Pho recipe?

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Over the past year or so, pho has become one of my favorite comfort foods. I've come across several recipes online, but I was curious if anyone here had a recipe that they think works particularly well and if anyone has much experience making it.
 
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Some of the best broth in the SGV and all of SoCal for that matter comes from a fairly new, little joint called Pho Minh, at 9646 Garfield in South El Monte.   

The broth is not quite what has become traditional in America, in that it's made with bones only (no meat), and is not boiled but simmered overnight from closing to opening.    

He also doesn't use any MSG, but that's a horse of a different color.

Tai outside!  

BDL
 

phatch

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Good pho broth takes a fair bit of work and time and is a great and wonderful thing. BDL has discussed this in other posts as well.

There are some shortcuts that are still worth their while for quicker pho but they are not really as good.

Shortcut #1

Commercial stock/base. I think I got this from one of Mai Pham's  books but I don't remember anymore. in the book, canned low sodium chicken stock was used, but I've come to rely on Better Than Bouillion's Organic Beef Base, Reduced Sodium. I get it at Costco. This scales pretty well to double or triple but I've not gone bigger than that.

For every two quarts of broth, grill, scorch or blacken over flame:

1 medium onion, cut in half

3 inches of ginger, unpeeled and crushed to break open but not break apart.

Add those to the simmering stock pot.

Toast in a dry skillet until aromatic

2 star anise

5 or so whole black pepper corns

2 whole cloves

Add the toasted spices to the simmering stock pot. Then add:

Add 2 tablespoons fish sauce

Add 1-2 tablespoons of sugar

Let simmer 45 minutes.  Then taste to correct seasoning, usually more fish sauce or sugar if anything or maybe a little water if it came to a boil and lost too much broth to reduction.

Meanwhile, prep the beef in thin slices, wash the bean sprouts, cilantro, basil and other herbs you're using. Slice chiles, limes in wedges etc. Soften the rice noodles.

HEAT THE BOWLS in a 150 degree oven, or 200 if that's as low as your oven goes. You'll lose too much temperature to a room temp bowl.

Put the raw meat in before you add the broth so you cook the meat. Ladle broth through a fine strainer to hold back any ashy bits or whole spices and other solids.

Shortcut #2

This is quite the shortcut and only of worthwhile quality while HOT. As the broth cools, the quality declines fast. i mostly use this on mornings if I have an insatiable need for pho for breakfast FAST.

This uses a Pho base I get at a local Asian Grocer. I haven't successfully googled up a source on line but this is quite a similar label


The one I use is  VThai brand with no preservatives. There really isn't branding on the label in English per se, you have to look for the maker in small print.

Proceed as normal for noodles, beef, and vegies.

Combine 1 tablespoon of the Pho base with 1 tablespoon of the above beef base to 1 quart of water.  Scale amounts as needed. Bring to a boil. Add fish sauce to taste,  about a scant tablespoon per quart. Sugar to taste if needed, but wtih this, I usually just use the fish sauce.
 
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I just would like to say that this is such a great thread. Pho is one of my top five soups and Hanoi is on my bucket list, that being said , last year I read one of the magazine's I subscribe to and they had an article on this very subject, you may or may not find it enjoyable.

As far as adding blood to the soup, as the last paragraph states, this is something I would not do personally. http://www.smithsonianmag.com/travel/Searching-for-Hanois-Ultimate-Pho.html?c=y&page=1  

Thank you so much everyone for sharing your thoughts , tips and recipe.
 
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   Thanks for the Pho discussion guys and gals.  I fell in love with the flavors of Pho the first time I tried it.  Luckily, I'm going up to Argyle St, in Chicago, tomorrow to get me some...I can't wait!

    Thanks for the article Chef-Viet...nice read /img/vbsmilies/smilies/smile.gif

   dan
 
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We have our very first foodTV channel in my country and I just saw BBC's Rick Stein visiting Vietnam while he was shown how to make authentic Pho. I learned from watching Rick Stein it is pronounced as the french word "feu", which means fire in english.

Maybe there's a YouTube contribution somewhere, but I did a little search on the internet and found this from Rick Stein; http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/vietnamesebeefnoodle_91777  
 
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 This is 5oz portion of paper thin sliced Ribeye used for Philly steak sandwiches. It comes in 32 portions, this may be a easy way to get thin sliced meat for the PHO

 
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    Looks good ChefBillyB.  We have a large Asian grocery store near me (well...about 25 miles near me) that carries all kinds of desirable beef, etc, cuts paper thin like that.  As you mentioned, I do use them for Philly steak sandwiches, but I've also used it in my versions of pho. 

  dan
 
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    Looks good ChefBillyB.  We have a large Asian grocery store near me (well...about 25 miles near me) that carries all kinds of desirable beef, etc, cuts paper thin like that.  As you mentioned, I do use them for Philly steak sandwiches, but I've also used it in my versions of pho. 

  dan
Dan, I'm going to venture into making my own PHO, I think it is a great idea, if I make the broth in a large batch, it should freeze well. Then its all down hill from there. I would want to make it a quick meal and the broth is the only time consuming part....................Take care...............ChefBillyB
 
 
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    The broth is quite good.  I'm currently blotted from a bowl that was much too big to finish.  Ugh...yum

  dan
 
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Whilst I adore Rick Stein - I found his recent BBC series in Asia less than wonderful!

I have had some amazing pho in Australia, though!
 
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[h2]Spiced Beef Pho with Sesame-Chile Oil   Recipe by  Marcia Kiesel[/h2]
The rice vermicelli soup pho  is a staple all over Vietnam and this spicy beef version is the specialty of Hanoi. At home in Connecticut, Marcia Kiesel often eats it for breakfast, as the Vietnamese do. "It's a perfect meal and an invigorating way to start the day," she says. She's tried innumerable phos  but considers the recipe from Binh Duong, her co-author on Simple Art of Vietnamese Cooking, to be the best. Inspired by the phoserved at Ana Mandara and the Hideaway, she tweaks Duong's recipe by adding an escarole garnish.



http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/spiced-beef-pho-with-sesame-chile-oil
[h2]Chicken Pho   Recipe by  Charles Phan[/h2]
Charles Phan and his children adore this addictive soup, calledpho, which has an intense chicken flavor accented by aromatic roasted onion and ginger—they eat it for breakfast or lunch at least four times a week. Like his mom, Phan adds a large pinch of sugar to the broth to balance the pungent fish sauce.

http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/chicken-pho

* Everything here is labeled and identified. The links and not the actual recipes have been given. Credit has been given to the proper source. This is not plagiarism. 
 
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Hi, 

Interesting thread. Here's a video recipe of my version of PHO (a lot of time and research went in to this):
What do you guys think?
 

phatch

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Well, it's different than how I've seen it before. More salt, less fish sauce. Never seen it with fennel seed as the star anise is usually up to the task.  Never seen oyster sauce used on it, just hoisin which I can't recommend. Also usually served with much more broth than you offered, in a bigger bowl.
 
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Thanks for the feedback! A lot of recipes I found include fennel seeds. I guess the star anise would give a similar flavour. 

More broth probably would be better. 

Personally I prefer oyster sauce. A Vietnamese restaurant in Canada where I first had it, served it with oyster sauce. I personally found hoisin to be a little sharp, and prefer oyster sauce. 
 

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