Easy Weeknight Pho: Flavorful Broth In Under An Hour

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Pho (pronounced fuh) is a Vietnamese noodle soup with a rich, flavorful broth, thin rice noodles, and tender slices of meat. It’s a comforting and satisfying dish that’s perfect for any time of day. While pho can seem intimidating to make at home, this recipe breaks it down into simple steps, allowing you to enjoy this restaurant favorite in your own kitchen.


Vietnamese Pho recipe - RecipeTin Eats
Vietnamese Pho recipe – RecipeTin Eats

1 whole bone-in chicken breast

  • 1 pound beef bones (marrow bones or knuckle bones)
  • 1 yellow onion, charred
  • 2 whole cloves
  • 1 inch cinnamon stick
  • 1 star anise pod
  • 2 whole black cardamom pods (optional)
  • 1 whole dried shiitake mushroom (optional)
  • 1 small knob ginger, peeled and bruised
  • 1 small bunch scallions, white and green parts separated
  • 1 pound dried thin rice noodles (banh pho)
  • 1/2 pound thinly sliced flank steak
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh Thai basil
  • Lime wedges, for serving
  • Sriracha or hoisin sauce, for serving (optional)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

  • Directions:

    1. Make the Broth: Rinse the chicken and beef bones under cold water. In a large pot, combine the chicken, bones, onion, cloves, cinnamon, star anise, cardamom (if using), shiitake (if using), and ginger. Cover with cold water and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low, skim any foam that rises to the surface, and simmer for at least 2 hours, or up to 4 hours for a more intense flavor.
    2. Strain the Broth: Strain the broth into a clean pot, discarding the solids. Season the broth with salt and pepper to taste.
    3. Prepare the Noodles: Soak the rice noodles in hot water for 15-20 minutes, or according to package instructions, until softened. Drain and rinse under cold water.
    4. Cook the Beef: While the noodles are soaking, bring a separate pot of water to a boil. Add the sliced flank steak and cook for 1-2 minutes, or until just cooked through. Remove the steak with a slotted spoon and set aside.
    5. Assemble the Pho: Divide the cooked noodles among serving bowls. Top with thin slices of cooked steak. Ladle the hot broth over the noodles and steak.
    6. Garnish and Serve: Garnish each bowl with chopped scallions, cilantro, and Thai basil. Serve with lime wedges and sriracha or hoisin sauce for those who desire additional flavor.

    Nutrition Facts (per serving)

    Calories: 400-500 (depending on fat content of beef)

  • Protein: 30g
  • Carbohydrates: 40g
  • Fat: 15g

  • Conclusion

    Pho is a versatile dish that can be customized to your liking. Experiment with different cuts of meat, vegetables, and herbs to create your own unique version. With this easy recipe, you can enjoy a steaming bowl of pho any night of the week.

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

    1. Can I use boneless, skinless chicken breasts for this recipe?

    Yes, you can use boneless, skinless chicken breasts. However, bone-in chicken breasts add more flavor to the broth.

    2. What can I substitute for the beef bones?

    If you don’t have beef bones on hand, you can use a store-bought beef broth. However, using bones creates a richer, more flavorful broth.

    3. How can I make this recipe vegetarian?

    Omit the beef and steak. To add protein, you can add cooked tofu or tempeh to the bowls.

    4. What other vegetables can I add to pho?

    Thinly sliced bean sprouts, shredded carrots, and chopped green onions are all popular additions to pho.

    5. How can I store leftover pho?

    Store leftover broth in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Store cooked noodles and meat separately in an airtight container for up to 2 days. Reheat the broth gently and assemble the pho with fresh noodles and meat when ready to serve.