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Quick and Easy Vietnamese Pho

Ingredients (Serves 4)

  • 12  oz. sirloin steak or London broil
  • 2  large yellow onions
  • 1  piece of fresh ginger, (about 4 inches), halved lengthwise
  • 2  whole star anise
  • 2  cinnamon sticks, about 3 inches long
  • 1½ tsp. whole coriander seeds
  • 1  bay leaf
  • 64 oz. low-sodium beef broth
  • 2  tbsp. oil (optional)
  • ¼  cup fish sauce
  • 1  tbsp. soy sauce
  • 8 oz. dried Vietnamese-style flat rice noodles
  • 4  green onions, sliced
  • 2  jalapeños, thinly sliced
  • 1  bunch cilantro
  • 1  bunch basil
  • 1  bunch mint
  • 2  limes, quartered lengthwise

   
Directions

  1. To make the beef easier to slice thinly, freeze the meat prior to slicing.
  2. Peel and quarter the onions.  Drop 6 of the onion quarters and the remaining spices in a large cooking pot.  Add the broth and fish sauce and bring the whole mixture to a simmer (just below boil) over medium-high heat.  Simmer for 30-40 minutes so the spices' flavors can be released into the broth.
  3. While the broth is simmering, bring another pot of water (about 6-8 cups) to a boil.  Place the uncooked rice noodles in a large and deep mixing bowl.  Pour the boiling water over the noodles and leave them in the hot water until they are tender, about 10 minutes.  Do not let them sit so long they get mushy.  Once they are just tender, drain them in a colander and run cold water over them to stop the cooking process.
  4. While the rice noodles and broth are finishing, remove the leaves of cilantro, basil, and mint from their stems and place them on a large platter in separate sections.  Carefully slice the jalapeños and remove the seeds.  Also place these on the platter along with the limes and sliced green onions.
  5. Take the meat from the freezer.  Slice it very thinly against the grain.  Place ¼ of the sliced meat in a deep bowl.  Repeat with the remaining three bowls.
  6. Remove the broth from the heat.  Use a colander to pour the broth into another large sauce pan.  Discard the solid pieces that remain in the colander.
  7. Pour ¼ of the broth into each bowl, being sure to cover the meat.  The broth should still be very hot, so the meat can cook.  Toss the meat in the broth to be sure it turns from pink to brown.
  8. Run warm water over the rice noodles and drain.  Place ¼ of the noodles in each bowl.  Serve and add the herbs, lime, and jalapeños into each bowl as desired.  Toss gently to mix.

Tips

 

  • Fresh bean sprouts are also usually included with the platter of herbs to mix into the Pho.  The dish is tasty without them, but for a more authentic experience, consider including them.
  • To add a little more spice and kick, consider offering hoisin sauce and/or Sriracha sauce as condiments to be added in the amount desired to the dish at the table by each individual.
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