Authentic Beef Pho

We love phó in our house. We used to get it at the local vietnamese restaurant, but we found out that it has MSG in it and so we stopped. Well I didn’t let that stop me from learning how to make it myself. I usually make a large batch and freeze the extra broth for whenever I feel like pho! This recipe I will warn you has a lot of inactive time, which is why I make the larger batches. If you are having guests over this is the perfect broth to make a day ahead. The large bowls of soupy phoey goodness are sure to impress your guests! So go ahead show everyone how multi-cultural you are and make this soup! If you are in the Houston area there is an asian market called Super H Mart at the corner of Blalock and Westview and they sell everything you need to make this soup! You will need a 16 quart stock pot so keep that in mind. I bought a cheapie at walmart for $12.


Authentic Beef Pho


2 large yellow onions sliced in half, leave the skin on

1  4-6 inch piece of fresh ginger sliced in half, leave the skin on

5 lbs beef bones, you can use any you like, I like to use neck bones but have used leg bones. (Super H Mart sells bags of bones already ready to go)

5 whole star anise

6 whole cloves

1/2 cinnamon stick

1 tbsp coriander seeds

1 tbsp fennel seeds

1 black or 1 green cardamom pod

3 tbsps salt

8 tbsps fish sauce (Three Crabs Brand is Important!)

1/4 c sugar

water (lots of it)

Bowl toppings

Thinly sliced beef (Super H-Mart sells this already sliced and its superb!) you could also use flank steak cut across the grain, about 3-6oz per person

1 white onion thinly sliced with a mandolin on 3

1 thinly sliced jalapeno

mung bean sprouts

sliced green onion




Asian basil and mint leaves, if you like it, I omit

thin rice sticks size S

Gluten Free Hoisin Sauce (Get it here)


Step 1: Place onion and ginger under the broiler for a few minutes. You want them to get a little charred around the edges.

Step 2: Place bones in pot and cover with water. Boil the bones, then dump off the scum, and gross water, and wash the pot and rinse the bones.

Step 3: In a cloth spice bag put all the spices, except the sugar and tie the bag off. Drop the bones and bag of spices back into the pot. Add the sugar, fish sauce, onion, ginger and salt to the pot. Fill the pot with water nearly full. Probably 14 quarts.

Step 4: Bring to a boil and reduce the heat to medium. Allow the broth to simmer on the stove for 4-6 hours.

Step 5: Remove the bones, vegetables, and spice bag, discard. Send your broth through a strainer to get any bone pieces or spices out.

If you like you can chill the broth after it is done and remove the disk of fat from the top, but I usually don’t.

Pho is usually served with raw beef that kind of cooks in the boiling hot broth once you pour it in your bowl. If you like you meat cooked (like I do) Drop your beef slices in the boiling soup for about two minutes. Also the neck bones leave a fair bit of meat so feel free to eat it.

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