Pho - Vietnamese Noodle Soup
Pho (pronounced "fahr") is a light and fragrant soup eaten for breakfast or all through the day. You can call it Vietnam’s most loved dish. It impossible to walk a block in Vietnam’s major cities without bumping into a crowd of hungry patrons slurping noodles called Pho. This simple staple dish consists of a salty broth, fresh rice noodles, a sprinkling of herbs and chicken or beef. It Is very cheap yet delicious.
If you want to create great pho at home, this recipe is ideal for learning the basics.
Preparation time: 30 minutes
Cooking: 3 hours 30 mins
1. 2 onions
2. 10 cm piece ginger
3. 2½ kg beef soup bones
4. 5 star anise
5. 6 garlic cloves
6. 8 cm piece cassia bark
7. 450 g beef brisket or chuck steak
8. 1½ tsp salt
9. ⅓ cup fish sauce
10. 1 tsp palm sugar
• For bowls
1. 1 kg dried or fresh pho (rice stick) noodles
2. 225 g beef sirloin, finely sliced across the grain
3. 1 finely sliced onion
4. 4 finely sliced spring onions, green part only,
5. ⅓ Cup chopped coriander
6. Black pepper
1. Lime wedges
2. Sliced chilies
3. Thai basil or Vietnamese mint sprigs
4. Bean sprouts
• To prepare the stock, sear the onions and ginger over naked flame for about 15 minutes. Remove any charred skin and set aside.
• Place the bones in a large pot, pour cold water. Let it boil and cook for 3 minutes.
• Discard the water and rinse the bones in warm water.
• Wipe the pot, put the bones in it and add 6 litres water. Bring to boil then reduce the heat.
• Add the onion, ginger and remaining ingredients and cook for 1½ hours.
• When the meat is cooked remove it and set aside in a bowl of cold water for 10 minutes.
• Remove from the water and refrigerate.
• Leave the broth to cook for a further 1½ hours. Strain and refrigerate. Skim off the fat when cold.
• To serve, reheat the stock.
• Thinly slice the cold meat.
• If using dried noodles, soak in hot water for 15–20 minutes, until soft. If using fresh noodles, briefly heat them in boiling water.
• Arrange the noodles in the bases of deep serving bowls and add slices of cooked meat and raw sirloin on top.
• Garnish with onion, spring onion and coriander. Season with pepper. Ladle over the hot stock.
• To eat pho, taste the broth first, then add lime juice and chilli to taste followed by basil or mint and bean sprouts.