Cheater Pho Bo (Vietnamese Beef Noodle Soup)

January 10, 2015
1 Ratings
  • Serves 6
Author Notes

There's not many better ways to clear the head and cleanse your body with an aromatic and spicy bowl of Pho. And do you want a delicious bowl of Pho in under an hour? The soup base for Pho soup typically requires hours and hours of cooking beef and chicken bones, among other things. I have come up with this version that only took about an hour, using my already homemade beef broth as a base (or you can sub a good quality store-bought) and adding the aromatics to that. The best part about this soup is that all the garnishes you can add (or not) offers a different tasty sensation in each bite. —anotherfoodieblogger

What You'll Need
  • 2 or 3 star anise
  • 2 spice cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 1 3-inch cinnamon stick
  • 2 garlic gloves, peeled, smashed and sliced
  • 1 3-inch-long piece fresh ginger peeled and cut in half lengthwise
  • 6 cups homemade or quality low-sodium beef broth
  • 2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 4 ounces dried rice noodles
  • 1/2 pound top loin steak, or any other steak, partially frozen and sliced very thin
  • 2 or 3 green onions, sliced thin
  • Handful of fresh cilantro, coarsely chopped
  • Handful of fresh basil, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 small onion, sliced very thin
  • 1 cup or so bean sprouts, rinsed
  • 1 lime, cut into wedges
  • Sriracha or Sambal Oelek chile paste (or both!)
  • Hoisin sauce
  • Fresh jalapeno pepper, sliced thin
  • Fresh serrano pepper, sliced thin
  1. First off you should prep all your garnishes and steak and set them out on a large platter or board on the table.
  2. Next, add the star anise, cloves, peppercorns, cinnamon stick, and garlic to a dry Dutch oven or soup pot over medium heat. Toast the ingredients, tossing around occasionally, until fragrant, about 2 or 3 minutes.
  3. Add the beef broth, soy sauce, and lime juice. Bring up to a boil, then reduce to a low simmer for about 30 or 40 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile pour boiling water over the rice noodles in a glass bowl, cover, and soak the noodles for about 10 or 15 minutes. Drain the noodles and portion them and the steak into individual serving bowls.
  5. When ready to serve, strain the broth then pour the simmering beef broth over the steak and noodles using a cup with a spout (such as a glass Pyrex measuring cup). Let each person add any or all garnishes to their bowl. I put everything in mine! I ate this with chopsticks alternating with a spoon, but you could use a fork and spoon instead.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Christine Buck
    Christine Buck
  • anotherfoodieblogger
  • ubs2007

3 Reviews

ubs2007 March 10, 2019
Excellent recipe that my 11 yr old son and I loved. Perfect proportion of spices and flavors all melded together within the hour! Thank you very much for sharing this scrumptious recipe!
Christine B. January 14, 2015
This looks great, thanks for the short cut version!
anotherfoodieblogger January 14, 2015
Thank you Christine, it sure is a time-saver if you use pre-homemade or store-bought quality stock.