Flavorful Vietnamese Pho: A Hearty Soup with Beef, Rice Noodles, and Fresh Herbs

Flavorful Vietnamese Pho: A Hearty Soup with Beef, Rice Noodles, and Fresh Herbs

Pho is a traditional Vietnamese soup made with broth, rice noodles, herbs, and meat – usually beef or chicken. This aromatic and flavorful dish is known for its rich, complex broth and fragrant spices, making it a perfect comfort food.

### Ingredients

– 2 pounds beef bones (marrow or knuckle bones)
– 1 onion, halved
– 4 slices fresh ginger
– 5 star anise pods
– 1 cinnamon stick
– 4 garlic cloves, smashed
– 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
– 1 tablespoon fennel seeds
– 1 tablespoon cardamom pods
– 1 tablespoon whole cloves
– 6 cups water
– 4 cups beef broth
– 2 tablespoons fish sauce
– 1 tablespoon sugar
– Salt to taste

Noodles and Toppings:
– 12 ounces rice noodles (banh pho)
– 1 pound beef sirloin, thinly sliced
– 1 onion, thinly sliced
– 2 cups fresh bean sprouts
– Fresh herbs: cilantro, basil, mint
– 2-3 green onions, chopped
– 1 jalapeño or Thai bird chili, sliced (optional)
– Lime wedges
– Hoisin sauce and Sriracha sauce (for serving)

### Instructions

1. Prepare the Broth:
1. Blanch the beef bones: Place the bones in a large pot, cover with water, and bring to a boil for about 10 minutes. Drain and rinse the bones.
2. Enhance the flavor: In a dry pan over medium heat, char the onion and ginger until they have a bit of blackening.
3. Toast the spices: In the same pan, lightly toast the star anise, cinnamon, garlic, coriander seeds, fennel seeds, cardamom, and cloves for about 3-4 minutes until fragrant.
4. Combine ingredients: In a large stockpot, add the blanched bones, charred onion and ginger, toasted spices, 6 cups of water, and beef broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer.
5. Simmer the broth: Simmer the broth for at least 3 hours, skimming off any foam that arises. Add fish sauce, sugar, and salt to taste. Strain the broth through a fine sieve into a clean pot and keep warm.

2. Prepare the Noodles:
1. Cook the rice noodles according to the package instructions. Rinse under cold water to stop the cooking process and set aside.

3. Assemble the Pho:
1. Thinly slice the beef sirloin. It helps to place the meat in the freezer for about 15 minutes for easier slicing.
2. Divide the cooked rice noodles into serving bowls and top with thin slices of beef.
3. Pour the hot broth over the beef and noodles to cook the meat.
4. Garnish with sliced onions, bean sprouts, fresh herbs, green onions, chilies, and a squeeze of lime.

4. Serve:
1. Serve hot with additional lime wedges, hoisin sauce, and Sriracha sauce on the side so everyone can customize their bowls to their taste preference.