Saturday, March 28, 2009

Vietnamese Beef Noodle Soup (a.k.a. Pho Bo)


About 2 days ago, we had some Vietnamese Beef Soup Noodles. We usually have this once a month and it was about time. Its quite simple to make actually; it just takes time.

Usually we have raw beef and beef balls to go with the noodles. Its probably the best combination. Anyway, here is the recipe I (Joe) use:


  • 1 large pot of Water
  • 1/2 kg Beef Bones
  • 2-3 Ox Tails
  • 1/2 inch Ginger (Smashed and Charred)
  • 1 Onion (Roughly cut and Charred)
  • 1 Spring Onion (Roughly Cut)
  • 3 cloves Garlic
  • 2 tsp Coriander Seeds
  • 1 tsp Fennel Seeds
  • 1 Cinnamon Quill
  • 2 tsp Cloves
  • 1 tsp Black Pepper
  • 1 Star Anise
  • Fish Sauce
  • Sugar
  • Chilli Padi

To Serve:

  • Flat Rice Noodle (Pho)
  • Xtremely Thinly Sliced Raw Lean Beef (I used Topside this time)
  • Beef Balls
  • Thinly Sliced Onions
  • Finely Chopped Coriander
  • Basil Leaves
  • Cilantro Sprigs (Didn’t have it this time)
  • Spring Onions – Finely Chopped
  • Bean Sprouts (Didn’t have this time)
  • Thinly Sliced Chilli Padi

The soup takes longest to boil, normally around 3 hours. With the beef bones, you need to boil them once first (and throw the water away) to remove the impurities before adding the bones to the actual soup.  Smash and burn the ginger and onions first (grill or on the stove) then add them to the soup. Throw the rest of the ingredients (except sugar and fish sauce) into the broth and boil for 3 hours over low fire, reducing the broth by half. You can use more spices if you like, it all depends on your taste. You can add the beef balls into the broth too. Finally, add the fish sauce and sugar until you get the right taste.

Cook the Rice Sticks in Boiling water (usually 1-2 mins only) and place into the bowl along with bean sprouts. Lay the raw beef over your noodles and pour the boiling broth over it to cook it. Finally add whatever serving ingredients you like (all of them if you want) and EAT!


Don’t forget that you can keep any of the remaining Beef Stock in the Freezer for next time~! Enjoy.

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