It’s soup season!! The colder weather of Fall and Winter pairs perfectly with this easy Vietnamese beef pho (pronounced fuh). And when I say easy, I mean EASY! It takes about 45-minutes to make and 30-minutes of that you’re letting the broth simmer. It’s a crowd-pleaser, really healthy and low-sodium!
When I say this dish is easy, I really mean it! You char onions and ginger and then add it to toasted spices, beef broth and carrots. Simmer and then pour over noodles and very thinly sliced beef. Top with as many delicious toppings as you want, my favorites are jalapeño, lime and of course cilantro! The longest part is waiting for the broth to simmer, and even though you could simmer it for shorter it makes the broth taste the more flavorful. The broth has such depth of flavor but it doesn’t take any crazy ingredients – you probably already have them all!
My dad was the inspiration for this dish. He is a literal pho-natic … Since moving to New York City my parents seemingly had to try a new pho restaurant every week! In the Summer I lived there, I was definitely a bit judgmental because I couldn’t stand the hot broth in the humidity of the city. We’d always gone to restaurants to get pho because I always assumed that it would be waaaay too difficult to make because of how many intense flavors there are. Turns out it’s quite simple! Now I understand why my dad loves pho so much and it’s definitely already been requested as the first meal I make when I get home!
Ingredients for 3 Servings Easy Vietnamese Beef Pho
Vietnamese Beef Pho
2 Large Yellow Onions
1 4-inch Piece of Ginger
3 Large Carrots
8 Cups Low-Sodium or Zero-Sodium Beef Broth
2 Whole Star Anise
3 Whole Cloves
2 Cinnamon Sticks
12-16 OZ Shaved Beef (If you can’t find, simply buy a sirloin steak of the same amount and slice it extremely thin. TIP: make sure the sirloin steak is cold while you slice it’ll be easier!)
12 OZ Rice Noodles
- Peel and quarter the onions and ginger. Cut the carrots into thirds.
- Put your oven to Broil. Add the onions and ginger to a sheet pan and put it under the broiler. Keep the sheet pan under the broiler for about 7-minutes per side, until the onions and ginger are charred. I let mine get large spots of char, so don’t be afraid!
- In a medium pot, toast the star anise, cloves and cinnamon sticks for about 2-3 minutes. You should be able to smell the toasting, but make sure to stir or shake frequently so that the spices don’t burn.
- In the same pot add the charred onion and ginger, along with the beef broth and carrots. Bring to a boil and then bring down to a simmer for 30-minutes.
- While the broth is simmering, take out the beef to come to room temperature. If you need to cut the sirloin do it now – a good tip is to either do it straight from the fridge or even freeze for a few minutes as it helps cut thinner slices. Put the pot for the noodles to come to a boil while you cut.
- Cut the optional beef pho toppings: cut the lime into wedges and slice the scallion. Leave the cilantro whole. I put all of the prepared toppings into small bowls so that everyone could decide which toppings they wanted and how much.
- When the broth has about 10-minutes left, cook the noodles in a separate pot according to the instructions. Mine took about 4-minutes.
- After the broth has been simmering for 30-minutes, strain the broth into a different pot, making sure to collect all of the spices and vegetables in the strainer. Simmer the strained broth until you’re ready to use it – you want it to stay hot as it cooks the beef in the bowl! Taste the broth and add salt according to taste – I only use ~ 1 TSP.
- Once the noodles are cooked, strain them and pour cold water over so they stop cooking. Separate them evenly and directly into the serving bowls.
- Put the thinly sliced beef on top of the noodles, spreading them on the bottom of the bowl. (Use a shallow and wide bowl for best cooking of the beef)
- Once your bowl is ready for serving, ladle the broth on top of the beef and noodles. You’ll see the beef cooking as you pour the broth!
- Add whatever toppings you want, but I strongly suggest using all!
- Enjoy and I won’t judge you for slurping the beef pho broth straight from the bowl!