Pho is best known as a Vietnamese soup that has become a shared dish in southeast Asia and of course everyone makes it a bit differently from one another. Thai people call theirs Guoi Tiao and Hmong call it Fawm. Some Hmong make it similar to the way they ate back in Laos and some make it the way Vietnamese people in America make pho. This recipe is most similar to the pho my mother makes, which reminds her of pho she ate growing up in food stands in Laos. Just like my mom, I like to add oven homemade meatballs because they are like delightful crunch bits that you could look forward to in the soup.
Preparation and Cooking: 1 hour and 30 minutes
Ingredients for 8 servings:
- 6 quarts of water
- 2 IB Beef Knuckle bones
- 8 star anise
- 1/16 cup of salt
- ½ white onion
- Optional: 1 TB of beef pho flavor paste
- 1 IB of dry wide rice noodles
- 2 IB of beef, sliced thinly or shredded
- 1 pack of beef meatballs
Home Made beef balls
- 2 IB of ground beef or ground pork
- 1 tsp of salt
- 1 tsp of coarse black pepper
- Cilantro, minced
- Green onions, minced
- Lime cut in wedges
- Peanut Butter
- Sriracha asian hot sauce
- Optional: Beef flavor paste
- Optional: hoisin sauce
- Rinse your thawed beef bones. Prepare a pot of 6 quarts of water and set it on the stove on high heat. Throw your white onion in, the star anise, and the bones. Leave it on the stove for at least 1 hour. make sure every once in awhile to come back and discard any foams and oils that floats to the surface of the broth with a big spoon.
- During this wait, we will prepare the noodles and the condiments and once we are done with that the broth should also be ready. Prepare a pot of 4 quart of water and bring it to a boil. Once boiling, pour your dry noodles in and constantly stir for the first couple minutes so the noodles don’t stick onto each other. In five minutes the noodles should be cooked. To make sure it is cooked, take one strand and bite into it and if it’s soft then it’s cooked and eatable. Turn off the heat and transfer the hot noodles into a strainer. Immediately let cold water run through the noodles for a minute first before you dig your fingers into the noodles to rinse thoroughly. Rinse for 2 minutes then let it sit aside to drain.
- Prepare your condiments like green onions, lime, cilantro. Set them aside in a small platter. Take your 2 IB beef and shred or sliced thinly. Saran wrap it and set it aside.
- Optional: now prepare your home made meatballs. Preheat your oven to 350 on Broil. These are very delicious in Pho as they provide some crunch to your pho bowl. Mix your ground meat with salt and black pepper. Rub a finger over the meat and taste. Add more salt if desire. Roll a tsp of filling into a ball and put it on a baking pan. Continue doing this to finish the meat mixture. You will oven them for about 5 minutes. They should be browned and cooked. Transfer them into a bowl and set them aside.
- By this time a hour should have passed so go check on your pho broth. You will notice the water level has decreased. Discard the white onion and the star anise. Add 1/16 cup of salt and 1 TB of beef paste flavor. Taste the broth to see if it fits your taste. Add the sliced beef into the pot. You can also add 1 quart of water. Bring it to a bowl for serving.
- Generally in a pho bowl, first grab a handful of noodles than the condiments you desire. Add very small amount of peanut butter and any other condiment sauces you like. Pour a couple ladles of hot boiling broth into your bowl. Mix with your spoon & fork and enjoy!
sidenote: If you have more time on your hands, you can make the pho broth the night before. Let it sit overnight and the next morning it will become very easy to discard the fat and oil that has hardened on above the surface of the broth.