Pho is a wonderfully simple dish that is perfect for recovering after a big weekend. Made from bone broth, which is full of nutrients to bring you back to your best, its enriched at the last minute with fresh, vibrant ingredients: fresh herbs, spring onion, ginger, chilli and greens.

ingredients 2

The key to a phở is getting the broth right. Firstly, skim the stock regularly as it cooks to remove impurities, this will ensure a beautifully clear broth with a clean flavour. Secondly, make sure the seasoning is right. Balance the flavour right before serving with soy sauce, fish sauce and lime juice. Getting the broth perfect can be the difference between final slurps of joy, or your bowl of broth becoming a chore.

I added thinly-sliced beef skirt while the broth was still hot enough to gently poach it to perfection. You could use other tender cuts like sirloin or fillet, just make sure it is sliced across the grain (see notes).

In Vietnam, there is a fantastic selection of aromatic fresh herbs served at every street kitchen. Get hold of of some thai basil, rice paddy herb, or whatever else your local asian supermarket has. These can be dipped in and used to freshen up the broth and add an authentic freshness and flavour.

Two condiments that are always on the table in Vietnam are chilli sauce and garlic vinegar. The chilli served on the side so people can make it as hot as they like. It usually comes in the form of fresh sliced chilis or a Sriracha like chilli paste. Make the garlic vinegar by marinating some thinly sliced garlic cloves in rice vinegar. A little dribbled into the borth gives a subtle garlic hit and slight sweetness.

Vietnamese Pho with Beef Skirt
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
2 10 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Servings Prep Time
2 10 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Vietnamese Pho with Beef Skirt
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
2 10 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Servings Prep Time
2 10 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Add the pork stock to a pan with the whole spices, ginger and trimmings from the spring onions. Bring to the boil and let simmer very gently for about 15 minutes with a lid on to infuse the flavours
  2. Soak the rice noodles in cold water for at least 10 minutes
  3. Meanwhile, slice the beef thinly across the grain
  4. Prepare your vegetables, they can be added to the phở when it's in the bowl for maximum freshness
  5. When the pho is ready, pass it through a sieve and adjust the seasoning with soy sauce, fish sauce and lime juice to taste. Then pour into serving bowls
  6. Add the beef and let it cook for a couple of minutes. The pho should be cooling to about the right temperature to cook the beef to medium rare (around 55°C). Then add the spring onions, bok choy, herbs and noodles and enjoy
Recipe Notes

Slicing across the grain: Muscles are made up of many fibres in bundles running in the same direction. They give the meat texture and bite but can be tenderised by slow-cooking which breaks down the collagen holding them together, or by mincing or pummelling with a tenderising mallet. Another option is to slice across the muscle fibres to break the long strands leaving you with tender slices. Have a look for the fibres in the meat and slice horizontally across them.

If you can make your own stock you will get the best results but there is a cheat that works almost as well. Pick up a packet of beef flavour instant noodles from an asian supermarket and use the powder that comes with it to make a stock with boiling water. Then just add the noodles and fresh ingredients to turn it into something more special.

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