Updated: Jan 12
Pho Tai is rare beef Vietnamese noodle soup in a beef broth infused with flavors of star anise, ginger, clove, and cinnamon and served with fresh basil and sprouts.
Pho (pronounced FUH) is a Vietnamese rice noodle soup bursting with exotic flavors of star anise, ginger, clove and cinnamon. The soup is a staple in Vietnam and can be found everywhere. It's the "chicken noodle soup" of Vietnam as many swear by its medicinal properties. Pho has become quite popular in America, too.
I've been known to eat pho at least once a week or more. When I was on the Board of the Utah Museums Association, my dear colleagues gifted me a Vietnamese cookbook that I treasure. The book, The Foods of Vietnam by Nicole Routhier and has every Vietnamese dish you can imagine, including a great Pho recipe, which I altered to be easier and lectin free.
The broth is quite a process to make if it's done the traditional Vietnamese way starting with beef bones and parts to make the stock from scratch. However, I have a cheater method that only takes one hour. I start with grassfed beef bone broth. That's a real time saver. Read on for the recipe.
TIP: Find most of the ingredients at your local Asian market. They have everything and it's a lot cheaper!
LFG Pho Tai
4 C Grassfed Beef Bone Broth
2 Star Anise
5 Whole Cloves
1 Cinnamon Stick
1 T Fresh Ginger Slices
2 Slices Large Red Onion
1 Clove Garlic (bruised)
2 t Salt (or more to taste)
1 Package Miracle Noodles
1 6 oz Grassfed New York Steak
1 Package Sprouts (I like radish or broccoli)
1 Baby Bok Choy
2 Lime Wedges
1 Jalapeno (peel and seeds removed)
Homemade Fermented Bean Sauce
(2 T Fermented Black Soybeans, 1 T Water, 1 T Real Fermented Soy Sauce or Coconut Aminos, 1 T Lakanto Classic Monk Fruit Sweetener)
Step 1: Make the Broth
Place the start anise, cloves and cinnamon stick under a high broiler for about 15 seconds until they smoke and char slightly. This will awaken and bring out their flavors. Place the charred star anise, cloves and cinnamon stick along with the fresh ginger slices into a cloth broth sachet and tie it tightly. In a medium sauce pan on high, add the bone broth and drop in the spice sachet. Add bruised garlic clove, peeled, whole pearl onions and salt. Bring to a boil, then turn down and simmer for one hour, tasting halfway. Add more salt to taste.
Step 2: Prepare the Noodles
Miracle noodles are easy to prepare. Drop them in hot water for a few minutes, drain, then dry in a hot pan. Just follow package instructions.
Step 3: Prepare Drop Ins
Crosscut the New York strip very thinly, about 1/8 inch slices. Wash all your veggies thoroughly. Peel, deseed and slice the jalapeno. Stage the bok choy, basil, jalapenos, sprouts and lime wedges on serving plates. Place the noodles in bowls on the serving plates. Place the raw beef slices in the bowls on top of the noodles.
While broth is still simmering, make the homemade fermented bean sauce, take 2 tablespoons fermented black soybeans, fermented soy or coconut aminos and 1 tablespoon Lakanto classic monk fruit sweetener and mix together into a paste. Heat in microwave for 30 seconds and stir. This replaces the sugary hoisin sauce traditionally served with Pho.
Step 4: Pour the Hot Broth
Pour the boiling broth directly over the meat. The hot broth cooks the meat. Divide the broth evenly between two bowls. Once the bowls are filled, push the meat down into the hot broth. Meat will be medium rare and very tender.
To eat your individual bowl of pho, drop in whatever looks good to you. I like mine with everything. I squeeze the lime and drop it in the bowl, add Sriracha and fermented bean sauce, and drop in jalapeno slices, bok choy, basil, and sprouts. ALL IN!