Thursday, October 12, 2006

Pho - Vietnamese Beef Noodle Soup

For those of you who want a hot steamy bowl of spicy beef noodle soup to enjoy your homemade beef broth, try this pho recipe:

PHO (Serves 4)
6 cups beef broth
1 (1/4-inch thick) slice ginger
2 shallots
2 whole star anise
1 cinnamon stick
2 cloves
1/2 pound piece boneless beef sirloin, trimmed of any fat
3 ounces dried flat rice noodles
1/4 cup Asian fish sauce
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup fresh bean sprouts, rinsed and drained
1/8 cup minced scallions
1 small white onion
1/4 cup fresh cilantro sprigs, washed and finely chopped
1 small thin fresh red or green Asian chilie, sliced very thin
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves
Lime wedges for garnish

In a 2 quart saucepan bring broth, ginger, shallots, star anise, cinnamon, and cloves to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
With a very sharp knife cut sirloin across the grain into very thin slices.
In a large bowl soak noodles in hot water to cover 15 minutes, or until softened and pliable.
While noodles are soaking, bring a kettle of salted water to a boil for noodles. Drain noodles in a colander and cook in boiling water, stirring 45 seconds, or until tender. Drain noodles in a colander. Set aside.
Strain broth into saucepan and bring to a boil. Stir in fish sauce, salt and pepper. Add sirloin and sprouts and cook 30 to 45 seconds, or until sirloin changes color. Skim any froth from soup.
To serve, divide noodles into 4 bowls. Ladle soup over noodles. Sprinkle scallion greens,thinly sliced white onion, cilantro, chilies and basil over soup and serve with lime wedges

A trick to cut the beef super thin is if you pop it in the freezer for 1 hr which makes it easier to cut thinner slices. I'd throw the meat into the individual bowls raw if you prefer pinker meats otherwise boil it up to your hearts content.
I always put a mixture of this yummy chili sauce and hoisin sauce into the soup.


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