How To Cook VN Pho (Beef Noodle Soup)

If you live in the Bay Area, chances are you would have some Pho (Beef Noodle Soup) sometimes since most VN restaurants offer them. It’s a very popular and tasty VN food. Today, I would like to show you how to make one at home for the whole family to enjoy. If you only have 2-3 people, it may be cheaper to head out to a nearest restaurant since it’s average about $10 a bowl.

The reason restaurants Pho is tasty because they cook with all types of fatty meats, the both is rich due to these fats. To have the same taste as the restaurant’s soup, we do need to cook with all important meats. Meats that are fatty for the soup are: Rare beef thin sliced (either bottom round or top round), Beef Tripes, Brisket, Flank Steak and Tendon besides the Beef Bones. The ingredients for seasoning are: Pho Seasoning bags (Pho Hoa), Ginger, Star Anise, Cinnamon barks, Green Onions, Onions, Garlic, Salt, MSG, Sugar (white or brown), Sugar Candy (Crystal Sugar), Cilantro, Basil (VN), Ground Black Pepper, Sriracha, Lemon, Rice Pho Noodles (thin or medium, fresh or dry), Beansprouts. You can use Fish sauce if you like.

The soup is the most important part of Pho, clean the beef bones, meats with water or rinsed with boiling water for a few minutes before putting them in the pot. Start out with one tea spoon of salt for every 3 bowls of water, 1 tea spoon of MSG for every 6 bowls of water, 1 tea spoons of sugar for 3 bowls of water, 2-3 small rocks of sugar candy. Dissolve all of them and taste the water to see if it’s to the taste. If the water is well seasoned, the meats will absorb and taste well when they’re done.

While the water is heating up, put an onion in the toaster and grill it until it smells great, take it out and put in the water pot. Put all the meats, ginger, garlic, star anise, cinnamon barks and the bag of Pho seasoning. When the water is boiled, lower the heat to half and simmer it for 45-60 minutes, check the meat to make sure they’re not over cooked and take them out, make sure to remove the bubbles from the bones and meats and discard them. Taste the soup again and add more salt or sugar, at this time the soup will smell so good already. The flank steak is the longest one to be done. The Beef Tripe only need to boil for about 3-5 minutes, don’t over cook it.

Star Anise - Pho Fragrant     Home made Pho



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