The image featured on my blog is of a bowl of homemade Pho soup. Strangely enough I don’t have my recipe posted for you all. Have you ever had Pho? Always wanted to try it? I have eaten Pho in restaurants and I have to tell you they just really don’t cut the mustard for me.
Fun Fact: Pho is pronounced fuh not foh.
Here is what you are gonna need:
Beef roast (I use tri tip cuz it stays nice and tender)
Green onions (couple Bunches)
Cilantro (couple Bunches)
Lime juice or fresh limes
Beef paste (Asian Market)
Fresh Rice Stick Noodles (fridge at Asian Market)
Giant Pot (mine is 16 qt)
Small Pot w metal Strainer
Oxtail Bones (1.5 lbs seems to work well for 16 qt of broth)
A wide slotted spoon
Deep dish bowls
The pot I use for this dish is a 16 qt pot. One pack 1.5lb pack of oxtail works just fine for this size. I used to have a smaller pot and would add water to the broth because it was pretty concentrate so I giant pot like this is fine for one pack of tail.
I won’t tell you how to do anything in this recipe. I will just tell you how I do it and you can feel free to make any adjustments you want to your own liking. I will say this, though. The woman who taught me the art of making Pho soup learned from her mother in law who lives in Vietnam and speaks very little English. She was in the states visiting her son. The recipe is authentic and beats any restaurant Pho you will ever have.
The very first thing I do when I make this gold in a bowl is fill my giant pot with water and set it on the burner. I throw in the oxtails and cut the onion into chunks and toss it in along with a liberal amount of salt. I know my cutting board looks gross. I cut a lot of potatoes on it hence the black. Ima try to bleach it.
That pot boils covered all day. In the meantime, when I find time throughout the day, I get the cutting done cuz there is a fair amount of that. I slice the roast so it is as close to paper thin as possible, I slice the green onion and chop the cilantro. All the meat and veggies are put in the fridge for later.
Close to dinner, I fish the bones out and onions and set them aside. I then add a liberal amount of the beef paste. (Liberal amounts of everything in this recipe. Don’t be shy.) I will use half the jar for my pot cuz my pot is huge.
In my smaller pot, I fill it with water and get it boiling with the strainer on top. Once its at a rolling boil, I add a big handful of noodles and stir with a fork. They only take a couple minutes to finish cooking. I then lift the strainer and dump the noodles into another strainer and rinse them with cold water to stop the cooking. I do several batches of noodles until I have enough to fill as many bowls as I have. (I usually feed 5 but sometimes we have company cuz Pho is sort of a special occasion food around here).
Sorry the pics are a bit blurry
Once the noodles are done, using my hands, I grab a generous amount of noodles and flop them into the bowls. I do the noodles for everyone cuz I don’t know if their hands are clean enough to be reaching in there and man handling them the way they need to be man handled. Everyone is free to add whatever they want to the noodles ie. cilantro, green onions. Squeeze a crap load of hoisin and an equal amount of lime over the noodles in the bowl.
Cooking the beef: This can be done two ways. The authentic method is to use the wide slotted spoon or a basket spoon and cook individual amounts for a few minutes in the boiling broth. If you don’t want to stand there and cook individual portions of the beef in a spoon, you could just dump some of it in and fish it out once its cooked long enough (typically just a few minutes). Put cooked meat into the bowl then add as much broth as is desired to the bowl and enjoy!
I make enough broth whenever I make soup that we are able to eat this for two meals each day for two to three days. We love this soup enough to look forward to it for lunch even on the third day. Also, as a side note. We make so much that we can’t cold store the leftover broth. The broth remains in the pot the entire three days on the stove. Several times a day I bring the temp up so its at a rolling boil which kills any bacteria that may try to grow in it but honestly I keep the pan hot enough that bacteria doesn’t form. In Vietnam, they make such enormous pots that they never use refrigeration to keep their soup from spoiling. I have to admit, when I first realized that my first time eating second day soup that was still on the stove even overnight I was a little leery. But after having done it myself every single time I have made this meal, I can assure you it is safe. Keep the broth above 140 degrees and you are golden 🙂
As a post note, in restaurants they give you various flavor options on a plate for you to choose from. I have seen fresh oregano, fresh basil, bean sprouts, different chili sauces, etc. This recipe is a reflection of how I like mine. You can change it up however you want it based on what flavors are good to you. 🙂
If you try this recipe and you really like the way your pho came out, tell me about it in the comments. Thanks!