I have a not-so-secret obsession: I could easily eat pho (pronounced “fuh”) at least once a week. I’ve been known to devour it more than once a week, maybe even two days in a row. In fact, one of the best things about making it at home is that I got to eat it for FOUR meals…
Yeah, I really like it.
I’ve made pho once before, in a slow cooker. It was very good, but I thought for the blog, I wouldn’t take as many short cuts in an attempt to be a little more authentic.
Pho is fairly easy to make. It doesn’t really take a lot of ingredients or labor, but it does take a lot of time. I spent about four hours making a pot of this broth-y goodness. But, let me tell you, it was worth it! The good thing is, I was hunkered down in the house for the afternoon. I also halved the recipe because I knew I would be the only one in my house for the next few days.
One step you don’t want to skimp on is boiling the bones. That brown-grey stuff floating to the top does not look very tasty. Once you boil off the gunk for a few minutes, then the bones are ready to go.
I also opted to thinly slice some beef round steak myself rather than asking the butcher to do it at the store. It wasn’t quite as thin as I would like, and I ended up actually boiling it in the broth before serving just to make sure it heated through, instead of letting it cook in the bowl. Next time, I plan to just ask the butcher to slice it for me behind the counter with their nice, sharp slicer. I did that when I made it in the past, and it was perfect.
I have been told by Vietnamese friends that, for the most part, even in Vietnam, you buy this dish rather than make it. It just takes a little too long, and it’s so cheap. This isn’t something I would make as often as I like to EAT pho (and, I would opt for the slow cooker version in the future, which I have made before to equal success), simply because it’s hard to make in small batches. However, this broth was far superior to anything I have ever eaten at a pho restaurant; the flavors were absolutely amazing and complex. It barely needed any extra flavorings (although I couldn’t resist Sriracha). You’ve got to try it at least once, if only to experience the gloriousness that is the homemade broth.