yesterday was hubby’s birthday. when i asked him what he wanted to eat he said he wanted pho and fresh vietnamese spring roll (goi cuon). we both love vietnamese food and usually that’s what we get whenever we go to tucson (no vietnamese restaurant here where i live). but with patrick just under 3 weeks old there’s no way i’m going to tucson and leave him behind and there’s no way we can take patrick with us. luckily hubby’d bought me a vietnamese cookbook, so i tried the recipe instead.
turns out it takes a lot of preparation and stamina to make pho. but it turned out really good. mine tasted as good as the ones you usually get in the restaurants, although it’d be better if i had more variety of meat and meat balls, and bigger bowls. but i’ll settle with this one. the secret is the broth.. you have to make a really strong flavorful broth.
anyway, here’s the recipe. it’s pretty simple kok. the recipe makes for 8 servings, so i don’t follow it closely. you can adjust the amount of ingredients you need.
4-6 pieces of beef bones about 5inch each
5 star anise
1 cinammon stick
6 whole cloves
1/4 cup fish sauce
1-inch yellow rock sugar (i use raw cane sugar.. about 4 tablespoons)
beef chunk (pilih yang ber-urat)
1-2 small yellow onion (bawang bombay), don’t peel the skin off.
a 4-inch fresh ginger (i actually use only about 1 inch..), don’t peel the skin off.
6 quarts (24 cups) water (kira2 aja lah, pokoknya sekuali gede)
boil the bones until the broth becomes frothy. spoon away the froth so the broth becomes clear.
in the meantime, burn / charred the onion and ginger until the skin becomes black. cool off a bit, then remove the blackened skin with knife.
back to broth: after 15 minutes of boiling pour out half of the broth and change with fresh water, return to boil while keep spooning away the froth (that’s the impurities of the bones, you don’t want that). add beef chunk, star anise, cinammon stick,cloves, fish sauce, sugar, salt, beef stock, onion and ginger. keep simmer for about 1-1.5 hour.
in the meantime, prepare the bowl ingredients.
thin flat rice noodle: boiled then rinse with cold water
variety of meat (chunk, rib eye, tribe, meat balls) – boil everything just before serving, sliced thin.
cilantro leaves just top part, chopped
chopped scallions (just the green part, but i use all)
put everything in the bowl prior to serving.
mint leaves, basil leaves, bean sprouts, thin-sliced yellow onion, chopped jalapeno pepper (atau cabe rawit kalau ada), hoisin sauce.
bring the broth to boil again, adjust the flavor according to taste with the salt, fish sauce and sugar. pour to bowl, add garnish, .. and enjoy.