Friday, July 20, 2012

Pho Recipe

Some people have asked me how to make Pho. The truth is I don't have an exact recipe but I can say that all phos are not created equally. Its one of those things that you can season as you go and does require a certain amount of attention.

For 12-15 large Bowls

Here we go:
1 large stock pot - about 6-8 Liters of water

2-3 Whole white onions chopped in quarters
2-3 pieces of ginger cut in the sizes of your thumb
2-3  tablespoon Fennel Seeds
2 tablespoon spoon Clove
2-3 tablespoon of salt
2-3 tablespoon of whole peppercorn
2-3 Asian cinnamon stick
8-12 Star Anis (depending on how much you like the taste)
Tendon 3-4 pieces of tendon
2 lbs of beef shank
4-5 beef bones / knuckles
2 lbs of Brisket
A few Table spoons of Fish Sauce 
1 tsp of MSG
1.5 lbs kg of Ox tail
Daikon cut the size of hocket pucks
Carrot if you want a sweeter pho

Step 1:
Take Onion and Ginger and char it on a cast iron skillet. Once completed, split each onion peel and put it on a rack that you will broil

Step 2:
Take your stock pot and blanch all the meat in salt water and throw away the water.

Step 3:
Add water to boil back in stock pot with all the meats and make a cheesecloth pouch  or massive tea ball of all the spicespeppercorn and add the fish sauce and salt. Also put in the onion and ginger that you charred earlier

Step 4:
Bring to a bowl and then let simmer for 2 hours. At that point add the carrot and daikon and let simmer for another 2-3 hours. The longer you let is simmer, the more tender the meats become

Step 5:
Well at this point, taste your broth and adjust seasoning to your liking and add water as needed if you need to dilute the flavor. Take out all the oxtail and thinly slice brisket, shank and tendon

Step 6:
I like to pre-soak pho noodle for 30-45 minutes and then cook it in boiling water for 2 minutes. When its cooked, feel free to rinse it in luke warm water. This will help in keeping the broth hot when you serve your pho.

Step 7:
Hot broth ready, pho noodles cooked in a bowl. Garnish with Raw thin slices of beef, chopped coriander and green onion, chop suey, thai basil.


PS. Every broth I make taste different as I don't follow a recipe.... enjoy!
PPS. Open your windows and have the fan at all times... your house will smell like a pho restaurant!

Photo below - Thanks to my friend Sheep!