cookbook

Pho Night!

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Pho is an awesome Vietnamese noodle soup, most commonly served with thinly sliced beef. For more information, you can check out one of my old posts from the time I dined at Tank Noodles in Chicago.

Vietworldkitchen.com is a wonderful resource on Vietnamese food and cooking. There’s a very detailed recipe for making Pho and also some background information on Pho. Andrea Nguyen, founder of the website, also has a wonderful Vietnamese cookbook available Into the Vietnamese Kitchen. I actually own this book. It is amazing!

The following recipe for Pho was adapted from the website. The only difference is that I used Beef Pho broth mix and seasoning packets. Unfortunately, it was inconvenient for me to obtain all the spices and spend the hours preparing the broth.

Beef noodle soup (pho bo)
Makes 8 servings (or more)

Ingredients:

  • A big pot of Beef Pho broth (You can purchase pre-made Beef Pho broth and seasoning packets. They come in little plastic jars and are available at most Asian grocery stores. Then all you need is one whole onion and about 4 inches of ginger. If you would like to go all out you can also make the broth yourself. In that case, check out the recipe from website link above.)
  • 2 pounds dried rice noodles
  • 1/2 pound thinly sliced beef (may I suggest… sirloin)
  • 1 medium yellow onion, sliced thin
  • 4 scallions, chopped
  • 1/3 cup cilantro, chopped
  • Ground black pepper, to taste

Garnishes:

  • Mint leaves (hung lui)
  • Basil (hung que)
  • Cilantro (ngo gai)
  • Bean sprouts
  • Lime wedges
  • Small red chiles (not pictured)

Prepare broth.
The Beef Pho broth mix is first dissolved in a large pot of hot water. Add a whole onion (sliced) along with the fresh ginger (also sliced). Bring the broth to boil and then let it simmer for 20 minutes. A container of broth mix often allows you to make about 2 huge pots worth of soup. I only used on of the packets. I also added the sliced beef into the broth.


Prepare noodles. Soak the dried rice noodles in warm water for 15 minutes or so, as you reheat the broth. Once the noodles become soft, drain them. Place it into a small pot of boiling water and blanch the noodles using a strainer for 20 seconds. Remove the strainer from the water and drain the noodles. Place the noodles into the large soup bowls.

Add toppings. Place slices of cooked beef on top of the noodles. Garnish with onion, scallions, cilantro, and add black pepper to taste. Pour the broth over the noodles.

Ready to serve. The bowl of noodles are now ready to be served with a plate of the garnishes listed earlier.

It was my first time making Pho in my own kitchen. It might not look as good as it should, but it was might tasty!!!! I had so much broth left over that I ended up making more Pho for the rest of the week.

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