Easy Vietnamese Pho Recipe – Step By Step
Chewy noodles, sustaining bone stock, fresh vegetables, and delicate slices of meat make this simple and scrumptious Pho Recipe one of my untouched most loved soup recipes.. Figure out How to Make this Vietnamese Pho Noodle Soup Recipe directly in your own home with these simple steps.
What is Pho?
Pho (Phở) originated in the early 20th century in northern Vietnam. It is a Vietnamese soup consisting of broth, bánh phở (rice noodles), simple herbs and vegetables, and meat. The type of meat typically found in Pho is usually either phở gà (chicken) or phở bò (beef).
You will find that different parts of Vietnam serve different styles of Pho with some regions offering a sweeter broth, different herbs, or wider noodles. Here is The Easy Vietnamese Pho Noodle Soup Recipe So Let’s Start.
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Pho Important Ingredients
For this round of Vietnamese Pho, I chose to make phở bò, or beef pho. Sorry chicken, maybe next time.
This is a list of the main ingredients.
- Bones. The best beef bones to use are knuckles, joints, feet, and marrow bones. For added flavor incorporate meaty bones like oxtail, shank, and short ribs. You’ll notice in the images below that I have both raw and cooked meat. That’s because many of my bones had meat on them which were perfect added to just to this pho recipe, but countless other recipes as well.
- Raw Meat. Flank steak, chuck roast, or brisket, sliced paper thin (or as thin as you can manage). You will not cook this meat before adding to the soup. Instead, you will add to your bowl of noodles and pour your boiling bone broth directly on top which should, if sliced thin enough, cook the meat.
- Spices. Using the right spices really is the key to any good pho broth. Spices like star anise, whole cinnamon sticks, whole cloves, black cardamom, coriander seeds, and fennel seeds. Trust me, you need them. You want them. And you’ll also need cheesecloth to wrap them in with some kind of kitchen twine.
- Onion, Garlic, Ginger. Along with the bones, you will be charring these essentials in the oven. Don’t worry, it’s easy. No open flames here.
- Sugar and Fish Sauce. A little bit of sweetness and umami flavor goes a long way.
- Noodles (bahn pho kho). Aside from the broth, the noodles come in second place for most important pho ingredient. Available fresh and dried, these rice noodles typically come in small, medium, and large widths. Fresh bahn pho kho is typically pretty hard to locate outside of specialty supermarkets, so you’ll probably find yourself with dried noodles. That’s ok- dried noodles are great. The best size for soup is either small or medium.
- Garnishes. Basically, all the things you want to pile on top of your soup. Think fresh, green, and healthy. So, things like mint, Thai basil, green onions, sliced onion, fresh lime, mung bean sprouts, sliced red chiles, cabbage, bok choy. You know, those things.
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Vietnamese Pho Recipe
How to Make this Vietnamese Pho Noodle Soup Recipe (Pho) right in your own home with these easy to follow instructions.
- Blanch the bones. This step is SO IMPORTANT. If you want a clear, beautiful pho broth, blanch your bones. Do this by dividing the bones between two large stockpots and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil over high heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes before draining and rinsing the bones with water.
- Roast the bones and the vegetables. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Transfer the bones, onion, garlic, and ginger to the roasting pans. Don’t pile them all on top of each other- use two roasting pans. Roast for 30 minutes before gently tossing the bones, and roasting for an additional 15-30 minutes more. In other words, roast for at least 45-60 minutes.
- Toast the spices. As the bones are roasting, add all of your spices (the star anise, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom pods, coriander seeds, and fennel seeds) to a large, dry skillet over low heat. Not medium heat. LOW HEAT. Toast your spices, stirring often to prevent burning, until fragrant, approximately 5 minutes. Divide the spices in half and transfer to your cheesecloth. Make two spice sachets by gathering at the top and tying with kitchen twine.
- Transfer the roasted bones back to the stockpots. But not before washing the stockpots first. Make sure you wash your pots after the bones were blanched and drained. Transfer the bones back to the stock pots and scrape up any remaining bits and juices remaining in the roasting pan using a metal spatula and a little water, if needed. Add to the pot with the bones (don’t worry, all those brown bits are FLAVOR!).
- Bring to a boil. With the bones, spice sachets(one per pot), onion, garlic, and ginger divided between the two pots, fill each pot with approximately 12 cups water (or until bones are fully submerged), 1/3 cup fish sauce and 2 tablespoons sugar. Bring to a boil.
- Simmer the bones. Reduce heat to low and simmer, with the lid slightly ajar, skimming any foam or excess fat, occasionally (if you blanched your bones, you shouldn’t see much foam). Simmer for at least 6-12 hours, ideally 24 hours (do not leave the stove running overnight. Simply cool and store in the refrigerator and continue to simmer the next day). Add more water if needed to make sure the bones stay submerged.
- Strain the broth. Once the bones have simmered and your broth is ready, you will need to strain the broth through a fine mesh strainer essentially separating the pretty, clear broth from the bones and spices. Set aside the broth to cool and reserve the bones.
- Don’t forget about the meat. Whether you eat the meat still left on the bones in a bowl of soup or in sandwiches, I can almost guarantee that there is a TON of delicious meat waiting to be picked from the bones. Don’t let it go to waste! Discard the meat-free bones, herbs, and other bits that were used to make the broth.
- Skim the fat from your broth (optional). Add a couple handfuls of ice to your broth to expedite cooling and cover your pot with a lid. Transfer the broth to the refrigerator and allow broth to cool fully. The result will be a hard, thick layer of fat on the top and a bottom layer that is your pho broth (which should look like gelatinous brown jello). If desired use a fork to scoop off the top layer of fat.
- Slice your meat. Thinly slice your meat. If you’re having trouble, place it in the freezer for 10 minutes which will make it easier to slice.
- Noodles first. Grab a large bowl and divide the pre-cooked noodles between bowls.
- Add the raw meat. Yes, you guys. RAW. Add the meat directly on top of the rice noodles. Don’t worry, assuming your broth is boiling hot and not just warm, your meat will get fully cooked.
- Add the broth. It doesn’t matter which broth (the fast or the slow method), this is the moment. Just make sure it’s super hot and ladle directly over the meat.
- Garnish like crazy. Add some extra cooked beef from the bones you used to make the bone broth, add one sauce…or five. Guys, it’s up to you! Have fun!
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- 10 pounds beef bones – preferably a mix of marrow bones (femur bones) and bones with meat on them (oxtail, short ribs, and knuckle bones cut in half)
- 2 medium onions – quartered
- 2 whole heads garlic – halved crosswise
- 4 (2-inch pieces) ginger – sliced lengthwise
- 6 whole star anise
- 12 whole cloves
- 2 whole cinnamon sticks
- 2 black cardamom pods
- 2 tbsp fennel seeds
- 2 tbsp coriander seeds
- 2 tbsp salt
- 2/3 cup fish sauce – divided between the two pots
- 4 tbsp sugar – divided between the two pots
- 1 pound flat rice noodles – dried or fresh
- 1 pound flank steak, chuck roast, brisket – sliced thin against the grain
- sliced onions
- fresh cilantro – chopped
For the Table
- fresh mint, Thai basil
- mung bean sprouts
- green onions
- lime wedges
- thinly sliced red chilis
- hoisin sauce
- fish sauce
- chili sauce
- bok choy
This is The Easy Vietnamese Pho Recipe That You Must Try at Home..