Ok, if there is one thing I am addicted to right now, it's Vietnamese beef pho. This aromatic, bone broth soup has become super-popular in Western cultures because of its suggested health benefits. Me personally, pho bo is my go-to, cheap mid-week meal when I can't be bothered cooking.
Whereas Chinese food leaves you feeling average afterward because of its heaviness and grease, I love the fact that you can be completely pho-bloated yet two hours later, you're light as a feather.
This is not the meal to cook if you are in a hurry as a delicious pho is dependant on a patiently, slow-cooked base where the bones and spices have plenty of time to infuse the broth. So with a good few hours to spare while working, I decided to give my own pho bo a shot! Delicious!!
- 1kg beef bones;
- 400g beef fillet steak, very thinly sliced;
- 4L cold water;
- 2 brown onions, chopped;
- Large piece ginger, peeled, sliced;
- *Solid handful or more of 'pho beef spices';
- 3 cinnamon sticks;
- 1 tablespoon black peppercorns;
- A splash of fish sauce;
- A splash of lime juice;
- 100g thick rice noodles or whatever noodles you prefer;
- Big handful of bean sprouts;
- Big handful of shallots, thinly sliced diagonally;
- 2 small birdseye chillies, thinly sliced;
- Bunch of mint leaves;
- Bunch of coriander leaves;
*You can add spices separately if you can find a mix packet - coriander seed, fennel seed, star anise, cassia and cardamon
- Place beef bones, ginger, onion, water and spice mix in large pot over high heat and bring to the boil.
- Reduce to low heat and simmer for 3-4 hours.
- Remove from heat and strain bones and spice remnants then discard.
- Bring remaining soup back to a simmer on high heat then add lime juice, fish sauce and some pepper to taste.
- Place noodles into a side bowl and pour boiling water over to soften and soak.
- Divide cooked noodles into serving bowls and top with raw sliced beef.
- Cover with hot soup and sprinkle with shallots and fresh chilli.
- Serve with mint, coriander, bean sprouts and hoisin sauce on a side plate then devour.