Pho (Vietnamese Beef & Rice-Noodle Soup)

16 cups of broth
  • For the broth:
  • 4 pounds Oxtails; cut into 1 1/2 to 2-inch pieces and trimmed of fat
  • 3 -inch piece of ginger, unpeeled
  • 1 large onion, halved and unpeeled
  • 1/3 cup nuoc mam (fish sauce)
  • 8 whole star anise
  • 5 whole cloves
  • 3 -inch cinnamon stick
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 3 bay leaves
  • For the garnish:
  • 1 pound 1/4-inch rice noodles
  • 2 bunches scallions, sliced thin
  • 1/2 cup tightly packed fresh cilantro leaves, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup parsley, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup basil, approximately, whole fresh plants (minus roots) if possible
  • 1 1/2 cups mung bean sprouts
  • 3 large limes, cut into wedges and seeds removed
  • Red chile paste or sliced fresh hot chilies (optional)
  • 3/4 pounds filet mignon, trimmed of fat and sliced very thin
  • Let the broth simmer, uncovered, skimming occasionally. After 4 hours, remove the spice bundle, onion, bay leaves and ginger from the pot and discard. Remove the oxtails from the pot and set aside. Let the broth continue to simmer. When the meat is cool enough to handle, pull the meat from the bones. Set the meat aside and return the bones to the broth. Continue simmering, uncovered, until the broth is rich and flavorful, about 1 hour. Taste the broth and add more salt or fish sauce as needed.

  • Meanwhile, soak the rice noodles in cold water for at least 20 minutes. Arrange the sliced scallions, cilantro, parsley, basil, bean sprouts, lime wedges, and chiles on a platter in separate piles.

  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add the drained rice noodles. Give the noodles a quick stir and cook until tender but firm, about 1 minute. Rice noodles can quickly become gummy, so don't let them overcook. Drain the noodles. Warm 6 large bowls by rinsing them with hot water and divide the noodles among the bowls.

  • Just before serving, return the broth to a full boil. Arrange the slices of raw filet and pieces of cooked oxtail meat over the noodles in each bowl. Carefully ladle the boiling broth over all; the raw beef should be submerged in the broth. Serve immediately, along with the platters of garnish.

  • Put the oxtails into a large stockpot and add enough water to cover the bones by 4 inches (about 2 gallons). Bring to a full boil and then lower the heat to a rapid simmer. Skim the scum that rises to the surface.

  • Meanwhile put the ginger and onion halves on a baking sheet and char them under the broiler until lightly blackened, 10 to 15 minutes. Turn them over halfway through cooking. When cool enough to handle, rinse the onion and ginger under running water, using a knife to scrape away some of the charred surface. Cut the ginger into 3 pieces and toss it and the onion halves into the simmering broth, along with 1 tablespoon salt and the fish sauce.

  • Put the star anise, cloves, and cinnamon stick in a small skillet and toast them on top of a stove burner over medium heat. Turn the spices a couple of times until they're slightly darkened (3 to 4 minutes) and until you smell their aroma. Put the toasted spices and fennel seeds in a small square of double thick cheesecloth and tie the bundle with a long piece of kitchen twine. Add the spice bundle and the bay leaves to the broth, tying the end of the twine to the pot handle for easy retrieval.

Home Cook Recipe: A viewer or guest of the show, who may not be a professional cook, provided this recipe. The Food Network Kitchen have not tested this recipe and therefore cannot make representation as to the results.

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Ox tail pho is the best but bay leaves should never be added, they do not even grow in Vietnam, therefore that is not an authentic version of pho. Also, cooking the broth for at least 6 hours will give you a richer more flavorful broth.  item not reviewed by moderator and published
I agree that the recipe may not be ideal of what you think of when you think of oxtail pho with the the fennel seeds, and bay leaves. But i tried this with non gmo  oxtails to try and make it a little healthier and i feel like it made a huge difference in taste also.  item not reviewed by moderator and published
Fennel seeds? Bay leaves?  I make pho all the time, and this recipe has been foodnetwork-ized by adding those 2 ingredients, I implore you to do some real research and you will quickly find that not one recipe out there other than this one has fennel seeds and bay leaves, fennel is of Mediterranean origin and doesn't grow in Vietnam naturally, the flavor just doesn't belong in PHO,  but that's food network for you lol ... what this recipe is missing is marrow bones and simmer for at least 7 hours, 4 is not enough time to bring out the full flavours of the spices... there is not one pho place on this planet that will serve pho after a 4hr simmer, when I make it it's at least 7hrs, but if I can I will let it simmer for up to 24hrs.. This recipe is close, but not close enough. item not reviewed by moderator and published
My sons girlfriend is asian she took me to eat pho and i loved it I love to cook and decided to learn how to do pho went to the asian market picked up the items did research on it everyone has different way's to cook pho found some recipes that were same chose the one that i thought was most like the one I had I used knuckle bone which takes 3 hours to cook down after I parboiled the bones for ten minutes I drained them rinsed them and put them back in clean pot of water and boiled it for 10 minutes turned to simmer and yes I add fish sauce at the same time I add my spices and it did not turn it sour it was delicious and my soon to daughter in law thought it was great item not reviewed by moderator and published
i'm pretty sure the author of this receipe editted way too much ingridients to tailor to his/her taste rather than have an authentic vietnamese soup... the Pho soup never have any cilantro, parsley or bay leaves in the soup or on the side but serve with saw leaf, basil, mung bean sprouts, and lime wedge. the other thing is, the ox tails should be on full boil for at least an hour, then turn to low medium heat, then add ginger, onion and other spies never cover the pot because it will discolourate the broth and contain the fat... and it should cook for more than 4 hours before the ox tails can be eaten, the fish sauce added to the pot before serving... the hoison sauce is optional, i prefer chillie pepper with fish sauce on the side instead of hoison sauce item not reviewed by moderator and published
OK, guys, this recipe is pretty basic w/ some flaws that I found: 1. PHO broth needs to have sugar and MSG! IF you just use salt and fish sauce, good luck! U can skip the MSG but gotta sugar man! Actually NO fish sauce in the broth until you are about to eat PHO. When you put fish sauce inside the broth to cook the broth, it cause the broth to have sour tasting. (very important) 2. NEVER put bay leave inside PHO BROTH. I will smell like curry! (unless you want curry hehehehe) 3. I think the spice needs black pepper corn, and allspice (about 1 teaspoon of black pepper corn and 1/2 teaspoon of allspice) 4. MOST important sauce they forgot is HOISIN SAUCE! (Tuong an pho) gotta have it to dip the beef in while you eat pho and pour some into the bowl with lime juice. 5. NO filet mignon!!!! DON'T need to and don't waste your money. Eye round, flank.... bottom roast.... london broil... ALL works. Just slice it as thin as you can against the grain of meat. IF you use FILET MIGNON, it is much more difficult to slide it thin 'cause FILET is very soft, It would break up when you try to slide it. ONe last thing, when your pho broth finish, it should be clear. If not, you should add a cornish hen in the broth w/ the rest of the oxtails. The hen will help make the broth more flavorful and clear out the bone marel. Also be sure to skim the discolored bubles when you see it while the broth was in high boil. The bubbles only flares up while the broth is in high boil (about 10-15 mintues) If you miss that buble, it will disolve back into the broth that makes it unclear broth but still ok to eat. No biggie OK guys/gals, hope that help, have any question, just email me, more than happy to help: item not reviewed by moderator and published
OMG, this is a very expensive and way fattening recipe, who on earth puts bay leaves and parsley in any pho??? item not reviewed by moderator and published
I have been trying to make something as good as the local restaurants. This recipe beat them all. I couldn't get much oxtail so I used about 6 pounds of soup bones and about 1 1/2 pounds of oxtail. I always boil the bones for 10 minutes. Then I rinse the bones and wash the pot. This cuts down on skimming. Another reviewer left this, "Great recipe, just remember to boil then refrigerate. Skim the fat off the top.". I agree. Doing this gets rid of almost all fat. I think I'll go make a batch! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Great recipe, just remember to boil then refrigerate. Skim the fat off the top. Repeat. item not reviewed by moderator and published
ok so i changed up the recipe a little and cut like that half the time but OMG!!! it came out so freakin good... my folks arent big on trying new things but they absolutely loved it!!!! :D major KUDOS!!! :D item not reviewed by moderator and published
One would be better off using a good quality unsalted beef stock (not broth) than using the oxtails which can make a very oily stock. If making stock from scratch, use Barefoot Contessa's recipe or another cook's (use shin bones, beef ribs along wih marrow bones). Also, this recipe calls for excessive amounts of star anise, clove and fish oil. Use half or less of the amount indicated. In addition, most quality and authentic pho restaurants wouldn't think of offering this soup without hoisin sauce and Sriracha. Garishes missing from this recipe were thinly sliced serano or red bird chili peppers, garlic chili sauce (red), thinly sliced onions, Thai basil, mint leaves, and scallions. I also haven't heard of using a bay leaf in the broth or offering parsley as a garnish but these are the least of this recipe's problems. It's the right garnishes and sauces added at the end that make this such an incredibly wonderful culinary creation. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Love the idea of this recipe, but was not impressed with the results. I found the broth greasy even after lots of degreasing. Think I will doctor up some beef broth and avoid the cost and fat of the ox tails. Gonna play around with this and try to make it healthier. Also felt like it was missing a dimision of flavor. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Even though I have another Pho recipe I like, I wanted to try another version for other flavors/proportions and made this recipe as written. Seasonings are personal, but I think the 8 pieces of star anise, 5 whole cloves, and 1/3C fish sauce are excessive and the bay leaves are just wrong. We tried this recipe a second time with just 4 pieces of star anise, 3 whole cloves, 2+ Tbsp fish sauce, and no bay leaves, and the addition of a piece of black cardamom (from other recipes of Pho I have used) and loved the results. Also, I think there is waaay to much broth to label this as serving 6. In our household this would serve 8-10 people. No problem...we just froze the broth for future use. item not reviewed by moderator and published
We have eaten a lot of Pho and tried making it a few times but were always disappointed. This recipe rocks!!! This recipe is definitely not an easy difficulty level. It is a bit involved; however, it is well worth the time and effort. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Though the steps in this recipe were easy in and of themselves to complete, this pho recipe required a great deal of time and money (the oxtails alone cost me $24, not to mention the beef tenderloin). For me, it lacked a lot of flavor, and I had to constantly keep adding water throughout the cooking process to prevent it from a gravy-like texture. item not reviewed by moderator and published
This recipe is relatively easy. The only thing that I might change, will next time, is pulling the oxtails. I think this could be done in a crockpot, and if you're a bit lazy you could leave the oxtails in. When I pulled them they were not tender enough to pull the meat easily from the bones. The broth was delicious though. I used sirloin, seared it a couple of minutes on each side and slice it thin. I love pho and I'm glad it's not too hard to make!! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I have been eating Pho from my childhood days. This recipe is pretty close to what I was raised with, I would consider adding beef tendon as well. Tendon adds another level of complextiy to the dish. But overall, you will not be dissappointed. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I love pho. This was my first time making it and it was definitely easier than I thought. My sister works in a Vietnamese restaurant and suggested simmering the broth over night, which I did. It turned out great. The oxtails were a bit fatty though. Perhaps make this ahead of time, refridgerate and skim off the fat. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I made this over the weekend after a really lousy Pho experience in Chinatown. All my friends tell me that the Pho in NYC is crap anyway, so I decided to try out a recipe on my own. Needless to say, this was so much better than anything I've had dining out. The smells when cooking are similar, but just so much more intense. I followed pretty much everything to the T, except I did use only 2 lbs of oxtail and supplemented with some "Better Than Bullion" beef broth base, to save both time and money. I also used a pressure cooker to cook the broth, again to save time. The results were still simply amazing, particularly with the oxtails breaking down from being in the PC. My other Viet friend tells me I should include Culantro (not Cilantro) as well, and no parsley, which is not authentic. Maybe next time... item not reviewed by moderator and published
Authentic item not reviewed by moderator and published
As allways. Mario this is the best. item not reviewed by moderator and published
the best item not reviewed by moderator and published
most authentic item not reviewed by moderator and published
Introduced to me by my Vietnamese friend Phong Duong. Truly one of the best experiences you'll ever have. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Out of the 4 recipies for Pho, this one is the 2nd best, but making your own beef broth is a lot of work. Unless you're making this for a special meal, buy some beef broth for the base. It will save you hours in the kitchen. item not reviewed by moderator and published
This recipe is obviously tailored to the writers specific tastes, and it's also missing one main ingredient, palm sugar.... , overall this is just a strange PHO recipe, not enough spices, no marrow bones to make the broth, fennel and bay leaves?  cilantro and parsley for garnish? nooooooooooo no nooooooo, just wrong... item not reviewed by moderator and published
Don't be lazy make your own broth, store bought has all the wrong flavours in it like celery and carrots etc., plus it's not hard to make item not reviewed by moderator and published

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