I’m making Vietnamese Beef Noodle Soup, Pho broth

Vietnamese Beef Noodle Soup, Pho broth

Last week, I asked my husband what did he wanted to eat. Something we haven’t had for a while. He said “how about Pho”. Okay…. did he know there is no Vietnamese restaurant around here? hmmmm, maybe I can try to make Pho broth from scratch because I also felt for Pho!

I live in the most sunniest city in United States, not that small and not that big. As far as I know there is only one Asian supermarket around here. I love this place. I can find most Asian ingredients there. So, I should able to find all the ingredients I need to make Pho broth.

Yesterday, I went to the Asian supermarket and I found everything I need it except for bean sprouts. I’m sad, but I’m still motivated to make this Pho broth. Let’s get started!!


Darn… I found out I need a bigger pot. I cannot fit the beef bone and all the water I need to make the broth. I ran to a nearest grocery store (actually I drove) and picked up a 12 quart pot and came back.

Let’s get started!! (finally…)

I used inspired taste recipe. It has a video too (below video is the one). Love it. Thanks to Joanne and Adam for sharing the wonderful recipe and video.

Ingredient for Pho Broth

5 to 6 pounds of beef knuckles or leg bones
6 quarts cold water
2 medium onions, quartered
4-inch piece of fresh ginger, halved lengthwise
2 cinnamon sticks
1 tablespoon coriander seeds
1 tablespoon fennel seeds
6 star anise
6 whole cloves
1 black cardamom pod
1 1/2 tablespoons salt
1/4 cup fish sauce
1-inch piece yellow rock sugar (see step4)

Step 1

Char Onion and Ginger
Turn on the oven to broil.
Place quartered onions and halved ginger onto baking sheet or pan then broil for 10 to 15 minutes. Turning onions and ginger occasionally until they become charred or browned on all sides.

Pho Broth Step1

Step 2

(I did this step while I was charing onion and ginger.)

Parboil Bones
Add beef bones to a large pot that will hold at least 10 quarts. Then, cover bones with cold water. Place pot onto high heat and bring to a boil. Boil for 3 to 5 minutes. During this time, impurities and foam (or scum) will be released and rise to the top.
Drain bones, discarding the water. Then, rinse bones with warm water and scrub stockpot to remove any residue that has stuck to the sides. Add the bones back to the stockpot and cover with 6 quarts of cold water.

Pho Broth Step2

I see you Frankie…. you are pretending that you are sleeping but I know you are eyeing the beef bone.
Pho Broth Step2++

Step 3

Toast Spices
Add cinnamon sticks, cardamom seeds, fennel seeds, star anise, cloves and the black cardamom pod to a dry frying pan. Place onto low heat and cook, stirring occasionally until fragrant. About 5 minutes.
Place toasted spices into a cotton muslin bag/herb sachet or cheesecloth then tie with butchers twine to seal.

I found a Pho broth spice seasoning packet at the Asian supermarket. It came with herb sachet. Very nice! If you prefer or have all the spices in your pantry go ahead.

Pho Broth Step3

Step 4

Prepare rest of the seasoning. 1 1/2 tablespoons of salt, a 1/4 cup of fish sauce and the rock sugar.

Pho Broth Step4

You can find yellow rock sugar at most of Asian supermarket. You may not use it very often but its adds flavor to the Pho broth. Its inexpensive. So, get it!
Pho Broth Step4+

Step 5

Simmer Broth
Bring stockpot with parboiled bones and water to a boil then lower to a gentle simmer.
Add charred onion and ginger as well as the bag or sachet of toasted spices. Add 1 1/2 tablespoons of salt, a 1/4 cup of fish sauce and the rock sugar.

Pho Broth Step6

Step 6

Continue to simmer broth for 3 hours. If at any time foam or scum rises to the surface, use a spoon to remove it.

Step 7

Strain Broth
Use tongs or a wide mesh spoon to remove bones, onion and ginger from broth then strain broth through a fine mesh strainer.

Beef Bone

Pho Broth Step7+

After all the steps…..

Frankie…. are you still eyeing the beef bone? Its too big for you, man!
Pho Broth Step8+

Today is his birthday…

I will treat you with the bone. Enjoy!
Beef bone with Frankie