- 500g beef (choose cuts with a bit of fat for better flavor)
- 1 onion
- 4-5 slices of ginger
- 5-6 whole cloves
- 3-4 whole star anise
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 cardamom pod (optional)
- 1-2 black cardamom pods (optional)
- 2-3 bay leaves (optional)
- 3-4 liters of water
- 1-2 tablespoons of rock sugar (or regular sugar)
- 1-2 tablespoons of fish sauce
- 1-2 teaspoons of salt
- 300g dried pho noodles
- Garnishes: bean sprouts, sliced onion, chopped cilantro, sliced jalapeno, lime wedges, Thai basil leaves
- Prepare the beef: If using beef slices, freeze the beef in the freezer for about 30 minutes to make it easier to slice thinly. Then, using a sharp knife, slice the beef as thinly as possible against the grain. If using beef chunks, you can skip this step.
- Char the onion and ginger: Place the onion and ginger slices on a baking sheet and broil in the oven on high heat for about 5-7 minutes until they are slightly charred. Alternatively, you can also char them directly on a gas stove or grill.
- Toast the spices: In a dry pan, toast the whole cloves, star anise, cinnamon stick, cardamom pods (if using), black cardamom pods (if using), and bay leaves (if using) over medium heat for about 1-2 minutes until fragrant.
- Make the beef broth: In a large pot, add the water, charred onion, ginger, and toasted spices. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and let simmer for at least 2-3 hours, or until the flavors have melded together and the broth is fragrant. Skim off any impurities that rise to the surface during simmering.
- Season the beef broth: Once the beef broth is done, add rock sugar (or regular sugar), fish sauce, and salt to taste. Adjust the seasoning to your preference. Keep the broth warm on low heat while you prepare the noodles and beef.
- Prepare the pho noodles: Cook the dried pho noodles according to the package instructions. Drain and rinse with cold water to prevent them from sticking together. Set aside.
- Prepare the beef slices: If using frozen beef slices, place them in a bowl of cold water to thaw for a few minutes before using. Then, blanch the beef slices in boiling water for a few seconds until they turn from red to pink. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the blanched beef slices to a plate and set aside.
- Assemble the pho bowls: Place a handful of cooked pho noodles in each serving bowl. Arrange a few slices of blanched beef on top of the noodles. Pour the hot beef broth over the noodles and beef, covering them completely. The hot broth will cook the beef slices to a medium-rare, tender texture and a pale pink color. Allow the beef slices to sit in the hot broth for a minute or two until they are fully cooked.
- Garnish and serve: Serve the pho bowls hot with garnishes on the side, such as bean sprouts, sliced onion, chopped cilantro, sliced jalapeno, lime wedges, and Thai basil leaves. Squeeze some lime juice over the pho and add garnishes to your preference. Enjoy your delicious homemade pho tai!
I hope this tutorial helps you make a delicious bowl of pho tai at home. Enjoy your