Pho - Vietnamese Soup

Pho - Vietnamese Soup
One of our favorite dishes - Pho

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Pho or Vietnamese Beef Noodle Soup

This is it! The ULTIMATE comfort food for us. My Mother-In-Law, Sara is hugely responsible for helping us figure this complex recipe out. When we were living in W. Palm Beach we couldn't find a Vietnamese restaurant so we could get a nice, hot bowl of Pho. On one of Sara and Tom's visits we started the process of perfecting this family-favorite recipe. The tweaking process has taken a little bit of time, but I think we finally have mastered this fabulous dish. You can substitute the beef with shrimp and instead of beef broth you use chicken broth for a Shrimp Pho. It's a nice change from the beef from time to time, but being the carnivores we are, the beef is our favorite. Another healthier option is to substitute the meat with cooked chicken breast pieces and substitute the beef broth with chicken broth. We absolutely love Pho any which way! It's a staple dish among the Vietnamese and in our household as well. Enjoy!

4 boxes of beef broth
2 cans vegetable broth
4 cups water
2 thick strip steaks, sliced paper-thin (partially freezing helps) trimmed (save fat for the broth)
3 - 4 carrots, broken into pieces
3 - 4 celery ribs, broken into pieces
1 onion, coarsely chopped
1 head of garlic sliced in half
6 - 8 cloves of garlic, mashed
1 - 4 inch piece of fresh ginger
8 whole cloves
12 whole peppercorns
1 stick of cinnamon
3 - 4 bouillon cubes
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup Worcestershire
1/4 cup red wine
fresh basil
fresh cilantro
fresh mint
1 bunch green onions sliced thin
2 large red onion sliced paper thin
8 ounces bean sprouts
3 fresh limes sliced into wedges
1 - 2 fresh jalapeno pepper, sliced thin
1/2 lb. rice stick boiled in water for 4 minutes right before serving
Tuong Ot Sriracha Red Chili Sauce
Hoisin Sauce (optional)

Bring water, broth, excess fat, carrots, celery, chopped onion, whole head of garlic sliced in the middle, half of the ginger, peeled and sliced, cloves, peppercorns, cinnamon and the zest and juice of 1 lime. Simmer for at least 1 - 2 hours.

Marinate the steak in soy sauce, red wine, Worcestershire, minced garlic, finely grated ginger, sliced red onion and green onions. Set aside in fridge.

Arrange a platter of bean sprouts, all the fresh herbs, sliced jalapenos and lime wedges.

After broth has cooked, strain the broth. Discard veggies, fat, etc... Bring the broth to a boil and skim the foaming fat. Add bouillon, stir well. Add meat, onions and remaining marinade to the broth. Heat though and bring to another boil, then ready to serve.

To assemble and serve soup, distribute noodles in big soup bowls, then pour broth and meat mixture over noodles to cover.

Just before eating tear the fresh herbs into pieces. Add a handful of sprouts and squeeze a lime wedge or two, jalapeno slices to taste. Serve with Sriracha and Hoisin Sauce. Use Sriracha sparingly.

Serve with Spring Rolls. (Recipe to follow)


  1. Wow! This sounds fantastic! Being from California I miss all of the different ethnic foods. We are currently stationed in Del Rio Texas and all we have is a Walmart and an HEB. Wonder if I can find the rice sticks here. Love to cook and can't wait to try this recipe!

  2. Thanks Karen! This recipe is definitely worth all of the effort. Click on the Amazon Gourmet Food link here on my page and search for Rice Stick by "Pacific Rim Gourmet" and you can order it on-line. Please don't hesitate to contact me if you have any questions. Thanks for checking out our blog!