Wonderfully fragrant and so satisfying
Fragrant Noodle Pho
I love to eat this soup at any time of the year. It’s so satisfying and fragrant, filling you up and making you feel warm inside.
This is my version of Pho, the Vietnamese noodle soup (the word ‘pho’ is pronounced “fahr”). I’ve made it as simple as possible so that it’s really fast to make once you have your homemade bone broth. Infact I wrote about it in my cookbook, Bone Broth Bible, including this recipe for pho.
Good quality bone broth can help the gastrointestinal tract, supporting the cells lining your gut. So you absorb nutrients more effectively, with fewer abdominal issues. In the Bone Broth Bible I go into the health benefits of consuming broth and why it’s worth making for yourself.
Beyond it’s health benefits this soup is so delicious you’ll be coming back for more.
What’s In It:
- 100g/ 3 ½ oz fat rice noodles
- 800mls/ 26 fl oz pork or beef bone broth made with fragrant spices (see below)
- 2 large handfuls finely chopped Chinese cabbage (wong bok)
- 1 large handful bean sprouts
- ½ handful coriander (cilantro) leaves
- ½ handful Vietnamese mint, if available
- 1 long red chilli, thinly sliced
- 150g/ 5 oz raw or cooked rare beef, thinly sliced
- Salt to season
How To Make It:
Cook the rice noodles in boiling water for about 3 minutes or until just cooked through.
Drain the hot water and set the noodles to one side in fresh cold water.
Heat the broth in a saucepan until boiling, then reduce the heat to low.
If you have made the bone broth without spices, then add them here: 2 star anise, 1 cinnamon stick and 5 cloves, and simmer for about 10 minutes.
Taste the broth to see if it needs some salt added to it.
Add the sliced meat to warm in the broth for a few seconds, or if using raw sliced meat then cook it for a minute in the hot broth (if very thinly sliced there’s no need to cook it as the hot broth will cook it straight away).
Pour into two large warmed serving bowls.
Drain the noodles and divide up between the hot broth bowls.
Top with shredded cabbage, bean sprouts, coriander, mint and chilli. Add more chilli if you like it hot.
Fragrant spices: It is the fragrant spices that make the pho so gorgeous for me. Add them in when you’re making pork or beef bone broth or add them when making the pho.
To make pork or beef bone broth:
I talk extensively about this and all the fabulous ways you can make and use a broth in my cookbook, Bone Broth Bible.
Below is an extract from the book.
Fragrant Bone Broth
What’s In It:
- 2 kg/ 70 oz / 4 ½ lb pasture-raised or organic pork bones or beef bones
- 1 cinnamon stick or cassia bark, about 10cm/4 inches long
- 4 star anise
- 7 whole cloves
- 1 tsp each coriander seeds, cumin seeds, fennel seeds (all smashed up a bit)
- 2 large onions, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, smashed
- 50g / 2 oz ginger, unpeeled, roughly chopped
- 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
How To make it:
Heat a large stock pot over medium heat. Add the spices and toast for about 30 seconds. Stir frequently to prevent the spices from burning. Tip out into a bowl to use later.
Add the roasted or blanched bones (see note below) to the stockpot along with the vegetables and fill with cold filtered water, so that the water is well above the bones. (if using beef bones follow the roasting method below, if using pork bones use either of the two methods below)
Bring to the boil without a lid on. Once boiling, reduce the heat to low and skim the surface to remove any foam or scum that has gathered there.
Add the spices and gently stir through the liquid.
Slowly simmer your broth for about 16 – 24 hours, adding extra water as it reduces to maintain the liquid line above the bones.
Strain the broth through a colander lined with clean muslin cloth, or a fine sieve.
Put into a container/s that can go into the fridge/freezer.
Leave to cool and then store in the fridge to set completely cold (overnight is best).
Once set, you can remove the hard fat that has gathered at the top, or leave to use as a natural air seal.
Store the broth in the fridge for 4 or 5 days to use as needed, or freeze.
There are two ways to get your pork bones ready for broth making:
The first is to put your pork bones into your large stockpot and cover with cold water, then bring the pot of water to the boil.
Once boiling remove from the heat and strain the bones through a large colander, discarding the water.
Wash your stock pot and add the bones back to the pot, add all the vegetables and spices if using. Cover with water as above.
This can often make a clearer and paler broth than the second method below.
The second way is to roast your pork or beef bones in an oven set at 200ºC (400ºF).
Roast them for about 40 minutes until they are browned.
Add these bones to your stockpot, add in the vegetables and spices if using, and fill with water as above.
This makes for a deeper golden rich colour broth.