Vietnamese beef noodle soup, Phở Bò, is one of the most popular street foods in Vietnam. It is well-known around the world by its slightly natural sweet delicious broth and special flavor. Pho Bo is considered a comfort food. Vietnamese would eat Pho at any time of a day. The key to making a delicious bowl of Pho is making a delicious broth. The main ingredients are beef bones, chuck roast, and spices. You can check out the ingredient list below.
For this recipe, you’ll need a big pot or a pressure cooker. Using pressure cooker would reduce the cooking time to one hour instead of two. Some people like to have bean sprouts cooked in the broth before adding to the bowl. Others also like to have a glass of warm soy milk to go along.
Bring water to a boil on high heat. Add beef bones and beef chuck roast. Cook for 8-10 minutes or until all the impurities rise to the top. Dump out the whole pot. Wash bones and meat carefully. (This will help make the broth clear).
Place bones and meat into a stock pot. Fill with water until covered (about 1-1/2 gallons). Add salt, sugar, and peeled yellow onion. Cover the top. Simmer for 1 hour. (Skim off the foam occasionally). Note: You can simmer the bones for more than 2 hour if you have time. This will make the broth more tasty.
Making Pho Aroma (while smimmering the broth)
Cut ginger into slices. Cut yellow onion in half. Grill the rest of yellow onion, ginger slices, shallots, cinnamon sticks, dried anise, fructus tsaoko until they look a little burned. Then remove them from the baking sheet. Discard the burn and peel the outer layers of yellow onion and shallots by using a knife.
Back to the Broth
After an hour, take off the lid. Discard yellow onion. Remove the meat from the broth and place it into the icy water. Drain well.(This will help prevent the meat from turning black)
Add grilled yellow onion, ginger slices, shallots, cinnamon sticks, dried anise, fructus tsaoko into the broth. Cover the top. Simmer for about another 1 hour or less. Note: For the spices, do not simmer more than 1 hour or it will make the aroma too strong for the broth, affecting the taste.
Meanwhile, cut lime into wedges. Cut chili into thin slices. Slice yellow onion thinly. Cut green onion in half; chop the top finely. Set aside.
Cut beef into thin slices. Cut meat balls in half.
After another 1 hour, remove the lid. Discard yellow onions, ginger slices, shallots, spices, and beef bones. Skim off the burn on the broth surface by using a fine mesh strainer.(or you can strain the broth)
Increase heat to medium. Add meat balls. Cook for 3 minutes. Then add white parts of green onion. Turn off heat.
Ingredients for Pho bowl
Place noodle into a big bowl. Poor in hot water and stir for few times. Remove the noodle from hot water right away by using a strainer. Toss to remove any excess water. Note: You can also use the dried pho noodles. However, boil it for 5-7 minutes or until you can break it by pinching with your fingers. Then rinse with cool water and drain well.
Place the noodle into a soup bowl. Place beef slices, meat balls, yellow onion into the bowl. Pour the hot broth over the meat and noodle. Top with green onion.
Have it with a few Thai chili slices, herbs, and bean sprouts. Squeeze in lime juice. Add hoisin sauce and hot chili sauce to taste.