Recipe: Pho Bo - Beef Noodle Soup

by Habeeb Salloum, Jan 12, 2004 | Destinations: Vietnam / Hanoi

Serves 6

This is one of the most popular dishes in all of Vietnam and in Vietnamese restaurants throughout the world.

15 cups water
4 pounds beef, lamb or chicken bones, or a mixture of these
3 medium onions, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
4 tablespoons chopped fresh ginger
2 cinnamon sticks, each about 3 inches long2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon sugar
4 whole cloves
1 teaspoon whole black peppercorn
1 pound flat rice noodles
1 pound lean, tender beef, sliced paper thin
Nuoc Mam to taste
1/2 cup finely chopped green onions
4 tablespoons finely chopped fresh coriander
2 cups bean sprouts
8 large sprigs basil
2 large red chili peppers, thinly sliced
6 limes, halved

Place in a large saucepan, water, bones, onions, garlic, ginger, cinnamon, salt, sugar, cloves and peppercorn, then bring to boil. Skim foam a few times, then cook over medium low-heat for 4 hours, always adding water to cover the bones. Remove bones, then strain out vegetables and seasonings to make a clear broth.

In the meantime, cook noodles in boiling water for 8 minutes, then drain and divide into 8 large soup bowls. Place the thinly sliced beef evenly over top noodles.

Season broth with Nuoc Mam and bring to boiling hot, then stir in green onions and coriander leaves. Pour over meat and noodles, then stir to cook meat. Serve with a large platter of bean sprouts, basil, peppers and lime, with each person adding greens from the platter to taste.

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