PHO – VIETNAMESE NOODLE SOUP
1-2-quarts bone broth (recipe below) – this is ESSENTIAL to delicious and authentic pho
1 pound dry ‘stir fry’ rice noodles
1 ½-2-pounds sirloin steak, cut across the grain into VERY THIN strips (at room temperature)
1 cup scallions, chopped
½ cup cilantro leaves, stemmed
2 cups fresh bean sprouts
½ cup mint leaves
½ cup basil leaves
2 limes, cut into wedges
¼ cup hoisin sauce
¼ cup sriracha sauce
5-pounds beef leg/marrow bones
2 tablespoons salt
4 onions skin-on, cut in half
2 large ginger hands in half
1 whole garlic bulb skin-on, cut in half
3 pods star anise
2 cinnamon sticks
1 tablespoon peppercorns
3 tablespoons olive oil
¼ cup fish sauce
Bring bone broth to a boil and cover. Reduce to a simmer until ready to assemble pho.
Soak the rice noodles in a 9” x 13” baking dish in room temperature water for 1 hour. When you are ready to assemble pho, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Place enough noodles for one serving in a fine sieve and immerse in the boiling water for 1 minute.
Place the soft noodles in a bowl and top with several slices of the beef, 1 tablespoon of scallions, and several cilantro leaves. Bring the bone broth back to a boil and ladle it into the bowl to cover the contents. You will see the hot broth immediately begin to cook the beef.
Serve the pho with the remaining ingredients on the side and allow each diner to add ingredients to their own ‘taste’. Add bean sprouts for bright texture and pop, tear mint and basil into the soup for fresh herbaceousness, and a squeeze of lime for acidity. Drizzle the hoisin for sweetness and the sriracha for spicy heat.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place the beef bones on a baking sheet and bake for 40 minutes until browned and fragrant. Place the bones in a large stock pot and cover with the 4 quarts cold water and 2 tablespoon salt. Bring to a boil over medium high heat.
On the same baking sheet arrange the onions, ginger, garlic, star anise, and cinnamon sticks in a single layer. Sprinkle with peppercorns and drizzle all over with the olive oil. Bake for 30 minutes until browned and fragrant. Add the entire contents to the pot with the beef bones. Stir and reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer for 6-8 hours.
Strain the broth through a fine sieve or cheesecloth. Let come to room temperature and then refrigerate overnight. Scrape the congealed fat off the top of the stock the next morning.
When you are ready to assemble your pho, bring the stock to a boil, add the fish sauce, and then cover and keep hot.