1.5hr Vietnamese Pho soup hack for the bone-simmering averse (pics and recipe)
I absolutely love Pho. I love the process of dressing it up just how I like it, the mechanics of using a spoon and chopsticks, the complex flavors, and the warm feeling I get after downing a giant bowl. I don't live too close to any Vietnamese restaurants, so I decided to try making it at home.
I compared many recipes and set off. The broth was, by far, the most daunting and almost dissuaded me from making it on many occasions (even while staring down at the bones in the grocery meat department). I parboiled about 8lbs of various bones, then simmered them for hours and hours and hours with the required Pho spices. In the end it was very good, but it took so many hours and I was drained. I knew I wouldn't make it again, it was just too demanding…
But I woke up the next morning with a craving for Pho. Pho always leads to more Pho. This time I decided to just buy pre-packaged bone and beef broth and use that instead of the half-day long process of making it myself and all the mess that comes with it. Long story short, it came out even better than my first attempt. All of the ingredients were purchased from Wegman's. Here's the recipe!
- 2tbsp fish sauce (or to taste)
- 2 onion
- 3” fresh ginger
- 3-4 star anise
- 1.5tbsp whole coriander seeds
- 3 whole cloves
- 2 whole cinnamon sticks
- 6 cups low sodium beef broth
- 6 cups low sodium bone broth
- Hoisin sauce
- Ban pho rice noodles
- Fresh cilantro
- Bean sprouts
- 1 lime
- Fresh basil or Thai basil
- 2lbs sirloin or eye round steak
- Start heating the 12 cups of broth. Cut onions and ginger in half and roast at 450° until lightly charred.
- Place dry spices in frying pan and heat on low until aromatic.
- Combine fish sauce, spices, onions, and ginger with broth. Add fish sauce slowly as it is very salty, just keep tasting.
- Simmer for 1-1.5 hours. Taste often and add water to maintain a volume of about 10 cups.
- Place raw meat in freezer until you can slice it extremely thin with ease. Bring sliced meat to room temperature while broth simmers.
- Strain the broth completely.
- Bring a pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add rice noodles and remove from heat. Steep for 7 minutes, then immediately strain and transfer to large bowls.
- Drop raw beef slices on top of freshly cooked rice noodles.
- Before the noodles can cool down, bring the broth to a full rolling boil. Ladle boiling broth over the noodles and meat until fully submerged.
- Place lime slices, trimmed cilantro, basil, and bean sprouts on a plate.
- Dress soup with Sriracha and Hoisin sauce. Add sprouts, greens, and lime juice to taste.
Pair it with some extra dark coffee (Vietnamese or Turkish style) and sweetened condensed milk for the full experience. Make sure you use gigantic bowls, a large spoon, and chopsticks!
There you have it, amazing Pho in 1.5 hours tops.