Vietnamese beef soup (pho )
• 2 lb beef bones
• 1 lb beef brisket or rump
• 1 old ginger root, 6 inch long
• 1 peeled large onion
• 4 star anise
• 6 cloves
• 1 cinnamon stick, 4 inch long
• 2 Tbsp fish sauce
• 1 tsp salt
• 1 rock sugar, 1 inch or 1 tsp sugar
• 1 Tbsp ground peppercorn
• 10 cups water
• ½ lb thinly sliced raw beef sirloin
• 8 oz dried banh pho noodles
• 1 thinly sliced medium onion, soaked in water for 20 minutes
Preparing the Beef Stock
Boil the beef bones together with the beef brisket or rump in a pot
of water. After the water comes to the boil, allow it to continue
boiling for 3 minutes, then pour away the water and flush the beef
bones and the brisket or rump under water, making sure that all the
impurities are washed away.
Pour 10 cups of water in over the beef bones and beef brisket or
rump, and bring it to the boil again. When the water starts to boil,
turn the heat down to the smallest possible flame and allow it to
simmer. Remove any scum that rises to the top of the soup.
Ginger and Onion for the Beef Stock
Crush the ginger with a pestle and mortar, leaving it in one piece.
The back of a big knife will do the job just as well. Grill the
ginger and onion until they turn slightly brown and smell fragrant.
Cooking the rest of the Stock
Add the ginger and onion into the simmering pot of beef stock. Make
sure all the scum from the beef has been removed from the stock
before you do so. Add the star anise, cloves, cinnamon and
peppercorn into the stock. Keep simmering the stock on very low
Preparing the noodles
In a separate pot, boil the noodles for about 5 minutes, until al
dante. Remove and rinse with cold water. Be careful not to overcook
the noodles because when you ladle in the hot soup the noodles will
cook a little bit more.
Simmer and Serve
1. Continue simmering the soup for about 1 hour. Remove the beef
brisket or rump from the stock. Soak them in cold water for 15
minutes, so that they remain moist and retain their color after they
2. Allow the soup to keep simmering for another 2 hours.
3. Strain the soup through a fine sieve.
4. Bring the soup back to a boil, then turn the heat down to low.
5. Add the fish sauce, salt and sugar into the stock. Adjust the
taste to your liking by varying the amounts of these ingredients.
Bear in mind that the noodles will reduce the saltiness of the soup.
6. Slice the beef brisket or rump into thin slices.
7. In a bowl, put some noodles, slices of the cooked beef brisket or
rump, the raw beef sirloin and raw onions on top. Pour the boiling
soup into the bowl, making sure that the raw pieces of beef are
cooked to a medium rare state.
8. Serve with the Vietnamese Side Salad