Phast Pho

Pho (pronounced “fhu”) is one of my favorite asian dishes. It’s a noodle soup that comes from Vietnam and is super comforting, super flavorful, and totally customizable. Normally, the beef broth that creates the base of the soup takes between 10 hours and two days to make, but my version (with a few handy shortcuts) takes only 30 minutes from start to finish! Even though it’s fast, it tastes like it’s been cooking all day. You’ll want to make this Phast Pho over and over again!

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To make Pho the Phast way (forgive the goofy spelling, I couldn’t resist!):

Heat a little bit of oil in a large saucepan over high heat. Toast the whole spices for 1-2 minutes.

I you need to buy any of these spices, make sure you check the bulk foods section and international aisles first. Spices tend to be much much much cheaper in these places.

Add in the rest of the broth ingredients. Stir and bring to a boil.

Reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 30 minutes.

And that’s it for the broth! You won’t believe the depth of flavor this will have after only 30 minutes.

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While the broth simmers, prepare the ingredients for serving and arrange on a plate or platter. In the recipe printable below I have listed the usual suspects that come on pho platters at restaurants, but feel free to get creative! This soup is all about customization.

Be sure to keep the raw meat separate to avoid cross contamination. Hint: if you freeze the beef for a couple of minutes prior to slicing, the outside will be slightly firm making it easier to slice thinly.

Cook the rice noodles according to the package instructions then coat them in a little bit of vegetable oil to keep them from sticking together.

After 30 minutes, strain the beef broth through a mesh strainer. Discard the spices and vegetables and bring the broth back to a boil.

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Add a handful of the rice noodles to a bowl. Lay slices of meat in a single layer over the noodles. Ladle the boiling broth over the meat to cook it being sure to cover all of it.

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To serve, allow everyone to fill their bowls with the desired toppings and sauces.

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One of the beauties of this dish is that it’s a little bit of a “create your own adventure” type of meal. The broth is amazing all on it’s own, but many people like to spice it up with all kinds of different flavors.

In my pho, I like to add a squeeze of lime, a few dots of hoisin, a slice or two of jalapeno, bean sprouts, spring onion, mushrooms, and a few leaves of cilantro.

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And oh boy, do I enjoy it! This meal can turn any day into the best day of your life.

Life just doesn’t get much better than a good bowl of pho.

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Happy eating!

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Phast Pho

Feeds 2 to 3 people

Ingredients:

For the broth

  • 2 large onion, peeled and quartered
  • 2 inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and sliced
  • 3 carrots, roughly chopped
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 whole star anise
  • 3 whole cloves
  • 2 tsp whole coriander seeds
  • 6 cups low sodium beef broth
  • 1 tbs soy sauce
  • 1 tbs fish sauce
  • 1 tbs vegetable oil

To serve

  • 1/2 pound sirlion steak, round eye, or london broil, sliced very thinly
  • 8 oz thin rice noodles, cooked according to package instructions
  • 1/4 cup sliced scallions
  • 1 jalapeno, thinly sliced
  • 1 lime, cut into wedges
  • 1 cup bean sprouts
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro
  • 2-3 mushrooms sliced very thinly
  • Sriracha (or another asian hot sauce)
  • Hoisin sauce

Directions:

  1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over high heat. Toast the spices for 1-2 minutes.
  2. Add in the rest of the broth ingredients. Stir and bring to a boil.
  3. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 30 minutes.
  4. While the broth simmers, prepare the ingredients for serving and arrange on a plate or platter. Keep the raw meat separate to avoid cross contamination. Hint: if you freeze the beef for a couple of minutes prior to slicing, the outside will be slightly firm making it easier to slice thinly.
  5. Cook the rice noodles according to the package instructions then coat them in a little bit of vegetable oil to keep them from sticking.
  6. After 30 minutes, strain the beef broth through a mesh strainer. Discard the spices and vegetables and bring the broth back to a boil.
  7. Add a handful of the rice noodles to a bowl. Lay slices of meat in a single layer over the noodles. Ladle the boiling broth over the meat to cook it being sure to cover all of it.
  8. To serve, allow everyone to fill their bowls with the desired toppings and sauces.

Based on a recipe by our friends at The Kitchn

You might also like:

Butter Chicken

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Veggie Noodle Stir Fry

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Red Lentil Dahl

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Fast Pho

 

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