For those people that don't know, vietnamese pho is usually a beef broth with noodles as the very basic; variations of pho will include beef, beef meatballs, etc.

However, I'm looking for ingredients and instructions on how to create this perfect bowl of pho at home. Has anybody done this before?

  • 2
    This seems to be a recipe request, which is off-topic according to the FAQ. Do you have a more specific question about phở? – Cascabel Oct 30 '11 at 21:06
  • I was just wondering if it's MSG that they use for the soup or if i have to buy ingredients to actually make the beef soup? – Chris Ching Nov 1 '11 at 22:42
  • I believe it's usually a beef broth (like you said) with some other seasonings (spices, onions, ginger...). I don't think you'd need generally need MSG; broth made from good bones should have plenty of umami. Google pho recipes and click on a few to get an idea of what's common. – Cascabel Nov 1 '11 at 23:33

In Serious Eats, the author provides some insight on how to do this:

The process was easy: onions browned and then removed, meat and water added and boiled, then the rest of the aromatics go in, skimmed occasionally and simmered for six hours. By the time the broth was finished it was incredibly phở-like—the cinnamon and anise came through beautifully and the stock was insanely meaty.

The next day I took off the layer of fat and set about assembling the rest of the phở ingredients. I got my hands on lovely basil, bean sprouts, and some shabu-shabu beef.

Source: Serious Eats

Additionally, Viet World Kitchen provides some great basic techniques for building your pho broth:

Pho Secrets?

Roasting the bones. I've tried this and have not found that it's done much to the broth aside from making the broth dark, something that I've not found to be attractive. If you start with good bones, there's no need to roast, as the French would do for a veal stock, or demi-glace... Source: Viet World Kitchen, 2007

Viet World Kitchen has so many great articles about pho as well:

If you're looking for more resources loving pho has a great article about pho:

There is no single perfect technique for creating good pho broth. The Vietnamese always say that the best pho you will ever taste is the one cooked by your own mother (plus maybe one or two favorite restaurants), and she will have her own ideas of how good pho broth is made. These ideas, in turn, are ones that have been handed down to her by her own mother. Thus, no two bowls of pho made in two separate kitchens will ever taste the same.

Source: LovingPho 2009

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