Pho, the delicious national soup of Vietnam, has lots of noodles, meat, vegetables, herbs and seasonings. You can add all the ingredients at the end or arrange them on the table Vietnamese style and have guests season their own. This is a very quick version but comforting and homey nevertheless. Instead of filet, use very thinly sliced cooked brisket and reheat in the soup for about 5 minutes at the end of step #4.
Makes 6 to 8 servings
- 8 cups (2L) chicken or beef stock
- 4 thin slices ginger root (unpeeled)
- 1 cinnamon stick, broken in half
- 4 star anise
- 1 stalk lemon grass, cut into 2" lengths
- 4 shallots, thinly sliced
- 6 oz (375g) vermicelli rice noodles, about 1/4" (5mm) wide
- 2 cups (500mL) very fresh bean sprouts, trimmed
- 3 tbsp (45mL) fish sauce or soy sauce
- 1/2 lb (250g) beef filet, partially frozen and shaved into very thin slices
- 1 jalapeno, seeds and ribs removed, cut into thin slivers
- 8 wedges lime
- 16 coarsely chopped Thai basil, cilantro and mint leaves
- Place stock in a large saucepan or Dutch oven. Add ginger, cinnamon stick, star anise, lemon grass and shallots. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer gently 15 minutes. Strain into another pot and heat again.
- Meanwhile soak noodles in boiling water 10 minutes.
- Add noodles, bean sprouts and fish sauce to soup and heat for about 1 to 2 minutes.
- Place slices of beef in each serving bowl. Ladle in hot noodles and broth. Allow guests to add their own jalapeno, lime juice and herbs. Or, add beef, peppers, lime juice and herbs and cook only one minute before serving.