Vietnamese PhoCourse: LunchCuisine: VietnameseDifficulty: Easy
Pho originated in the Nam Dinh and Hanoi regions of North Vietnam after French colonization of the country in the late 1880s. It is believed that the word “pho” comes from the French word “feu,” meaning fire, and may be a Vietnamese take on the French dish pot au feu. Pho bac, the original pho, is made by boiling beef bones for several days and has a heavy emphasis on the delicate and simple broth. The broth is accompanied only by rice noodles and thinly sliced beef.
- Pho Broth
1 large white onion, peeled and halved
3-inch piece of fresh ginger, halved lengthwise
5 star anise
4 whole cloves
3 (3-inch) cinnamon sticks
2 cardamom pods
1 tablespoon whole coriander seeds
8 cups good-quality beef stock (or chicken or vegetable stock)
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 teaspoons fish sauce
fine sea salt, to taste
- Pho Condiments
8 ounces raw beef, very thinly sliced (or chicken, pork, sausage or shrimp — see notes below)
7 ounces uncooked thin rice noodles
Spinach, Kale or lettuce
fresh herbs (cilantro, mint, and/or Thai basil)
bean sprouts (wash well)
lime or lemon wedges
thinly-sliced chilles (Thai bird chilles or jalapeños)
thinly-sliced onions (green onions or white onions)
sauces (hoisin and/or sriracha)
- Divide noodles between individual serving bowls
- Portion thinly sliced beef uncooked between each serving bowl.
- Add a small handful of beansprouts to the bowl.
- Add simmering hot broth into the serving bowls, being sure to submerge the beef so that it cooks.
- Top each bowl with lots and lots of garnishes, and finish with a squeeze of lime (or lemon) juice.
- Serve immediately.
- Flavor the broth with additional extra sauces if desired.
- Pro Tips: Freezing the meat for 30-60 minutes beforehand, to make it easier to slice or if meat is thawing slice when it is easy to cut but not fully thawed. For chicken, pork and shrimp I add to the soup for a few minutes to cook through before placing into bowls. Use a slotted spoon to remove cooked meat.
- Beef: Use a good cut of lean steak or beef, very thinly sliced against the grain.
- Chicken: Use boneless skinless chicken breasts or thighs, very thinly sliced against the grain.
- Pork: Boneless pork chops, or pork tenderloin work well very thinly sliced against the grain.
- Shrimp: Use peeled and deveined (tails on or off) large shrimp
- Sausage: Precook sausage of choice and slice into pieces.