Pho Bo Tai, also known as Vietnamese Rare Beef Noodle Soup, is a beloved dish that showcases the rich flavors and aromatic spices of Vietnamese cuisine. This traditional soup features tender slices of rare beef, rice noodles, and a fragrant broth that is simmered with herbs and spices. In this recipe, we will guide you through the process of making a delicious bowl of Pho Bo Tai that will transport you to the streets of Vietnam.
For the broth:
- 2 kg beef bones (marrow and knuckle bones)
- 1 kg beef oxtail (optional)
- 2 onions, charred
- 5-inch piece of ginger, charred
- 4 star anise
- 3 cinnamon sticks
- 5 cloves
- 2 cardamom pods
- 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
- 1 tablespoon fennel seeds
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 2 tablespoons fish sauce
- 1 tablespoon sugar
For the soup:
- 400g rice noodles
- 400g beef sirloin, thinly sliced
- Fresh herbs (Thai basil, cilantro, mint)
- Bean sprouts
- Lime wedges
- Sliced chili peppers (optional)
- Hoisin sauce
- Sriracha sauce
- Prepare the broth:
- In a large pot, add the beef bones, oxtail (if using), onions, and ginger. Char them over an open flame or under the broiler until slightly blackened.
- Fill the pot with enough water to cover the bones and bring it to a boil. Boil for 10 minutes, then drain and rinse the bones to remove any impurities.
- Clean the pot and return the bones, onions, and ginger to it.
- Add the star anise, cinnamon sticks, cloves, cardamom pods, coriander seeds, fennel seeds, salt, fish sauce, and sugar to the pot.
- Fill the pot with water, about 6-8 liters, and bring it to a boil. Skim off any foam that rises to the surface.
- Reduce the heat to low and let the broth simmer for at least 6 hours, preferably overnight, to extract the flavors.
- Prepare the toppings and noodles:
- Soak the rice noodles in cold water for 30 minutes, or until they are soft but still slightly firm.
- Slice the beef sirloin into thin, bite-sized pieces.
- Prepare the fresh herbs by washing and separating the leaves.
- Rinse the bean sprouts and cut the lime into wedges.
- Set aside the chili peppers, hoisin sauce, and sriracha sauce for serving.
- Assemble the Pho:
- Strain the broth through a fine-mesh sieve to remove any solids. Return the broth to the pot and bring it to a gentle simmer.
- Cook the rice noodles according to the package instructions and divide them into serving bowls.
- Arrange a few slices of raw beef on top of the noodles.
- Ladle the hot broth over the beef and noodles, ensuring they are fully submerged. The hot broth will cook the beef.
- Serve the bowls of Pho with a plate of fresh herbs, bean sprouts, lime wedges, chili peppers (if using), hoisin sauce, and sriracha sauce on the side.
- Each diner can customize their bowl by adding herbs, sprouts, lime juice, and sauces to taste.
Enjoy the aromatic and flavorful Pho Bo Tai, a classic Vietnamese dish that will warm your soul and satisfy your cravings for authentic cuisine