Disclaimer: My husband and I are not Vietnamese. BUT we both have a love for…PHO! I mean who doesn’t love pho?! The soft rice noodles, the thinly sliced beef (or if you like the more “exotic” parts of the cow – like tripe, etc), and the unmistakable unique taste of the broth whose flavor came from simmering beef bones and other awesome spices overnight – or in our case, a couple hours in the pressure cooker.
Ok! So a couple people have requested that my husband, Andrew, make an appearance on the blog. So, he decided he would contribute by writing up a recipe for pho. So, another disclaimer, this is not my recipe. Andrew decided to make his blogging debut by giving me step by step instructions on how he made pho. Not exactly a “dad blog,” but the man does not like to talk about personal stuff… so this is what you get. Something about food! The man loves his food! If he could do anything in the world without repercussions, he would play basketball and eat different types of food from all over the world. That’s the man I married. Basketball and food is life to him. (Ok, fine, maybe the children and I are first, but like basketball and food… very close 2nd and 3rd)
Before Andrew took on this task, he talked to his friend, who is Vietnamese and who also had already made him Pho before. He also read 4 different recipes and took bits and pieces of each recipe to create his own version. He couldn’t remember all the links to the recipes he looked at, but here’s one of them just in case you wanted to know a source.
OK! So without further ado, here’s Andrew! (With some commentary from me which will be in italics)
- Beef Knuckle Bones/Beef Shank/Oxtail – the amount here doesn’t matter too much because this is is what you’re going to use to flavor the broth, so go big on it!
- Water – again, the amount here, you will be eyeing
- 1 medium onion
- 1 piece of ginger
- 1-2 sticks of cinnamon
- 5 star anise
- 7-10 pieces of cloves
- 1 daikon (peeled and halved)
- 1/3 cup brown sugar – more to taste at the end
- ½ cup fish sauce – more to taste at the end
- 2 tbsp salt – more to taste at the end
- Bean sprouts
- Green onions (for garnish)
- Thai basil (for garnish)
- Jalopeno peppers (optional)
- Soak and wash the beef bones, beef shank or oxtail for about 20 minutes in a regular pot. Then take it out of the pot.
- Parboil for 10 minutes – boil enough water that would cover the all the bones, put in bones when boiling, then rinse in cold water. Look at him using technical terms such as “parboil”! Which, by the way, means partially cook… shouldn’t the word be “parcook” then? No? Just me? OK! Moving on…
- Add oil on a separate pan. Once hot, add onion, a whole ginger (cut in half). Cook, without stirring, for about 4 minutes, until slightly charred.
- Add 1-2 cinnamon sticks, 5 star anise and 7-10 cloves and cook for 3 minutes longer, until fragrant. (Some recipes say to crush them up and wrap in cheese cloth or tea bag so it’s easier to scoop out).
- Time to put everything from steps 3 and 4 in the pressure cooker!
- Add the beef bones, daikon (peeled and halved), 1/3 cup brown sugar, ½ cup fish sauce, 2 tbsp salt to the pressure cooker. (For the quicker version, you could also just buy the Beef pho soup base (Vietnamese msg) and add about 8 tbsp or more to taste and the pho pasteur spice bag so you don’t have to buy all the individual spices.) Look at him thinking things through for you guys! For the record, he did buy the base but decided against it because he wanted his first try to be all “fresh” ingredients.
- Add the hot water from the parboil step to max cup line; set manual high pressure for 60 minutes, then 15 minutes natural pressure release.
- Slowly release pressure by turning knob to venting.
- Pull out bones and scoop out onion, anise, cinnamon and cloves. What you get is a concentrated version of the soup base. You don’t have to use all the broth. In fact, go ahead and put half of that in the freezer and use it on a rainy day!
- Then fill back to max line with water and turn on saute to bring to a boil. Season to taste with additional salt, fish sauce and sugar.
- You can throw meatballs in for about 5 minutes and any other thinly sliced meat if you want it cooked well
- Assemble your pho bowl and put in the following: Noodles, bean sprouts, meat (raw and/or cooked) – the raw meat should be thinly sliced so that the hot broth can effectively cook it
- Pour the hot broth onto assembled bowl
- Garnish with cilantro, green onions, Thai basil and jalapeno.
- If you do end up saving half the concentrated pho broth, place it in fridge first, then you can scoop out the fat layer before freezing it to keep it fresh for about a week
- If you buy fresh pho noodles, just bring water to boil and then put the noodles in for about 10 seconds and then scoop it out
- If you buy dried noodles, you will need to soak it in hot water for about 10 minutes until softened and then put in boiling water for about 10 seconds and blanch it.
So there it is folks! Andrew’s pho recipe. I hope you enjoyed his appearance here on simplefficientmama.com! Make sure you hit that subsrcibe button for more fun recipes, product reviews, and lifestyle musings!
Thanks for reading and have an awesome day!