Soups


PHO

Ingredients:
Soup:
1 large beef bone (have your butcher chop it up for you) - about 4 lbs
water
1 large onion
2 carrots
1/8 cup anise star
1 teaspoon fennel seed
1 1/4 teaspoon coriander
1 1/4 teaspoon black peppercorn
1 bulb garlic cut in half horizontally
4-5 inch chunk of ginger
8 cloves
1 medium stick of Vietnamese cinnamon
3/4 cup fish sauce
5 tablespoon sugar
Fresh pho noodles or dried pho noodles

Meat options:
thinly sliced beef tenderloin or eye round
tendon, marrow, tripe, brisket, flank, chicken

Veggie accompaniments:
Thai basil, bean sprouts, ngo gai (sawtoothe), serrano/jalapeno, lime

garnish:  green onion and cilantro
optional condiments:  Three Crab fish sauce, hoisin, sriracha

Roast the bones in the oven at 550 degrees until nice and sizzly.  If your oven doesn't get up to 550, get up as high as it'll go.  The marrow is tempting to consume, save it for the soup!

A trick I learned from Momma Duong.  Wrap the onion up in foil and char it on all sides.  It should take about 10 minutes per side.  When you open it up, you'll get knocked with the unique and delicious aroma that will make you crave making pho!

Fill the pot up with water.  It should go past the bones, give or take 6-7 inches.  Break the carrots into a few pieces and throw them into the pot, along with the onion. We like the natural sweetener of the carrots.

Toast the seeds, anise star, clove and cinnamon stick.  Char the ginger and chop into 3 chunks.  Toss into the pot.  Bring it up to a boil, and then lower to a soft simmer with the lid on for 1 1/2 hours.  Then take the lid off, add the fish sauce, and half the sugar.  Take the lid off and simmer for another 1 1/2.  It will reduce a little and concentrate the flavors.

After the soup has done cooking.  Taste it.  Does it need the rest of the sugar?  Probably, but up to you. Need more salt?  Fish sauce?  
Place the cooked pho noodles in the bowl.  Don't forget, pho noodles expand. So, what looks like a little, will turn into a lot!  The meats we have are beef tenderloin (I highly recommend it!), tendon, and marrow.  The tendon and marrow come from the bones.  Just pull the bones out and cut out the tendon and pop out the marrow.  Vietnamese homestyle, you'd get the bone and slurp out the marrow or take a gnarly bite of the tendon off.

Make sure the soup is boiling hot when serving!  Pour it in and top it off with cilantro and green onion.

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