Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Pho at Home: Recipe from a reader

Posted By on Tue, Jan 18, 2011 at 7:00 AM

click to enlarge Pho
  • Pho
Judging by the amount of comments we received on our blog on Bend's newest pho restaurant, Pho Viet, it seems that I am not the only pho-obsessed person in Central Oregon. As it turns out, one of our readers, Larry Sullivan, happens to be something of a pho expert and has blogged a bit on the subject. You can check out his blog on pho here.

On my previous blog, I mentioned that I suck at cooking pho. So Larry shared his pho recipe, which I will share with you:





  • 8 cups of water
  • 32 oz. box of Swanson’s low-sodium fat free beef broth
  • 2 tablespoons of “Better Than Bouillon” beef stock concentrate
  • 1 pound of lean beef, cut into 3 inch, very thin strips (I like eye of round)
  • 1 large white onion, peeled, quartered, slice thin, soaked in cold water for 30 minutes
  • 1 bunch of green onions (scallions), sliced at an angle
  • ½ bunch of fresh basil, chopped
  • ½ bunch of fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon of Thai Kitchen Roasted Chili Paste
  • 1 teaspoon EACH of Thai Kitchen green and red curry pastes
  • Lemongrass, either:
  • 1 stick of cinnamon
  • 2 star anise pieces
    • Note: Don't be put off by the per pound price of star anise at the market. 10 pieces and it will likely run you about thirty cents.
  • 4 tablespoons of soy sauce (light, low sodium works fine)
  • 12 oz of your choice of Asian noodles, cooked according to the package. I prefer Udon or Soba (buckwheat)

Garnishes of:

  • Lemon or lime wedges
  • Thin sliced jalapenos (with seeds)
  • Fresh bean sprouts
  • Thai basil if you can find it, regular basil leaves if you can't - whole leaves on the stem
  • Sriracha red hot sauce (no substitutes, track it down!)


  • In a stockpot on high heat, combine the broth, 8 cups of water
  • Stir in the bouillon concentrate, chili paste and curry pastes
  • Add the lemongrass, star anise, cinnamon, soy sauce
  • Stir in the beef, reduce to medium high heat
  • Stir in the cilantro, basil, green onions, return to a boil
  • Drain the water from the white onions, add to the stockpot, return to a boil
  • Reduce to medium low heat, partially cover, simmer for 45 minutes
  • Remove the star anise and cinnamon, and the lemongrass if you used whole pieces

Prepare the noodles according to the directions (generally, have the water boiling and allow 15 minutes for the noodles.  Some take longer, some shorter, this is a good guideline).
To Serve:

  • With tongs or a pasta server, place some noodles at the the bottom of large soup bowls
  • Ladle the soup over the noodles
  • Serve with the garnishes and chopsticks and Chinese soup spoons

The Vietnamese Way:

  • Tear off a few leaves of basil and toss them in the bowl
  • Throw in a handful of bean sprouts
  • Squeeze a wedge of lemon or lime on top
  • Use Sriracha to your own level of heat tolerance (it's hot, but imperative!)
  • Pick up the noodles with chopsticks, "chew" them off.  This is not a neat process, but this is how you do it!
  • Use the soup spoon for the broth and remainder of the ingredients



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