I discovered this little gem while traveling with my best bud in Vietnam back in 2009. This, my friends, is thee nicest EVER comfort treat! This is the quick version, the directors cut, but if you wan
t a real treat to yourself you should really take the time and try the extended version (which I’ll show some other time!)!
In Vietnam you will find a bowl of this on nearly every menu and in most, if not all, street corner cafes. Usually served in a WHOPPER sized bowl… but believe me you would slurp every last juicy mouthful! It’s essentially a beef and noodle soup…. but that simple description does it no justice!
It’s incredibly aromatic beef stock (usually made from
Ox tail) where you can smell clearly the Asian infusion of ginger, star anise, and cinnamon at a whiff! It’s almost sweet and earthy and the fish sauce, which you might think strange in a beef dish, really marries all the aromas and flavours together nicely – so don’t skip the fish sauce!
VIETNAMESE PHO BO
PREP TIME 20mins / COOK TIME20 mins / SERVES 4
- 8 Cups of Beef Stock (ideally made with Ox Tail, but Bovril or something like this will work too!)
- 2 Thick Cut Pieces of Ginger, bruised
- 1 White Onion, Sliced Thinly
- 2 Cloves of Garlic, sliced and bruised
- 3 Star Anaise
- 2 Cinnamon Stick, bruised
- 2 Tblsp Caster or Light Sugar
- 1/3 Cup of Fish Sauce
- Handful of Flat Rice Noodles
- Fillet of Beef, which you will need to pop in the freezer for best results!
- 1 Cup Beansprouts
- 1 Red Chilli, finely chopped and deseeded
- 1/3 Cup of Chinese Basil (Regular Basil)
- 1/3 Cup of Chopped Corriander
- Sriacha Sauce for added fire!
Place the beef stock in large saucepan and gently heat. Add Onion, Garlic, Ginger, Star anise, Cinnamon, Sugar and Fish sauce into the stock.
Bring to the boil and reduce heat to low setting. Cover and let it simmer for 20mins.
Your fillet of beef should have been in the freezer before now (don’t worry if you forgot!). Essentially when you freeze the meat it makes it easier to slice it more finely. You want to slice very thin slices across the grain… this makes it more tender! Set to one side and it will thaw itself.
After 15mins, in another saucepan, put your rice noodles into boiling water and cook as per instructions. Set to one side.
When the stock is finished after 20mins, it should smell like heaven! Take a strainer (fine mesh strainer is best!) and hold it over a separate saucepan to strain in your stock. Return this strained stock to the boil ad then reduce heat.
Put your strained noodles in the bottom of a soup bowl, add on top your beansprouts, corriander, chilli, basil, meat and add on top your hot soup (this will cook your meat I promise!). Add on Sriracha if you fancy a bit of heat… and enjoy!! SLLLURRP!!
By The way… for those of you who want to know more about some of the herbs used here.. check these out 🙂
- Contains Vit C which is an anti-oxidant,
- It is anti-fungal which is great for fighting off Candida and other fungal infections,
- Natural source of Shikimic Acid which is found in Flu Medicine! It is great for fighting off cold and flus, when combined with Quercitin.
- Used for rhumatisim and joint pain when applied topically
- Improves Digestion, bloating and cramps
- Has calming effects and so can be good for sleep
- Can sooth coughs
- Reduces Cholesterol
- Reduces Insulin Resistance
- Lowers Blood Sugar
- Inhibits the build up of Tau in the Brain (Chemical linked with Alzeimers)
- Anti Bacterial
- Anti Fungal
- Great for treating Nausea, Sickness and pain
- Reduces Muscle Pain and Soreness
- Lowers Blood Sugar
- Treats Indigestion
- Treats Menstrual Pain
- Great for Brain Function and Alzeimers
- Cancer Fighting properties