Cooking, Soup

Phở Bò Soup – Vietnamese Beef Noodle Soup

By Mimi and Tammi Nguyen
serves 4-6


1 small onion

1 2-inch stick ginger

2 pounds beef bones or beef/chicken broth

12 cups water

6 star anise

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon sugar

1 lb. lean tender beef


1 16-ounce package dry, flat rice noodles (pho)


1 large onion, thinly sliced

10 cilantro sprigs, finely chopped

1 cup bean sprouts

10 sprigs basil

· fresh red or green chili pepper, thinly sliced
· lime or lemon quarters
· hoisin sauce (a special kind of soy sauce)
· hot chili sauce

Broil onion and ginger until they look burned. Using back of cleaver, smash the ginger and set aside.
Wash beef bones, place in a large soup pot and add water to cover. Bring to a boil and immediately pour off this “first boiling” water and discard. Add another 12 cups of fresh water and again bring to a boil. Skim off foam. Add the broiled onion and ginger, star anise, salt and sugar. Over medium-low heat, simmer for 30 minutes. Slice raw beef into thin strips and set aside. Remove bones from broth and strain out vegetables and seasonings. Soak noodles in cold water for 10 minutes. Drain. In a soup pot bring two quarts fresh water to a boil. Add drained noodles and cook seven minutes at a rolling boil, stirring occasionally until noodles are tender. Rinse noodles under cold running water. Return broth to boil over high heat.
To serve:
Divide noodles among 4 to 6 large individual serving bowls. Arrange thinly sliced raw beef, onion, and cilantro on top. Pour boiling hot broth to cover noodles and serve immediately. The boiling broth will cook the thin slices of beef. Pho is always accompanied by bean sprouts, basil leaves, and chili pepper. Serve with lime and lemon quarters, fish sauce, hoisin sauce and hot chili sauce.

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