Vietnamese Beef Rice Noodle Soup (Pho Bo) Recipe
Rice noodle topped with beef slices swim in the heady broth, served with fresh raw salad and spicy condiments. Pho bo is national dish of Vietnam. This popular noodle soup is made of rice noodle and beef. Traditionally, pho bo is eaten at breakfast time but nowadays its available throughout the day. It can be served at lunch, dinner or snack between meals.
It's possible to make Vietnamese beef rice noodle at home. What you need is good beef broth. If you have pressure cooker, it will help to make very rich broth in just about 30 - 45 minutes. One of the keys to a great broth is good beef soup bones that contain marrow or oxtail. I love to prepare the broth a day before which allows time to develop flavors. Place the broth in the fridge overnight and in the morning you can lift off the solidified fat. This way, you get a very rich and flavorful broth, even a healthier one. Reheat the broth, then adjust salt, sugar, or fish sauce if necessary.
What You Need
Serves 4 - 6
1 lbs lean beef
1 lbs dry rice noodles (pho)
6 lbs beef bones
6 quarts of water
1 piece of ginger (about 3 inches)
7 star anise
2 cinnamon stick
8 whole cloves
3 tsp sugar
2 tsp salt
1/8 cup fish sauce
4 spring onions, thinly sliced
12 cilantro sprigs, thinly chopped
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 1/2 cup bean sprouts
10 sprigs basil
red hot chili pepper, thinly sliced
hot chili sauce
How to Fix
- Broil ginger and onion until they are fragrant and burned. Peel the skin. Then use back of the cleaver to smash the ginger.
- Wash and rinse beef bones. Put beef bones in a large stock pot and add water. Bring to a boil then immediately discard the "first-boiling" water. Add another 6 quarts of fresh water and bring to a boil. Skim off any floating foam. Add ginger, onion, star anise, cloves, cinnamon stick, fish sauce, salt and sugar. Lower the heat to medium-low. Simmer the broth for about 90 minutes to 2 hours.
- Cut the raw beef into very thin strips. Set aside.
- Place dried rice noodle in water for 10 minutes then drain. In a small pot, put 2 quarts of water and bring it to boil. Throw the noodles in. Cook about 5 - 7 minutes or until they are tender. Transfer the noodles to colander and rinse them under cold running water. Drain.
- Return the stock to a boil then simmer for 30 minutes. Removes the beef bones from stock. Skim any fat.
- Divide and arrange the noodles among 4 - 6 individual bowls. Then add sliced raw beef, onion, spring onions and cilantro on top. Pour hot boiling stock to cover rice noodles. Serve hot.
- Serve with vegetable garnish and condiments.
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