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.
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.