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Vietnamese Beef Pho is an aromatic bone broth with a selection of meats and fresh veggies. Like many other street foods, pho was born of capitalism marinated with cultural identity. The benefits of collagen-rich bone broth, soothing aromatics of ginger, onions and garlic and the fiber and probiotics of fresh vegetables make this dish a healthy cooking all star! Make it low carb with shirataki (konjac) noodles instead of rice noodles.
Want to make a seafood version? Switch out the beef bones with any assortment of crab, shrimp or lobster shells or fish bones. Add chicken or vegetable bouillon to the stock and any mix of cooked seafood to the final bowl.
- 3 – 4 pounds Beef bones: choose from Short Ribs, bone-in Oxtail
- 1 bunch Scallions
- 2 Onions
- 4 – 6 cloves Garlic
- 1 inch piece of Ginger, smashed
- 1 stalk Lemongrass
- 3 – 4 tablespoons Fish Sauce (may add more at serving)
- Cinnamon Sticks (3 – 4 short or 1 long)
- 1/2 cup Star Anise
- Baking spray: Extra Virgin Olive Oil or Coconut Oil
- Optional extra layers of flavor: 2 tablespoons Chicken Bouillon Paste and/or Beef Bouillon Paste, 2 tablespoons Shiro Miso
Noodles and Garnish
- Rice Noodles or Shirataki (Konjac) Noodles
- Meats options up to 2 lbs: Pork or Pork Belly, Ribeye (thin sliced)
- Soft-boiled Eggs (1,000 year-old spicy pickled egg)
- Scallions (mixed use for serving and marinating the soft boiled eggs)
- Daikon or Watermelon Radish, thinly-sliced
- Bean Sprouts
- Baby Boy Choy
- Haricot Vert (French Green Beans)
- Mushrooms of choice
- Thai basil
- Jalapeno, Serrano or other hot peppers: mixed use for serving and marinating the soft-boiled eggs
- Soy Sauce
- Spicy Chili Oil
- Sesame Chili Oil
- Black Vinegar
- Fish Sauce, if desired
- Fill a large stock pot with water and bring to a boil.
- Preheat your oven to 400°F. Place a baking sheet pan in the oven to preheat for about 20 minutes.
- Prepare the aromatics and veggies for roasting. Peel ginger with the edge of a spoon, cut into thick coins, then gently flatten each with the flat side of a meat mallet or skillet to expose more surface area. Gently flatten the lemongrass stalk in the same manner. Quarter onions and loosely chop the scallions.
- Remove the baking sheet pan from the oven and line with parchment paper for easy clean up. Lightly spray parchment with baking spray.
- Put scallions, onions, garlic, ginger and lemongrass on the baking sheet along with all of the meat. Place the baking sheet with veggies and meats in the oven. Roast until charred on the aromatics, veggies and meat. This will impart richness to the broth along with a caramelized flavor. Monitor the browning and turn items as needed. Remove aromatics and veggies if done before the bones are browned. (Alternative option for roasting meat: Brown in a cast iron skillet with a tablespoon of coconut oil over medium high heat on the stove top or on a grill.)
- Place the contents of the pan into the boiling pot of water. Add the star anise and the cinnamon.
- Reduce heat to a low simmer, don’t let it boil over. Add water as necessary to replace that which is lost during cooking. Cook for 6 to 8 hours or until meat pulls away from the bones. Turn off heat and let it cool for 2 hours before placing it in the refrigerator overnight.
- About 2 hours before serving, remove the pot from the fridge. Skim the fat off the top. Pour stock through a colander or strainer to remove the solids. Return broth to the pot, then place the pot on the stove and bring the contents up to a low simmer. For the strained solids, separate the meat from the bones and return the meat to the pot. Discard the bones and remainder of the solids.
- Prepare the meat of choice. If serving with thin-sliced ribeye, lightly tenderize with a meat mallet (if needed) and season with teriyaki sauce. Let sit for 20-30 minutes before cooking.When ready to serve, sear beef, pork, or seafood in a hot wok or skillet, then set aside on a plate for guests to add to their bowls.
- In the photo above, we served our pho with hard-boiled quail eggs. If you would like to prepare the traditional 1,000 year-old eggs, then soft boil eggs and marinade in a mixture of the following for 20 minutes:
- Diced Scallions
- Finely Chopped Ginger
- Fish Sauce
- Chili Sauce
- Chili Peppers
- Follow instructions for your noodles of choice.
- Set up a plate with a selection of 3 or more veggies and herbs of the following:
- Thai Basil
- Sliced Daikon or Watermelon Radish
- Sliced Jalapeños
- Bean Sprouts
- Baby Boy Choy, lightly stir-fried
- Haricot Vert (French Green Beans), lightly steamed
- Mushrooms of choice (Slice and sauté or roast meatier mushrooms before serving. Fresh enoki mushrooms can be served raw.)
- Soft Boiled Eggs (1000 year-old eggs)
- Allow guests to assemble their bowls at will. Serve with soy sauce, black vinegar and/or fish sauce.
Wine Pairing Guide
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