Beef Noodle Soup

Phở Bò

Pho is to Vietnam what barbecue is to the U.S. It’s different depending on what part of the country you are in. Pho was born in Hanoi, and is believed to have been derived from the French soup, pot au feu (pho is how  Vietnamese pronounced feu). Before the French occupation, Vietnamese used their livestock as manual labor, not food. The French introduced
the slaughtering of their cows for food, and so this iconic dish was born.

Inspired by:
Pho Gia Truyen
No 49 Bat Dan Street, Cua Dong, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi

Yields 4 Servings


7 oz rice noodles (vermicelli), dried


2 onions, medium yellow, peeled, halved
1 3-inch piece of fresh ginger, halved
4 star anise
5 whole cloves
4 cardamom pods
3 cinnamon sticks, 3-inch
2 t coriander seeds
2 t fennel seeds
2 qt pork stock, high quality
1 t brown sugar
1 t fish sauce
salt (as needed)

To Complete

½ lb brisket (or flank steak, chuck roast),
raw, thinly sliced against the grain
¼ c cilantro, fresh, coarsely chopped,
¼ c Vietnamese basil, fresh, coarsely
2 scallions, green parts only, sliced
2 limes, cut into wedges
1 bird’s eye chili, thinly sliced

Prepare rice noodles according to package.

For Broth

Heat a cast iron pan (no oil) to medium high heat. Immediately place in onion and
ginger (cut sides down) until charred. Remove from pan. Set aside. Heat large pot
to medium-high heat. Add star anise, cloves, cardamon pods, cinnamon, coriander,
fennel. Toast about 3 minutes until fragrant. Add onion, ginger, pork stock to pot.
Once simmering, cover and reduce to medium-low for 30-40 minutes. Pour stock
through strainer. Return strained stock to the pot. Bring to boil. Remove from
heat. Stir in brown sugar, fish sauce, until sugar is dissolved. Salt to taste.

To Complete

Divide the noodles between the serving bowls. Top each with portion of steak
and green herbs. Top with hot broth, pouring directly over beef. Lime, chilis, chili garlic sauce (optional) on side.