This is by far my favourite soup! I genuinely believe this Vietnamese beef noodle soup cures all ailments, from hangovers to the flu. While it is incredibly delicious on a cold winter day, it is good pretty much any day, even on a sweltering day in the desert. Pho is famous throughout Vietnam, and if you haven’t tried it, you’ve been missing out.
I have seen restaurants that devote their entire operations to variations on this one soup. It takes some time to make, but everything good in life takes time. Patience is a virtue. Right?
Here’s my version of the famous pho or Vietnamese beef noodle soup, which was handed down to me by the best cook in the world, my dear old mother (but with a bit of tweaking; don’t tell her).
Vietnamese Beef Noodle Soup (Pho) RecipePrint Recipe
- Soup Ingredients
- 3-4 good size shallots
- 3-5-inch piece of ginger
- 2 pieces of rock sugar
- 1/4 cup of fish sauce
- 5-7 star anise
- 3 sticks of cinnamon
- 2 tablespoons of peppercorn
- 1 tablespoon of fennel seeds
- 3 cardamom pods
- 1 whole white or yellow onion
- 1 medium-sized daikon radish
- 10 cloves of garlic
- 2 packages of oxtails
- 2 pounds of ground beef
- Beef meatball, optional
- Garnish Ingredients
- Bean sprouts
- Thinly sliced white and green onion
- Lime wedges
- Basil leaves
- Sriracha sauce (rooster sauce)
- Hoisin sauce
- Jalapeno slices, optional
- Banh pho noodles (rice noodles)
- First, roast the spices. If you have a gas range, you could dry roast all the herbs for a few seconds to enhance the flavours. If not, place all spices, onion and ginger on a cookie sheet and roast at 400 degrees. The spices take about 5 minutes, but the onion, shallot and ginger will need about 10 minutes. You don’t have to peel them. Next, place all dry spices on a cheesecloth and tie them into a pouch.
- Meanwhile, rinse the oxtails with cold water, place them in a stockpot and fill them with water. Bring to boil to get all the impurities out of the bones. Remove from heat and rinse oxtails under cold water. Clean the pot out also. Put back into the pot and fill with lots and lots of water on high heat. Add to the pot the roasted onion, ginger, daikon, shallot and spice pouch and bring to boil. After it boils, reduce heat to simmer for 6 to 8 hours. Season with 1/4 cup of fish sauce and rock sugar.
- Soak the noodles in hot water for about 20 to 30 minutes.
- Add noodle to boiling water (different pot) for 2 minutes and place serving size in a bowl. Add whatever garnishes you like, then put the beef and ladle boiling hot beef broth on top (the meat will cook if the broth is hot enough). Add the sauce as to your liking.