Pho (pronounced as foe, without the e) refers to a traditional Vietnamese soup where the thin slices of beef are cooked in an aromatic broth until the meat is tender. It is usually served with rice noodles and is a Vietnamese comfort food for many generations.
Traditionally, pho requires a long time to prepare because the beef broth need to be prepared from scratch. The broth involves gently simmering the beef bones, meat, and spices for hours to produce a rich-flavoured broth. Nowadays, there are readily made beef stocks in most supermarkets that can save a lot of time.
The Pho beef with rice noodles is often garnished with bean sprouts, basil, lime, and sliced chilli peppers. Two well-known condiments that comes with pho dishes are Sriracha hot chilli sauce and Hoisin sauce (darkly-coloured, thick and fragrant sauce). The rice noodles that are usually used are medium-thick noodles which are similar to fettuccine. This type of noodles is chewier which goes well with tender beef slices.
Try this easy recipe at home for a rich and savoury pho beef with rice noodles.
Ingredients (4 servings):
- 2L of beef stock
- 500ml of water
- 2 inches of ginger
- 1 onion (thinly sliced)
- 2 garlic cloves (sliced)
- 3 star anise
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 2 tbsp of sugar
- 80ml of fish sauce
- 375g of flat rice noodles
- 400g of beef eye fillet (very thinly sliced)
- 80g of bean sprouts
- 1 red chilli ( seeds removed and thinly sliced)
- 10 fresh basil leaves (optional)
- 1 lime (cut into wedges)
- Hoisin and Sriracha sauce
- In a pot, place beef stock, water, ginger, onion, garlic, star anise, and cinnamon. Bring them to a boil then reduce to low heat. Cover the pot and let it simmer for 20 minutes. Then strain the broth to discards all the spices and let it boil again. You may wrap the spices in a piece of cheesecloth and tied with a string before adding into the pot so that removing the spices will be easier.
- While the broth is simmering, prepare the rice noodles according to the packet instructions. The rice noodle usually requires 2 to 3 minutes to cook, and then rinse it with cool water to prevent the noodles from sticking.
- Add sugar, fish sauce, and salt into the broth. Adjust the amount of salt accordingly.
- Submerge the thin beef slices into boiling the broth for about 20-30 seconds.
- Divide the noodles into serving bowls and pour hot broth into it. Garnish with bean sprouts, basil, sliced red chillies, and lime. Serve them with Hoisin and Sriracha sauce at the side.