Pho #1

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This is my first attempt at making Pho, the Vietnamese beef soup. I started with this recipe, which looked good to me. It was really good, though kind of a lot of work to make. I'll definitely make it again, however.


beef marrow bones, about 2 lbs.
beef cross-cut hind shank, about 1.25 lbs.

Here's the meat that I got.

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Into a small roasting pan. This particular combination produced a lot of fat, so I appreciated the higher sides of this pan vs. using a sheet pan!

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Roast the beef for 50 minutes to an hour at 425°F, flipping the meat and bones once.

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Use the beef bones and meat in the pressure cooker to make the stock, but drain off the fat from the roasting pan. You can save it if you want, but it's not necessary for the rest of this recipe and can be discarded. This is just the amount from the roasting pan; I added more after I skimmed the fat off the chilled stock.

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1 onion, peeled and quartered
5 slices of fresh ginger
1 tbsp. salt
2 pods star anise
2 tbsp. fish sauce
80 oz. water

Here's everything except the water in the pressure cooker pot. 1 tbsp. seemed like a lot of salt, and I originally added only 1/2 tbsp., but when the stock was done I ended up adding the other 1/2 tbsp. while it was still hot.

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And with the water.

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I used the Soup setting on my Instant Pot. That's 30 minutes at high pressure, though that's only the time after it reaches temperature. It takes about an hour to cook. Then 20 more minutes to cool down before releasing any remaining pressure. Remove the inner pot, then cool in a sink of cold water to speed up the cooling.

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By the way, at this point the star anise smell was strong, but don't be alarmed. Once I added the rest of the ingredients and made the bowl of soup it was just a subtle background flavor. If you're not sure you could just add one, but I thought it was good with two.


Remove meat and bones. The soup gets fresh beef, so you can discard the bones and meat or find another use for it.

Strain the soup then refrigerate for a while to make removing the fat easier. Skim the fat off the top. I got almost exactly 64 fl. oz. of stock, which is what I was aiming for.

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Divide into 4 servings of 16 fl. oz. each. I vacuum sealed and froze most of the broth for future meals. I set aside one serving to eat tonight. You could go with a 12 oz. serving, but I think this soup is good at 16 oz. in a big bowl.

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Pho is usually served with rare beef. I got a 0.5 lb. first cut top round steak, thinly sliced. It was packaged as three large flat pieces.

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I cut each piece in half long ways, then into slices small enough to easily pick up with chopsticks. I got 4 servings of 2.0 oz. each. I vacuum sealed and froze 3 servings for future meals and kept one serving for tonight.

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Extra servings all packaged and ready to freeze.

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For serving, I added:

cilantro
scallions
bean sprouts
1 tbsp. chili garlic sauce
1.0 oz. rice noodles
2.0 oz. steak
16 fl. oz. beef stock

I use the chili garlic sauce from Huy Fong, the company that makes Sriracha in the rooster bottle, but this sauce comes in jar and is chunkier. You could just use Sriracha or a different chili garlic sauce. Or even use something like hoisin if you want something sweeter and not spicy.

For the rice noodles I used these, about 1.0 oz. (dry weight).

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And here are the ingredients:

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Bring the beef stock to a boil on the stove. Add the rice vermicelli and cook for 2 minutes. At the end of cooking, add 1 tbsp. chili garlic sauce and a dash of soy sauce. Normally the hot sauce is left to add at the table, but since it's just for me I mixed it in earlier so it's easier to mix.

In a large soup bowl, add the mostly-cooked noodles, most of the bean sprouts, the beef, and sprinkle the remainder of the bean sprouts, cilantro and scallions on top. Add the hot stock and allow the beef to cook for a few minutes.

This was so good! The freshly made stock was very good and the chili garlic sauce gave it a nice kick.

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Rick Kasguma published on December 9, 2015 11:21 AM.

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