Thursday, February 4, 2010

A Steaming Bowl of Pho

Matt is a big fan of Pho & after having a big bowl of it at Ngon two weeks ago he decided we should try making our own at home for lunches.
Pho for Lunch
There are a ton of different recipes for pho broth out there using all different kinds of meat to flavor it. We decided to go with oxtail because that is what Ngon uses & because we noticed the grocery store had some. It made for quite a fatty broth but it was easy to remove the fat once the broth had chilled. I'm not sure how different the flavor was using oxtail as compared to say some meaty beef bones. It seemed to me most of the flavor came from the other things simmered in the broth, anise, fennel, ginger, etc... We have a lot of beef soup bones in the freezer so next time I'll skip the cost of the oxtail & try them.

Oxtail Broth for Pho

(adapted from Serious Eats)

1 1/2 t peanut oil
1 large yellow onion, sliced
2 1/2 lbs oxtail
4 quarts water
1 carrot, cut into matchsticks
small knob of fresh ginger, peeled & sliced
1 cinnamon stick
seeds from 3 cardamon pods
1 star anise
2 whole cloves
1 t fennel seeds
2 garlic cloves, crushed with the skin on
1 t black peppercorns
fish sauce

In a large stock pot heat the oil over high heat. Add the onions & cook until the are turning brown. Remove the onions & set aside. Add the oxtail & water to the pot & bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer & let cook for 15 minutes. Skim foam from the surface. Add the cooked onions & all other ingredients EXCEPT the fish sauce. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer & partially cover. Let cook for 6 hours, skimming any foam from the surface. Strain the soup through a strainer covered with cheesecloth. (Try not to put the bones in the strainer as straining through them will give you a cloudy stock.) Refrigerate until the layer of fat on top is solid. Remove the fat before using.

Makes about 8 cups.

When you are ready to serve the Pho, reheat the amount if broth needed (about 1 1/2 cups per serving) & season it with 1 teaspoon of fish sauce per serving & some fresh ground pepper.
#34 - Making a big bowl of steaming pho for lunch
Then comes the fun part adding all the vegetables meat & noodles. You can really add what you like but traditionally it is served with a meat (we used thinly sliced flank steak cooked quickly in the boiling broth), cooked rice noodles, fresh chili peppers (we used a jalapeno), bean sprouts, onions or scallions, basil (which Matt says is really important), cilantro, fresh lime juice, hoisin sauce & sriracha. thinly sliced flank steak which cooked quickly in the boiling broth.

If you are not reading this post in a feed reader or at OR at then the site you are reading is illegally publishing copyrighted material. Contact me at katbaro AT yahoo DOT COM. All recipes, text and photographs in this post are the original creations & property of the author unless otherwise noted.
© 2007-2010 Kathy Lewinski


Teddy Hobbins said...

I'll never turn down a good bowl of pho. There are lots of great places to get it on Eat Street, but I'm intrigued by making it at home. The Splendid Table had a good looking recipe too. I'll have to give one of them a whirl!

Elle said...

Damn, that looks hot, steamy and good! I've never had ox tail! It scares me a little. hehe.

Tangled Noodle said...

I loooove pho but have only made faux pho, using beef broth, at home. Thanks for sharing this homemade broth recipe!

Heather said...

Oh this is awesome! We are doing a meat run this weekend and I have been craving ox tail for a few weeks now. Am picking up a few pounds and this is on my list now.

vanillasugarblog said...

not to mention how good this is for you too!

George Gaston said...

kat... this sounds like the perfect broth for warming up the cold days of winter. Being so versatile, it allows one to use what is on hand. I like that you added okra, a vegetable that has lots of different uses, also.

Great recipe, thanks....

kat said...

George - Actually that's Jalapeno though I do love okra

Beth (jamandcream) said...

you have good lunches Kat!!

grace said...

i don't know what pho tastes like, but i'm proud to say that i know how to pronounce it! it certainly looks like a flavorful and enjoyable creation--nicely done!

Ravenous Couple said...

nice job! in addition to the bones, a beef loin or eye round is also cooked in the broth for more meatier flavor, then sliced to make the thit chin

TS of eatingclub vancouver said...

Ooooh, pho. We have pho-love around here. =)

Peter M said...

I haven't had a bowl of Pho for a couple of weeks and thanks to you, I want one now!

Lori said...

You know, I've never had pho. Yes, crazy but true. I've always known I'd like it though. Yours looks delicious!

Alicia Foodycat said...

Pho is so hard to beat! I usually cheat and use canned beef consomme...

Lea Ann said...

I'm glad to find that you made Pho with oxtail broth. I've heard it really does make a difference. I tried pho without it and it just wasn't as good as what I have at my favorite pho restaurant. Thanks to you, I'm going to buy some oxtails and give it a try.

Dream Girl said...

Props for making pho yourself at home. I've never attempted it. But if you want a really great bowl of pho go to Saigon on University

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