Pho Bo (Vietnamese Beef Noodle Soup)
1 large onion, peeled, cut into half
4-5 inch fresh ginger, cut into half
2 lb. oxtail, trimmed of fat
1 Tablespoon coriander seeds
5 star anise
1 black cardamom
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
1 teaspoon cumin
1 cinnamon stick
1 lb. boneless beef short ribs (You can use Chuck, Sirloin, Shanks, Brisket or more)
4 inch long handful cilantro stem, collect in a tea pocket*
2-3 bay leaves
10 cups cold water
2 teaspoons salt
2 Tablespoons fish sauce
2 Tablespoons sugar
14 oz. rice noodles (We like small to medium size for pho, you can use any size noodles you like!)
3 green onions, chopped
Handful cilantro leaves picked
1/4 red onion, thinly sliced
2-3 oz. beansprouts (One handful per serving), for serving
1-2 red chilies, sliced for serving
Asian basil (Thai basil) for serving
Lime, quartered for serving
Sriracha for serving (Chili sauce)
Chili garlic sauce for serving
Hoisin sauce for serving (For sweetness)
Plum sauce for serving (For sweetness)
1. To roast onion and ginger, preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place halved onion and ginger on a baking sheet, roast for 30 minutes and remove from oven.
2. To blanch oxtail, put oxtail into a large deep pot, with boiling water. Bring back to boil and blanch for 5-10 minutes. Drain, rinse off with cold water.
3. To toast spices, heat a small dry pan over medium-heat, place coriander seeds and next 6 ingredients. Toast them about 5 minutes or until you can smell them. Don’t worry if you burnt spices a bit, it’s even better. Collect them in a tea pocket.*
4. To make stock, put roasted onion and ginger, blanched oxtail, toasted spices, boneless beef short ribs (Or any other part of beef you prepared), and next 6 ingredients in a large clean pot. Cover, bring to boil. Hard boil for 10 minutes, reduce heat to medium, simmer for an hour to 2 hours. Skim off any fat and foams as much as you need to. Add more fish sauce if you desired. When the broth is clear, reduce heat to low, leave broth simmering gently until ready to use.
5. Take out boneless beef short ribs (Or any other part of beef you prepared) from broth to a cutting board, let it rest for 5 minutes. Slice thinly.
6. Meanwhile, put rice noodles into large deep pot with boiling water. Let it boil about 3-5 minutes, stir with chopsticks. Rinse off any extra starch with cold water and drain. Divide 4 large soup bowls.
7. Arrange each serving bowls with sliced beef, chopped green onion, cilantro and sliced red onion. Ladle hot broth each bowls garnish with bean sprouts, red chilies, and basil. Serve with lime wedges to squeeze into soup and next 4 sauces to add into soup. Serve extra beansprouts, chilies and basil as you desired.
*If you don’t have or can’t find tea pocket, you can use cheese cloth and tight.