Have you ever tried pho (pronounced “fah”) – the spicy, delicious, comforting, filling Vietnamese soup? If not- you should. It’s the perfect winter soup, also incredibly comforting when you have a cold. And guess what? It’s healthy! This version uses beef broth to make for a much quicker cooking time. Pho is all about the broth. 100%. BUT the real deal takes 12-36 hours to make a broth from scratch (with beef bones and the works). SO, this broth is equally as delicious, but also manageable to cook at home. Some more ideas to make it EVEN easier? Cook the broth in advance and freeze for up to 4 months (or in the fridge for 5 days). Want even healthier? Substitute soba noodles for the rice noodles – soba noodles use 100% buckwheat noodles, making it a whole grain noodle. Vegetarian? Made the broth with vegetable stock and instead of beef, add tofu, mushrooms, tempeh – whatever floats your boat.
2 onions, cut in half
4 inch piece fresh ginger, sliced
3 whole cloves
2 pods star anise
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
12 cups beef broth
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 (8 ounce) package dried rice noodles
1.5 pounds beef top sirloin, thinly sliced
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
2 green onions, chopped
1.5 cups bean sprouts
1 bunch Thai basil
1 lime, cut into 4 wedges
1/4 cup chili-garlic sauce (optional)
In a large, deep, pot – add the onion and the ginger and char on all sides until blackened.
Add the cloves, star anise, and cinnamon to the pot and dry roast over medium-low heat for 1-2 minutes until toasted and fragrant, stirring frequently to prevent burning.
Add the beef broth, fish sauce, and soy sauce to the pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes. Strain the broth into a saucepan and set aside.
Cook the rice noodles according to package directions. Rinse them with cold water to stop the cooking process.
Divide the noodles amongst 4 bowls. Top with thinly-sliced sirloin, cilantro, and green onion. Pour the hot broth over the top. Stir and let sit until the beef is partially cooked (1-2 minutes). Serve with bean sprouts, basil, lime wedges, and chili-garlic sauce on the side.
*Feature photo courtesy of http://www.inspiredtaste.net