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Pho Bo (Vietnamese Beef Noodle Soup)

Pho Bo (Vietnamese Beef Noodle Soup)

A while ago I made a turkey pho using some homemade turkey stock and leftover turkey and I really enjoyed it. Pho is a Vietnamese rice noodle dish with a broth flavoured with star anise. The classical pho is made in a beef broth and is served with beef. Ever since I made the turkey pho I had been wanting to try making the traditional beef pho (or pho bo) from scratch. I started looking for a recipe in my bookmarks and the one that caught my attention was the one for pho bo on eatingclub vancouver. From there I amalgamated what I liked from a few different recipes to come up with this one.

The first step was to make the broth which required simmering beef bones for several hours. Luckily I was able to find the beef bones pretty cheap at a local butchers shop. This recipe calls for 2 cuts of beef in addition to the bones. The first cut of beef is a cheap cut that is simmered in the broth until it is falling apart tender. This adds even more flavour to the broth and then the braised beef goes into the final soup as well. The beef broth is also made with the star of the show, the star anise, and cloves, cinnamon, charred onions and ginger, fish sauce and sugar. Just with that list of ingredients it is sounding really tasty! Nice and beefy and sweet and salty and star anise'y with a hint of spices.

Once the broth is ready you are just about done; all that is left is to cook the rice noodles and assemble the soup. To assemble the soup, you place the braised beef in a bowl and top it with the cooked rice noodles followed by the second cut of beef, which is thinly sliced, along with the bean sprouts. The broth is brought to a boil and poured over the beef and beansprouts into the bowl. The boiling broth just 'cooks' the thinly sliced beef and blanches the beansprouts right in the bowl. Because you are just barely cooking the thinly sliced beef you will probably want a really nice and tender cut of beef like a tenderloin. Next you throw on your condiments such as basil, cilantro, jalapenos, hoisin sauce and chili sauce.

The pho bo broth took a bit of work and time to make but it was well worth it! It was nice and tasty and I really enjoyed the star anise flavour in a savoury dish like this. Other than the star anise, what I liked most about this soup was that it was nice and light and with all of the topping is was fresh and summery. The thinly sliced 'raw' beef on top was just perfectly cooked and nice and juicy and tender. What a great soup to enjoy on a cold winter day! Luckily I have leftovers so I will get to enjoy it for a few more days!

Pho Bo (Vietnamese Beef Noodle Soup)

(makes 4 servings)
Printable Recipe

Ingredients:
4 pounds beef bones
1/2 pound beef (a cheap cut)
1 onion (halved and charred)
1 3 inch piece of ginger (cut in half and charred)
9 star anise
6 cloves
1 stick cinnamon
1 teaspoon peppercorns
1/4 cup fish sauce
1 tablespoon palm sugar (or sugar)
4 servings rice noodles (cooked as directed on package)
1/2 pound steak (good quality, sliced thinly)
4 handfuls beansprouts
2 handfuls Thai basil (thinly sliced)
2 handfuls cilantro
2 jalapeno peppers (sliced)
1 limes (sliced)
2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
2 tablespoons chili sauce

Directions:
1. Place the bones into a large stock pot and bring to a roiling bowl for a few minutes.
2. Drain the water, rinse the bones and the pot and fill with clean water.
3. Add the beef, onion, ginger, star anise, cloves, cinnamon, peppercorns, fish sauce and sugar and simmer for 2 hours.
4. Remove the beef and continue to simmer for another 2 hours.
5. Strain the solids from the broth and season the broth to taste with fish sauce and sugar.
6. Shred the beef that was simmered in the broth and divide between 4 large bowls.
7. Divide the noodles between the bowls along with the beansprouts and place a few slices of the raw beef on top.
8. Bring the broth back to a roiling boil and ladle into the bowls. (This will cook the raw beef.)
9. Garnish with the basil, cilantro, jalapeno peppers, lime slices, hoisin sauce and chili sauce.

Tip: You can char the onion and ginger directly on the flame of a gas stove or under the broiler.

Tip: You can place the beef in the freezer for 20-40 minutes before slicing to make it easier to slice thinly.

Tip: Since the broth takes so long to make you can make it the night before. Another benefit of making it the night before is that you can easily skim off the fat when you pull it out of the fridge the next day.

Similar Recipes:
Turkey Pho
Beef Ramen
Salmon Noodle Soup
Chicken Noodle Soup

More soup recipes!

52 comments:

Dragon said...

Now this is a soup that can satisfy any hungry appetite!

Helene said...

I love all the Pho. I could eat the broth every day. It looks so delicious Kevin.

lisa (dandysugar) said...

DId you know that this is my very favorite soup? This looks super delicious, fresh and healthy! I love it!

Manggy said...

I wonder if I can say it looks authentic (as I'm not too well-versed in Vietnamese food)... But it really does! :)

ttfn300 said...

gorgeous!!!

meeso said...

Your food turns out like art!

Selba said...

I love pho!!! They tasted so good especially during rainy days.

lisaiscooking said...

I've never made pho, and it's been way too long since I've eaten it. Looks great!

Mrs Ergül said...

I am sure a big cooking project like this will take lots of work! So cool to have great leftovers!

Sharon said...

Love it! Great job Kevin!

Jennifer said...

Ill be honest Ive never had anything like this! Looks great!

Rita said...

Kevin, I am planning on making Pho, since it's one of Andrew's favourites. can you tell me, with this amount, how much broth did you end up with? maybe 4 servings? I don't want to go trough all this trouble just for a couple of cups...Thanks a lot

AnticiPlate said...

I love all of this pan-asian food! In Seattle pho is huge!!!

StickyGooeyCreamyChewy said...

Beautiful dish, Kevin! Pho Bo is one of my absolute faves. In fact,I had a big bowl last night!

Paula said...

Mmmm ... yummy Pho Bo! Looks great!

Amanda said...

Viet-town this weekend for ingredients --> Pho Bo!

Thanks for the recipe, I'll try it sometime during the next week.

jesse said...

Oh my god, that looks soooo amazing. How wonderful! Thanks for sharing the recipe!

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

You Pho looks flavorful and delicious! I love this kind of dish...

Cheers,

Rosa

Elra said...

Can you believe that my sister and I will go to "Pho" restaurant once a week just have this soup? yep, we both like it so much.
Yours look so delicious too.
Cheers,
Elra

Mila said...

Lookds yummy as always!

Marie said...

Your soup looks delicious Kevin, but then again, everything you make does!

pigpigscorner said...

I love pho!! I just had a bowl last weekend. Looks delicious!

Nirvana said...

This soup looks like it is totally worth the effort :)

Michelle said...

OH yum, good job for making Pho at home, its quite a task I've heard!

Natashya said...

This is something that I have always wanted to make. Yours looks so delicious!

Jeanne said...

Do you know I've never had pho?? Embarrassing admission, I know...! I love the idea of meat in a broth flavoured with star anise though :) Beautiful dish too.

Maria said...

I love noodle soups!!

Jennifer said...

I know it has a lot of ingredients, but it seems pretty doable! Your picture looks awesome!

Pam said...

I've only had Pho Bo once and I really loved it. Your version looks and sounds really tasty.

Amy said...

I love pho! Your version looks especially tasty!

cindy* said...

this looks so fresh and delicious!

Cheryl said...

I am pleased to see you make it the same way I do, which is authentic, I learned from my Viet sister! Go Kevin!

sugarlens said...

Your pho bo looks so so so good.

At home I make chicken pho because it is simplier. Star anise makes all the difference!

I want to go home and have a big bowl of noodles right now. It's so cold outside.

Diana Evans said...

holy hanna!!! that looks amazing Kevin!!!

and_she_makes_four said...

Wow, this is one of my favorite soups...I try to buy one as much as I can...but I would LOVE to try this...bravo!

-jen from jaime and jen dish it out

James said...

I would definitely follow this blog... if you installed the gadget.

Everything here looks so good!

Marjie said...

This looks more like dinner in a bowl than soup, and a mighty fine dinner, at that!

Jim Allen said...

It is a soup time of year. 15 degrees again here in Washington DC. I like the idea of a big squeeze of lime all over it too!

http://yellowdoorkitchen.blogspot.com/

squirrelbread said...

one of my top five foods. yours looks fabulous.

cheers,

*heather*

[eatingclub] vancouver || js said...

Your bowl of pho looks fabulous, Kevin! Want some now.

Thanks for the shout-out!

Beachlover said...

wow!! Kevin your pho bo soup look better than the one sell in the restaurant !! great job!!

pastry studio said...

I love this dish and never realized the broth contained star anise. This looks absolutely delicious. Thanks for this recipe.

Salt N Turmeric said...

This looks good. I cant believe Iv yet to go to any of the vietnamese restaurant here. The last time I had these was back home in Malaysia in 03. Maybe I should try make these myself.

Farina

zlamushka said...

Great Pho Bo Kevin. Your dishes always look so tempting.... yums!

Anonymous said...

I've made lots of pho, but your recipe has more ingredients. I think I will give it a try!

nguyen said...

Thanks Kevin, now i did very well. If someday you come to Vietnam, contact to me : thienthaohotel@yahoo.com, i will lead you go to the best of "Pho" and Vietnamese foods.

JCarson said...

Looks great, though I'm confused about steps 1 and 2. You boil the bones for a few minutes, then throw out that water and refill the pot with clean water? Do the bones go back into the 2nd pot of water?

Kevin said...

JCarson: Yes, the bones stay in the pot after the first boil. The first boil helps to ensure that you have clean bones and that nothing is present that may put off the beef flavour.

real beef stock recipe said...

Its very cheap and very useful!! :D
I must have to try preparing this one!!
Thanks!

The Mersea Diet said...

very delicious..i already made it yesterday and I am planning to make it tomorrow..because its very delicious..i like the tasted on it..

Cate Fisher said...

I would love to make this for my partner, Pho is one of his favorite foods, but he is allergic to fish. Can the fish sauce be left out? Or are there any good substitutes for it?

Kevin said...

Cate Fisher: Soy sauce would be a good alternative to the fish sauce, otherwise salt to taste. Enjoy!

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