Comfort Food ~ Pho

comfort food and dinner

I am making my first "pho" as I write this blog. I can smell it's wonderful aromas that filling the house (probably from the star anise). Pho (beef noodle soup) is a traditional Vietnamese recipe which was a staple in our house growing up. I've watched my mother make it hundreds of times but have never attempted it myself. Whenever Dave and I want some Vietnamese comfort food we would make a run into China Town and get a bowl. Dave's so busy these days I figured I should attempt to make my own from my memories.

I knew that ingredients I needed so I picked up what I could at Sudbury Farms aka Roch Brothers and thought I could pick up the remaining ingredients at the local Asian market. They didn't what I needed so I ran to Whole Foods for the rest. Of course, as I'm preparing the Pho, I also have to make dinner for Dave. The pho would not be done in time for dinner...steak tips for dinner. has a recipe that is much similar to my mother's. I would recommend this site for the recipe. There are a few things I would change or clarify regarding their recipe.

The broth from
2 medium yellow onions (about 1 pound total)
4-inch piece ginger (about 4 ounces)
5-6 pounds beef soup bones (marrow and knuckle bones)
5 star anise (40 star points total)
6 whole cloves
3-inch cinnamon stick
1 pound piece of beef chuck, rump, brisket or cross rib roast, cut into 2-by-4-inch pieces (weight after trimming)
1 1/2 tablespoons salt
4 tablespoons fish sauce
1 ounce (1-inch chunk) yellow rock sugar
By Andrea Q. Nguyen, Mercury News

Here are a few minor edits or clarification to the recipe...I don't have a gas grill nor an open flame, so I broiled the onions and ginger to brown the skins. If you try to make this recipe, leave the skin on the onions and gingers (not stated in the recipe). I used a cheese clothe to hold the star anise, cloves, and cinnamon stick. I added (not in the recipe) 1/2 tablespoon of whole black peppers. I only used about 2 pounds of oxtail (the recipe calls for 5-6 pounds of beef soup bones) and 1/2 pound of beef cross rib roast. I eliminated the yellow rock sugar. 6 quarts equals 24 cups (I had to look this one up).

I look forward to eating this all day tomorrow. If you try the recipe, enjoy...I know I will.


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