One of the most popular Vietnamese dishes out there has got to be pho. Pho is considered Vietnam’s national dish and is loved by many people around the world. Pho is a Vietnamese soup dish which consists of a rich chicken or beef broth. The broth is carefully simmered along with a collection of amazing spices such as star anise, ginger, cardamom pods, coriander, and cinnamon sticks. After hours of simmering, the flavors fully mature and ready to soak your tastebuds. The broth is assembled with rice noodles, herbs and meat to create pho. This dish is a staple in every Vietnamese household. This dish plays a large role in many of my childhood memories. Every Sunday, my grandmother would make three large 10-gallon pots full of pho. Dozens of my family and friends would gather around an enjoy a large bowl of pho as everyone share discussion and laughter. To me, pho embodies warmth, love and togetherness as this was what its role was in my family. This recipe is extremely special to me as this is my mother’s recipe that she passed down to me. I am beyond excited, and I hope to share not only this recipe, but the love and unity that this dish brought into my family's lives.
Cook Time: 6-8 hours
BEEF PHO BROTH
>5 gallon pot
18 cups chicken broth
2-3lb beef bones
1lb beef chuck roast
1 pho spice package (Includes anise seed, fennel seed, coriander seed, cinnamon, clove, fructus amomi, and 1 filter bag)
½lb daikon, peeled
1 yellow onion
2 tbsp rock sugar
1 tbsp salt
2 tbsp chicken bouillon
ASSEMBLY AND GARNISHES
* indicates recommended but optional
Fresh rice stick noodles, 5-7oz per bowl
1-2lb beef eye round, thinly sliced
Onion, thinly sliced
Green onions, chopped
Bo Vien (meatballs), cut into 8ths*
Beef Pho Broth
1. You will need about a >5 gallon pot to make pho. Put the beef bones in the pot and fill the pot with water just enough to submerge the bones. Bring the pot to a boil. Allow bones to boil for 1 minute. This will clean the bones and help get rid of the scum that would pollute the pho broth. Pour the boiling water out into the sink and rinse the bones with cold water.
2. Place bones back into the pot. Fill the pot with 18 cups of chicken broth and 24 cups of water. Add daikon and bring to a boil.
3. While the pot is being brought to a boil, roast the ginger and onion. There are a couple of ways to do this. You can do this over a fire using a gas stove or a grill. You want to roast each side of the onion and ginger until its skin begins to develop a burnt crust around it like the image below. Another quick and easy way to do this if you do not want to play with fire is allowing it to roast in an air fryer. Peel the burnt ends of the ginger and onion off. Cut the ginger into thin slices and onion into two halves. Add into the pot.
4. Add salt, rock sugar and chicken bouillon to the broth. Allow the broth to boil for 30 minutes and then add the beef chuck roast. As the broth continues to boil, scum will develop to the top of the broth. Remove the scum using a mesh skimmer.
5. Opening the pho spices, separate the anise seed, cinnamon stick, and fructus amomi out. Roast these larger spices over a fire or in the air fryer until it begins to burn on the sides. Next, add the rest of the spices along with the anise seed, cinnamon stick and
fructus amomi you just roasted to a large pan. Heat on high and frequently shake the pan. Continue to pan roast until you see the smaller seeds start to brown. This should only take a few minutes so do not take your eyes off of them!
6. Soak the filter bag in cold water and squeeze out all the water. Add the spices into the bag and tie the filter bag closed. Make sure the bag is tied tight! Once there is no more scum forming on the top of your broth, bring the broth to a simmer. Add the bag of spice to the broth.
7. Let the broth simmer for 3-4 hours. Taste the broth and add salt or sugar to your taste preference. I add ~½ cup of the pho soup base to really help create that amazing pho flavor. Remove the spice filter bag. There will be a layer of oil/fat that develops on top of your broth. Using a ladle, remove 75% of the fat. Some fat adds flavor to the pho! You just don't want your pho to be oily.
ASSEMBLY AND GARNISHES
1. In a medium sized pot, fill with water and bring to a boil. In a large mesh strainer, add in about 5-8 oz (depending how hungry you are) of the fresh rice noodle sticks. Briefly cook the rice noodle sticks by dropping the mesh strainer holding the noodles in the boiling water. Allow to cook for about 10-15 seconds. You do not want to leave it in for too long our it will get sticky and mushy. Add the freshly cooked noodles to a large soup bowl
2. Next, evenly lay out the thinly sliced beef eye round on top of the noodles. Then garnish with chopped cilantro, green onions and onion.
3. Bring your pot of pho back to a boil. Once it is boiling, pour the piping hot broth into your bowl until all the contents are submerged. This hot broth will be enough to cook your beef eye round to a medium to medium-rare.
4. Finally, garnish with hoisin sauce, sriracha, lime, bean sprouts, Thai basil, Culantro belts to your liking! ENJOY!
I hope everyone finds this recipe easy to follow along. I know it may seem like a lot of steps, but once you get the roasting part down, pho is very doable and easy to make. Not only that, but this recipe is enough to make ~8-10 bowls! To fully enjoy pho, you need to eat it properly. First, you need to have a soup spoon. This way, you can easily enjoy the noodles and the broth at the same time. One thing that I personally love doing is having a separate dipping plate for the meats. In the dipping plate, I add hoisin sauce, a splash of sriracha and freshly squeezed lime. This goes so well with the beef eye round and adds another layer of flavor to every bite. This is by far one of my most proudest and tastiest recipes which allow me to honor my culture and family. Please enjoy! The amount of aprons I will give this recipe is...