Beef Pho is a traditional Vietnamese soup that is savory, fragrant and delicious.
Course Main Course
Prep Time 1 hourhour
Cook Time 5 hourshours
Total Time 6 hourshours
4 - 5poundsmixed beef leg bones & knucklesI prefer bones with cartilage & tissues attached
1large onioncut in half
4 - 5piecesyellow rock sugar
2large gingerabout 3 – 4 inches long cut in half lengthwise
6whole star anise
2tablespoonswhole black peppercorn
1 ½poundsbeef shank,brisket or tendons
½poundsirloin steak or tri-tip or eye of round
½ to 1poundrice noodlefollow package instructions
salt or fish sauce to taste
2cupsfresh mung bean sprouts
1small white onionsliced thinly & lengthwise
1 - 2jalapeñoseeded & sliced
1limecut into wedges
Wash beef bones & beef shank in a large pot. Add enough water to cover mixture. Sprinkle a tablespoon of salt and let it seat for an hour. This will get rid of the beef blood. After an hour, wash the mixture twice. Again, water to cover the mixture.
Bring the mixture to a boil over high heat and cook for about 5 minutes until impurities or scum are released. Turn off heat.
For a clearer broth, wash bones and meat to get rid of impurities. Also, rinse the pot. Put back all the mixture in the pot and fill it with water about ¾ full. I used an 8in x 8in pot.
Bring to a boil over high heat then lower heat to medium-low and simmer for about 4 hours or more. Please read above “How Long Do I Simmer the Bones?”
Add halved onion, salt and yellow rock sugar.
After an hour check if beef shank is already tender. Remove and set aside. Also, if you added any brisket or tendons make sure to check it once in a while if tender.
Continue to simmer in low heat.
Meanwhile, broil quartered onion and ginger for about 10 to 15 minutes until charred on all side but not burned. Remove the burned or black areas. Set aside.
In a pan, toast spices - cinnamon sticks, star anise, peppercorn, cardamom, clove & licorice for about 5 minutes or until fragrant. Remove & set aside.
Place charred onion, ginger & toasted spices in a sealed sachet.
When done simmering broth, let it cool completely. Remove any cartilage, tendons or meat attached to the bones using a knife. You will add this when you assemble the beef pho.
Put back all the bones in the pot and place it in the fridge for ½ a day or best yet overnight. Excess fat will harden and form on top. Skim the top to remove fat.
Remove the onion.
When ready to serve, bring broth to a boil at high heat & add the sachet of spices.
Once boiling, reduce heat to medium-low & simmer for about 45 minutes to an hour.
Taste and season with salt or fish sauce.
Wash all the vegetable garnish and place in plate.
Assemble beef pho.
In a large bowl, add cooked rice noodle, beef shank, cartilage, brisket or tendons.
Add raw steak or dip it first in the boiling broth to cook. It’s your preference.
Pour hot broth. Raw steak will cook and turn pale.
Serve vegetables & other garnish on the side – bean sprout, Thai basil, jalapeno,Thai chili, lime wedges & sriracha sauce. Enjoy!
4 – 5 servings
You can buy the spices separately or if you go to an Asian store they might have a kit of mixed spices for pho which also includes a sachet. The net weight of the kit I used was 1.6 oz (46g). I only used ½ of this kit.