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How to make Vietnamese beef pho broth

Updated on September 30, 2014

Nếu bạn là người Việt thì làm ơn kéo xuống dưới phần đường link đẫn đến bài của mình bằng tiếng Việt, (If you are Vietnamese, please jump to the link at the end of this page for my Vietnamese version on the press)

Pho is not difficult but it requires time and attention. In this hub, I am going to share Vietnamese Pho broth recipe for a serious cook.

pho broth
pho broth | Source

MAKE 12-15 bowls

INGREDIENTS
5lb. beef leg bones, cut into 2-3" pieces, marrow removed
3 oz. ginger, grilled and bruised
1 medium-big onion, grilled and peeled
2-4 cinnamon sticks, toasted
3-4 star anise, toasted
3-4 cardamons, toasted
Salt and rock sugar
Fish sauce, to taste
2 small dried squid, grilled


Pho broth - clean bone
Pho broth - clean bone | Source

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Parboil the bone in salted water, wash off and place aside. Bring 6l of water to boil, add 1-2 tbsp. salt then add the bone. Simmer for 5-6 hours, skim any scums and top with boiled water twice as the water level reduces. Leave to cool.

2. Add 1/4 cup of fish sauce to cold broth (above) and bring to boiling point. Reduce the heat and simmer.

3. Meanwhile, prepare the spices. Grilled ginger, onion and squid over charcoal or fire, scrape ginger's skin, peel onion, scrape burnt part from the squid and add all to the stockpot. Toast/grill cardamons, star anise and cinnamon sticks till release aroma, add to the stockpot. Keep simmer for 2 hours then add sugar, salt to taste; after 15-30 minutes, turn off the heat and strain the stock through a fine sieves or a colander lined with cheese cloth. Dishcard the solid.

Note

  • A high-pot makes better broth. Also, because water will evaporate less, you will not have to top-up the broth very ofter. As a result, it saves precious energy (gas, electricity) and requires less attention.
  • Mind the heat, rolling boil ruins the broth
  • You might skip the parboil step and the skim scums step, leave the broth overnight and lift the solid fat.
  • Do not leave spices soak in cold broth, they bitter the broth
  • Cook a large pot and store the stock in the freeze for future craving


4.2 stars from 11 ratings of pho broth

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    • sunbun143 profile image

      sunbun143 5 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      Wow thank you for writing a whole hub to answer my question...but you do not need to put my name at the top. I just wanted to inspire the article because it sounded like you would know how to make pho. However, this sounds very difficult to make well even though it's simple. For a beginner cook like me, do you recommend using already made beef broth, then just adding fresh meat and noodles? Thank you!

    • sunbun143 profile image

      sunbun143 5 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      Also - a piece of advice...can you add pictures of your finished pho and maybe pictures of each step? I think pictures or even video would make this hub even more useful. Thanks again!

    • huyenchi profile image
      Author

      huyenchi 5 years ago from London - Hanoi

      I thought for a while, you might not like your name to be posted, sorry for didn't ask you in advance. About already made beef broth, you can use it and add spices I guess, but I am not sure of the quality ... I would recommend go to a good restaurant, buy the broth, divide it into potions, freeze it and use when you crave

    • huyenchi profile image
      Author

      huyenchi 5 years ago from London - Hanoi

      Thank you so much for your advice, I know I should!

    • sunbun143 profile image

      sunbun143 5 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      I never thought about just buying the broth from a restaurant and freezing it. What a great easy idea!! Thank you.

    • huyenchi profile image
      Author

      huyenchi 5 years ago from London - Hanoi

      :)

    • vmarlan profile image

      Vicki 4 years ago from Pittsburgh, PA

      Do you think using squid is necessary? I don't eat certain types of seafood.

    • huyenchi profile image
      Author

      huyenchi 4 years ago from London - Hanoi

      Hi Vmarlan, if you don't use the squid, that's ok ... but the sweetness from Sa Sung or/and squid make a difference

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