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Vincent's

Phở Recipe

with Spice Station's Pho Moi Mix

So you want to make pho...

Hi there! Vincent here. I won't say I'm an expert on making pho, but I've found that with Spice Station's specifc pho blend, I've learned a few tips and tricks to making this bowl of pho amazing. You can watch my quick how-to video below, or keep reading for tips, tricks and a recipe.

Ingredients

Alright, before we get to the actual recipe, let’s chat for a sec about the ingredients. There are loads of ways to make pho, which can include a variety of ingredients depending on your preferences. To make this pho recipe, you will need:

  • Protein: Steak, chicken, pork, shrimp, halibut and/or cod: If you choose to use steak, chicken or pork, it will need to be super-thinly sliced in order to cook quickly in the broth.  I recommend placing the protein in the freezer for about 45-60 minutes, then slicing it against the grain as super thinly as possible. If you choose to use shrimp, just be sure that it is peeled with the tails on or off, but cleaned and deveined. If you decide to add halibut or cod, use 1-inch cubes instead of thin slices, so you do not overcook the fish.
     

  • Thin rice noodles: Traditional pho is made with thin rice noodles, such as these. In order to prevent the noodles from overcooking in the broth, it’s better to cook pho noodles separately on their own. Then the noodles will be added to each individual serving bowl (or, for this recipe, into a brand new Silver Buffalo Mug) and the protein, hot broth, and toppings will be added on top of the noodles. In order to do this, you will need to rinse the noodles with cold water for a couple of minutes, depending on each package's instructions. As you will see in my video, though, I skipped the soaking and opted for cooking the rice noodles in its own pot for a longer duration.
     

  • Pho broth: To make the most delicious pho broth, you will need the following elements:

    • The Amazing Pho Moi Blend from Spice Station Silverlake (a special blend that has been prepared by Spice Station’s own Blend Master, Peter B. There are 5 main spices in a traditional pho broth — star anisewhole clovescinnamon stickscardamom pods, and coriander seeds, but Peter has added some special tricks, techniques and his own proprietary blend to make this Pho unlike any you have ever had.

    • Beef stock: In order to save us all a few hours of cooking meat stock from scratch, I’ve created this recipe using (good quality) store-bought stock as a shortcut. Vietnamese pho broth is traditionally made with beef stock, but you are also welcome to mix things up and use chicken or veggie stock instead if you prefer.

    • Fish sauce: Despite its name, fish sauce isn't very fishy, but has a wonderful Umami taste and it’s traditional to add just a little splash to the broth. (I recommend a tablespoon or more)

    • Lemongrass (optional)

    • Whole Ginger

    • Scallion Roots (white ends)

 

  • Toppings, toppings, toppings! The toppings in a bowl of pho are technically optional, but they really add a lot of fun flavors to the dish that you won't want to miss out. Feel free to pick and choose your favorites, but I recommend at least one from each category:

    • Fresh herbs: The more the merrier!  I recommend a combo of fresh cilantro, fresh mint, and fresh Thai basil (or Italian basil, in a pinch).

    • Bean sprouts: You can find these in the produce section of your grocery store, or they are always available in Asian groceries. (While it's a pho staple, I'm personally not a fan so I skipped it)

    • Lime wedges: Essential for brightening up the flavors of the broth.

    • Chiles (optional): Either sliced Thai bird chiles, habaneros, jalapeños, or serrano peppers are optional if you would like to add some heat.

    • Onions (optional): Either sliced green onions or very-thinly-sliced white onions as a garnish. Go Green!

    • Sauces (optional): It’s also traditional to serve pho with hoisin sauce and/or sriracha, or sesame oil to use as a garnish if desired.

Pho Fun Facts & FAQ

  1. What is the proper “pho” pronunciation?  Popular question!  It is pronounced “fuh” (not “faux”). Like my video LOL!
     

  2. How do you serve pho?  Pho is traditionally served in large bowls with chopsticks and a soup spoon.  But of course, use whatever dishes you have (and when you have a Silver Buffalo Mug, use that!)
     

  3. How exactly are you supposed to eat pho? First, use your chopsticks to stir your choice of garnishes into the broth to help give it extra flavor. Then, use your chopsticks to eat the noodles, protein and veggies, while using your spoon to eat the broth. 
     

  4. Is pho healthy? I’d say it’s pretty healthy, especially if you use a leaner meat as your protein.
     

  5. Is pho gluten-free? Yes, this pho soup recipe is naturally gluten-free.  (As always though, just be sure to double-check that all of your ingredients are certified GF.)
     

  6. Is the meat in pho fully cooked? If the meat is very thinly sliced, the broth is boiling hot, and the meat is completely submerged in the broth right away — then yes, the meat should be fully cooked.  That said, if you want to be 100% sure that the meat is fully cooked, it's a good idea to cook the meat instead in the hot stockpot of broth, and then adding it to the individual serving bowls.
     

  7. Is pho traditionally made with beef broth? Yes. Beef and chicken stock are the traditional options, but you are free to experiment with other types of broth.
     

  8. Make ahead instructions?  Nearly all of the components of this recipe can be prepped in advance if you would like.  (Which would make this recipe even easier if serving it to a big group.)  For example, the noodles and broth can be prepared and then refrigerated (separately) in sealed containers until ready to reheat and serve.
     

  9. Storage instructions? I recommend refrigerating the broth, protein, noodles and garnishes in separate containers, so that the noodles do not soak up all of the broth.  But the cooked soup (with the ingredients stored separately or mixed together) can be refrigerated in sealed containers for up to 3 days.

How To Make Pho

Here is the basic overview for how to make homemade pho bowls! 

  1. Prep the protein. Make sure the meat is sliced thinly enough to cook all the way through in the broth. In order to slice the beef, chicken or pork as thinly as possible, I recommend popping the meat in the freezer for at least 30-45 minutes to chill. Then use a sharp knife to thinly slice the meat before adding it to the soup.
     

  2. Make the broth. (Recommended amounts for two bowls of Pho) 

    • As the meat is chilling, add 24 ounces of beef stock to a medium or large stockpot.

    • Then add 6 teaspoons of the Spice Station Silverlake Pho Moi Blend.

    • Stir and combine before adding in a tablespoon of the fish sauce.

    • After 3 minutes, add in slices of lemongrass, sliced ginger and the scallion or green onion roots.  

    • Cover or cook uncovered for a deeper dark flavor by letting everything simmer together for at least 25-30 minutes so that all of those flavors can meld. 

    • Strain out and discard all of the lemongrass, onions, ginger and spices. 
       

  3. Prep the noodles. As your broth is simmering, cook the noodles al dente according to the package instructions.  Drain in a strainer, or pull out with tongs into a room-temperature bowl, then toss briefly with cold water to prevent the noodles from continuing to cook, and set aside.  (I also recommend tossing the noodles with a drizzle of oil — such as sesame oil — to prevent them from sticking, but I forgot to do that during my video.)
     

  4. Assemble.  Once everything is ready to go, add a handful of noodles to each individual serving bowl or in this case, your new awesome Silver Buffalo Mug, and top with your desired protein(s). 

    • Then ladle the simmering hot broth into the serving bowls, being sure to submerge the meat and/or fish so that all will be cooked through. To prevent undercooking any of the meat, it's also a good idea to submerge your meat/shrimp/fish into the broth while it's cooking using a ladle.

    • Now have some real fun! Top with lots and lots of garnishes! Make it Spicy if you can handle it by adding those peppers.
       

  5. Serve. Serve warm, encouraging everyone to stir the garnishes into the soup so that they can flavor the broth, also adding in additional extra sauces if desired by topping it off with hoisin sauce and/or sriracha, or sesame oil. You can also use the hoisin sauce and sriracha to make a dipping sauce for your meat.