How to Cook Pho Bo

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Having a Pho is always a choice during our Hanoi Street Food Tour, because the dish is one of Vietnam’s most famous food and it’s best to try it in Hanoi. Though Pho is said to originate from a province in southern Hanoi – Nam Dinh Province, its tastes and flavors were perfectly developed in Hanoi. Our travelers are therefore often asking us for a recipe to cook Hanoi-style Pho bo at home, here we’re glad to guide you to cook a delicious pho bo for your loved ones.

INGREDIENTS FOR 4 PEOPLE

Broth

  • 2 medium yellow onions
  • 2 cardamon
  • 4 inches (10cm) of ginger pieces
  • 6 lbs (3kg) of beef bones
  • 5 star anises
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 3 inches (8cm) of cinnamon stick
  • 1 lb (0,5kg) piece of beef chuck
  • 1½ tbsp of salt
  • 4 tbsp of fish salt
  • 1 oz (30 gram) of rock sugar
  • 1 fresh chili

Meats & Garnish

  • 2 lb (1kg) dried or fresh pho noodles
  • 1 lb (0,5kg) of brisket or fillet mignon
  • 1 yellow onion, sliced paper-thin
  • 1 scallion bunch (spring onion)
  • 1/3 cup of chopped cilantro
  • Ground black pepper
  • Thai basil
  • Bean sprout
  • Sliced red chilis
  • Lime wedges or rice vinegar

How to Cook Pho Bo

STEPS

  1. Char the 2 yellow onions, ginger, and the chili. Charring these ingredients will help the aromas infuse into the broth quickly. Let these ingredients cool. Remove the charred skin for the onions. Smash the ginger pieces and slice the chili in half vertically. Set aside.
  2. In a large pot (at least 12 quarts), add the 6 lbs of beef bones and add water to the brim. Bring to a boil. Drain and rinse the bones with warm water. Clean the pot and add the bones back into the pot.
  3. Add 6 quarts of water to the pot and let boil. After it boils, turn to low heat. Set the timer for 3 hours. Skim any bubbles or scum on the surface every 30 minutes. Add the charred onions, ginger, and the chili.
  4. In a small pan, add the star anises, cardamoms, garlic cloves, and cinnamon stick. Roast for about 3 minutes and add to the stock pot. Add the rock sugar, 1 ½ tbsp of salt, and 4 tbsp of fish sauce to the broth.
  5. Slice the 1lb piece of beef chunk into 4 inches thick pieces. Add to the broth and let the beef stew for 1 hour. After 1 hour, remove the beef chunks and add to bowl of cold water. Drain the meat after 10 minutes and refrigerate. While the broth stews, slice the meats: beef chuck, filet mignon, and/or brisket. The filet mignon and brisket should be uncooked at this point. Set aside.
  6. Thinly slice the scallions, yellow onion, and cilantro. Mix these ingredients together for garnishing later.
  7. After 3 hours, stain the broth into a different large stock pot. Discard everything except the bones and the broth. Skim the later of fat. Season to your tastes with fish sauce, salt, or rock sugar. Remember to make the broth slightly stronger since the noodle will dilute the taste. Keep the large stock pot on low heat. Cook the pho noodles according to package instructions. Drain in colander.
  8. Add noodles to serving bowls. Add the raw beef slices, some minced fresh ginger along the sides of the bowl. Add the cooked beef chuck slices in the center and add the scallion/onion/cilantro garnish on top. Add broth to each bowl. Set more roots of spring onion, bean sprout, black pepper, and limes on the side for each person to add their own.

Cook Beef Noodle Soup

We hope you enjoy cooking pho bo, and please contact us if there is anything we can help.

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