Pho

By Sang Kim
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Noodle soups are the ultimate comfort food and there’s probably none more popular right now than pho. Pho (rhymes with ‘duh’, not ‘go’), is actually a more recent addition to Vietnamese cuisine. There are two parts to making pho: one for the stock (beef and vegetarian) and the second for the noodles and finished soup. Sang Kim breaks down how you can make this bowl of comfort food at home in the recipes below.

SERVES
3
 TO
5
TOTAL TIME

Ingredients

Beef pho:

  • 2.2 kilograms of beef bones (oxtail or knuckle or leg)
  • 5 litres of water
  • 2 onions, halved
  • 2 large nubs of ginger, halved lengthwise
  • 1 stick cinnamon
  • 5 whole star anise
  • 4 cloves
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon refined white sugar
  • 1 pack dried rice noodles
  • 225 gram flank, slicked thinly as possible (freeze for 1/2 hour prior to slicing to make it easier to cut)
  • 2 limes cut into wedges
  • 2 chile peppers sliced
  • 2 handfuls of bean sprouts, mint, basil, cilantro
  • Hoisin sauce
  • Sriracha hot sauce

Vegetarian pho:

  • 6 cups vegetable broth, low-sodium
  • 5 litres of water
  • 10 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed
  • 2 onions, halved
  • 2 large nubs of ginger, halved lengthwise
  • 1 stick cinnamon
  • 5 whole star anise
  • 4 cloves
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon refined white sugar
  • 1 pack dried rice noodles
  • 510 gram pack baked tofu, thinly sliced
  • 2 med carrots, julienned
  • 1 pack cremini mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 2 limes cut into wedges
  • 2 chile peppers sliced
  • 2 handfuls of bean sprouts, mint, basil, cilantro
  • Hoisin sauce
  • Sriracha hot sauce

Directions

For the Beef Pho:

For the soup stock

  1. Char ginger and onions on baking sheet on high. Brush a bit of cooking oil on the cut sides. 12 minutes.
  2. Fill a large pot (ideally ten litre capacity) with cool water. Bring to a boil. Keep heat on high.
  3. Parboil beef bones for ten minutes. Drain the pot, let the bones rest to cool.
  4. Refill pot with five litres of cool water and add the parboiled bones. Bring to a boil over high heat, then lower to a simmer.
  5.  Add onion, ginger, cinnamon, star anise, cloves, salt, fish sauce, sugar. Simmer on low covered for five hours
  6. Remove meat and set aside
  7. Strain the broth into another pot or sauce pan. Set aside.

For the noodles and finished soup

  1. Place noodles in a large bowl filled with room temperature water and soak for 1 hour.
  2. When ready to serve, place the noodles in boiling water for one minute.
  3. Bring the stock to a simmer.
  4. Line up soup bowls and fill each bowl with rice noodles and flank slices.
  5. Ladle soup into each bowl.
  6. Garnish with lime wedge, bean sprouts, mint, basil.
  7. Use hoisin and Sriracha hot sauce as dipping condiments.

For the Vegetarian Pho:

For the soup stock

  1. Char ginger, onions,  garlic on baking sheet on high. Brush a bit of cooking oil on the cut sides. 12 minutes.
  2. Fill pot with five litres of cool water, vegetable broth, shiitake mushrooms, garlic, onions, ginger, cinnamon, star anise, cloves, salt, sugar. Bring to a boil over high heat, then lower to a simmer, covered for one hour.
  3. Strain the broth into another pot or sauce pan. Discard solids.

For the noodles and finished soup

  1. Place noodles in a large bowl filled with room temperature water and soak for 1 hour.
  2. When ready to serve, place the noodles in boiling water for one minute.
  3. Bring the stock to a simmer.
  4. Line up soup bowls and fill each bowl with rice noodles and cremini mushrooms, carrots, tofu.
  5. Ladle soup into each bowl.
  6. Garnish with lime wedge, bean sprouts, mint, basil.
  7. Use hoisin and Sriracha hot sauce as dipping condiments.

 

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