 cup fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • mesh pouch or cheese cloth

Garnish/Bowls

  • 2 pounds rice noodles
  • 2/3 pounds lean meat, sirloin, rib eye, thinly sliced against grain
  • 1 bunch cilantro
  • 1 bunch thai basil
  • 1 bunch mint
  • 1 pound bean sprouts
  • 1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • sriracha sauce
  • hoisin sauce
  • 2 japapenos, sliced (optional)
  1. To prepare spices, place in a small pan over low heat and cook until fragrant, about 5 minutes. Place spices into a mesh bag or wrap in cheese cloth and tie at top.
  2. Preheat broiler to high. Place onions and ginger onto a baking sheet and brush with cooking oil or spray. Place in oven on highest rack and cook, turning occasionally, about 15 minutes, until charred
  3. While broiling, fill a 10-12 quart stock pot with cold water. Bring to boil and add bones. Keeping a strong boil, cook for 10 minutes. Drain pot, rinse bones, and clean pot. Refill pot with bones and 6 quarts of cold water, don't worry about being exact. Bring to boil and then reduce to simmer, skim off any fat that rises with strainer or ladle.
  4. Once bones are boiling, add onions, sugar, fish sauce, salt and spice pack. Simmer, uncovered for 3-3.5 hours. Strain broth into another large pot. Taste broth and if more flavor is needed add pinch of salt, 1 tablespoon sugar and 2 tablespoons fish sauce. Repeat if needed.
  5. If you are eating soup immediately following the above steps, skip this step. Let pot cool and store in refrigerator overnight. The top will form a layer of fat. Skim fat and then bring to a boil and prepare bowls.
  6. Place steak into freezer for 15-20 minutes and then slice as thin as possible against the grains. Cook noodles according to package, however, if dry, you may cook them slightly al dente as they will finish cooking in the bowl.
  7. Once broth has reached a boil, fill each bowl with noodles, some sliced onions, cilantro, green onions, mint and some of the beef wrapped in the center. Create a platter of lime wedges, jalapenos, basil, bean sprouts.
  8. Ladle broth into each bowl. The broth will cook the beef. Garnish your soup with your desired sauces and sides. Enjoy!!

Tags: Beef, pho, Soups, Vietnamese

Comments (11) Questions (0)

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over 3 years ago Fran McGinty

I just finished making my broth and it tastes great. I saved the marrow from inside the bones do you guys throw that in too after it's been strained? I hate to throw out good marrow.

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over 3 years ago Carnivore&Vegetarian

I don't add it to the soup. You could roast those bones (with marrow inside) and then serve on some toast points with garlic and a little sea salt. that is tasty

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over 3 years ago Carnivore&Vegetarian

@Fran - I hope you enjoy! Feel free to post your comments after too.

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over 3 years ago Fran McGinty

I just found this and cannot wait to try this. It sounds fantastic.

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over 3 years ago AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

I've tried quite a few beef pho recipes and this is my favorite! Our freezer is regularly stocked with the broth, in fact. When I buy the beef bones, I also buy some steak, which I freeze and mark for pho use only. It's one of my favorite quick dinners!! ;o)

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over 3 years ago Carnivore&Vegetarian

glad you enjoyed it!!

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over 3 years ago AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Great, great recipe! I made the beef broth a few months ago and froze it, then defrosted some and made the soup last night, refreshing the broth with a couple tablespoons each of fish sauce and ketjap manis, and the juice of half a lime (for two large servings). Garnished only with cilantro and not Thai basil or mint, as that's all I had handy. Delicious!! ;o)

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over 4 years ago Carnivore&Vegetarian

You actually don't lose any flavor. You are boiling them at first to remove any scum and impurities that you don't want in your soup. Often times there is lots of dirt and scum on the outside of those bones and this gets rid of that. I wondered that myself before too

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over 4 years ago AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Don't you lose a lot of the flavor of the bones by boiling them hard for ten minutes, then throwing that water away? Why do you do that? Have you ever made this without that initial step? I find it so puzzling . . . . . . . .

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over 4 years ago Carnivore&Vegetarian

The only reason i rec'd those types is because they have more marrow inside them, so there will be more flavor released into the broth. If you have an ethnic supermarket near by, you could try there.

and you're welcome!

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over 4 years ago AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Is there some reason why you recommend knuckle and leg bones for the broth? I can easily get neck bones, but am not so sure about the knuckle/leg . . . . Thanks! Very nice recipe, by the way. We are big fans of pho here, so I'd like to try this!!