“Haha oh! The things we learn from moving to the island…” is one of the things we often say to each other since moving here to Grand Cayman.
When I decided to join the blogging world, I’ve never once thought I’d put up recipes here. I love food and sometimes I joke around that I’m a foodie, but I did not even imagine I will use this platform to post a certain dish other than my opinions about certain cuisine or where to get find the best spots. Although, moving to the island early this year, our food selections is so slim.
There are limited sushi spots and very little selections of Asian restaurants here but surprisingly abundant choices of Filipino food. That said, Vietnamese Pho is our go-to comfort food in Toronto and that’s one thing you can’t find here: a classic Vietnamese restaurant (Asian fusion restaurant doesn’t count!).
So what did I do? I learned how to cook it!
After multiple tries and friends taste testing this recipe, I believe I’ve perfected it. Give it a try…
HOMEMADE VIETNAMESE PHO (VIDEO)
Prep: 20 minutes | Cook: 8 hours or overnight
What You’ll Need:
- 4 pounds beef soup bones
- 3 pounds flank steak
- 1 ½ pounds beef top sirloin, thinly sliced
- 6 quarts water
- 1 onion, unpeeled and cut in half
- 4 pods star anise
- 4 cinnamon sticks
- 5 slices fresh ginger
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 3 tablespoons fish sauce
- ½ cup chopped cilantro
- ½ cup chopped green onions
- 1 ½ cup bean sprouts
- 1 bunch Thai basil
- 1 chopped shallot
- 2 lime, each cut into 4 wedges
- ½ cup hoisin sauce
- ½ cup chili garlic sauce or Sriracha
- 1 pack of rice noodles
- Fish balls (optional)
1. Clean the beef bones and place it in a large stockpot with water. After 5 minutes, remove the water and clean the beef bone under the cold running water. This way you are removing the excess fat on the beef bone. Don’t worry about the flavour, it won’t go away.
2. Throw in your beef bones and the flank steak in a large stockpot with 6 quartz water. Bring to boil.
3. While your beef bones and flank steak are in the process of boiling, grill the star anise, cinnamon, ginger, onion for aroma using your stove top and put the spices aside*. Brace yourself because the aroma of the spices are beyond this world. It will honestly make you want to cook pho every week. Grab empty tea bag filters and put the grilled spices inside. You may have two or three filled tea bags afterward.
*If you don’t want to use the stove top to grill your spices, you are more than welcome to use the oven. Just pay extreme attention. You don’t want to burn it.
4. Put the tea bags with spices in a stockpot, bring to a boil and reduce heat to low. Simmer on low for 6 to 10 hours. Constantly remove fat on the top of the broth whenever you are checking. Season your broth to taste with fish sauce and salt. If needed, add beef cubes for more flavour (optional).
5. Remove the spices tea bags and beef bones, strain the broth into a saucepan or large plastic container, set aside and place it in the fridge overnight to extract excess fat from the broth.
6. In the morning or the next day, remove the excess oil of the broth on the top of the pan or container. This process is important to avoid oily beef broth. Once all the excess oil is removed, bring the stock to simmer.
7. Place rice noodles in a large bowl filled with room temperature water and allow to soak for 10 minutes. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and after the noodles have soaked, place it in the boiling water for 1 minute and set aside.
8. Prepare the toppings and set aside on a plate: bean sprouts, Thai basil, lime wedges, hoisin sauce, chopped shallots and chili garlic or Sriracha.
9. On a bowl, place a serving of rice noodles top with thinly sliced sirloin, cooked sliced fish balls (optional), green onions and cilantro and pour the hot broth over the top and serve.
Stir and let the broth sit until the sliced sirloin is no longer pink. Serve with bean sprouts, Thai basil, lime and sauces based on your preference.
Perfect for house gathering with friends or family. Better enjoyed with Vietnamese Thai Tea or coconut fruit shake.
Enjoy! I hope you get to enjoy this homemade Vietnamese Pho as much as I do.
Main Photo Source: Vietnamese Recipes