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Jul 12, 2012 05:06 PM

Vietnamese Pho Soup

I need a recipe for Pho, one that doesn't require me to cook bones for hours to make a broth first.

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  1. My Local SE Asian markets sell "instant pho soup"

    1. Uh... That's almost like asking for a miracle. Ha, I kid. What type, beef or chicken? According to my Vietnamese grandmother, chicken is a lot easier.

      1 Reply
      1. re: breadwinner

        actually, I'd like recipes for both........I bought some "instant" pho beef broth mix, 1 lb canister, by Harvest Brand, but yet to try it...........found it at oriental store in Fresno, California.

      2. You can definitely use that, but keep in mind that pho normally involves a lot of different ingredients that are not involved in making the broth, such as spices and herbs. The good thing is that you can give or take any of the ingredients according to your personal tastes.

        Here's a good recipe I found:

        Is your instant beef pho mix a liquid or powder?

        1. If it's a powder, here's a revised version of that recipe:

          Serves 6-8.

          2 large onions, halved lengthwise
          1 (3-inch) piece fresh ginger, left unpeeled
          1 tb peanut oil
          7 qt cold water
          instant beef pho powder, amount according to package
          1 (1/2-lb) piece boneless beef sirloin steak or tenderloin
          1 lb dried rice noodles (banh pho)
          1 lb bean sprouts
          4 limes, quartered
          1 bunch basil, cilantro, or mint, rinsed and stemmed
          Asian fish sauce (preferably Vietnamese nuoc mam), or to taste
          Vietnamese chili paste (sriracha) (Huy Fong is a good brand.)

          1. Chop ginger into coins. Slice onions. Add to stockpot with oil, cook over medium heat until onions being to color.
          2. Cover with 6-7 quarts of cold water. Add instant beef pho powder according to the package. Simmer for about 10-15 minutes.
          3. Adjust seasoning with fish sauce, if needed. Add only a tbsp at a time and taste until you're satisfied with the flavor.
          4. Place sirloin in the freezer for approximately 30 minutes, and sharpen your best knife. Slice sirloin against the grain, as thinly as possible. Cover and refrigerate.
          5. Soak or cook the rice noodles according to the directions on the package, remembering that the noodles will be immersed in hot broth, so less soaking or cooking is a better bet than more.
          6. Blanch the bean sprouts for 30 seconds in a pot of boiling water. Drain. (This is optional. The bean sprouts will cook in your bowl when you add them to the hot soup.)
          7. Place a portion of noodles in individual bowls. Layer the brisket and sirloin over the noodles. At the table, pour the hot broth over the individual bowls (the broth will cook the sirloin. Pass basil, limes, sprouts, and Vietnamese chili paste (sriracha), and fish sauce. Stir well to combine ingredients and cook sirloin.

          2 Replies
          1. re: breadwinner

            Oh, be careful not to get any ginger or onions in the bowls as you ladle the broth. You could strain it out if you like, of course. Also, hoisin sauce and sriracha sauce are the usual condiments.

            For chicken, you could probably just get the instant chicken pho powder and use the same recipe, except with cooked chicken breast meat. You could also use beef broth or chicken broth instead of water for more flavor, just make sure to use low-sodium versions.

            Good luck and good eats! :)

            1. re: breadwinner

              thanks for your help, suggestions, and recipe..looks like I'll have to halve the recipe tho, since I'm cooking for just

          2. Surprised nobody has mentioned this yet -- but make sure you roast your ginger/spices/onion before throwing them into the stock pot, makes a HUUUUUGE differences!