Want to get adventurous in the kitchen and give Vietnamese cuisine a try? Today’s hot new dish is pho, so why not start there? Keep reading to find out how to make pho at home.
It’s a flavorful noodle soup, rich with spices, vegetables and a variety of meat options (or you could opt for vegetarian pho if you prefer). It’s all about the broth though, that’s what makes pho, pho.
How to make pho
The first step in how to make pho is the broth. Traditional pho would start with a pot of meaty beef bones, letting them simmer for a few hours along with a mix of spices. More modern (and faster) versions can use pre-made beef or chicken broth as a foundation.
Typical pho spices include cloves, star anise, ginger, cinnamon and cilantro. Let all of this simmer and steep until you are ready to make your pho.
Of course, you need the noodles too. Pho is made with rice noodles, but you can improvise with other types if you have to. You can go with fine vermicelli-style noodles or a wider noodle. Whatever you like.
Cook them just enough to get soft, and dole out into everyone’s bowl when you’re starting to serve. Give everyone a topping of meat (already cooked or even thinly sliced raw), and a few veggies like bean sprouts or sliced onion.
Ladle hot broth over the noodles. If it’s hot enough, it will lightly cook the veggies in moments and also cook the meat if you’re doing the raw version. Everything is fresh and tender when you make pho this way.
When you make pho, you can’t forget the garnishes. How you serve the bowls is just the basics. Everyone gets to customize their pho to their own taste with all the extras. A platter of fresh basil or cilantro, sliced chili peppers, chopped scallions, raw bean sprouts, fish sauce, chili sauce, and slices of fresh lime are the usual ingredients.
That’s all there is to it. Ok, having to simmer bones for 5 hours may not be the quickest way to put a meal together, but it’s not really difficult. It’s more about patience, and getting the perfect blend of spices to suit your palate. You may have to try a few pho recipes before you find the right one that works for you.
To help speed things up on busy weeknights, you can make up your homemade pho broth on the weekends and just freeze it until you are ready to actually make soup. As long as you serve it up hot, it’s just fine to make pho in stages like that.
And that, is how you make pho. Try it tonight!