Tuesday, June 27, 2017

What's Pho Dinner? // Authentic Hanoian Pho Recipe

I've lived in Hanoi for over two years now and every time I come home to Australia, I like to have a crack at cooking authentic Vietnamese cuisine for my family. My partner and I have a dream of owning a Vietnamese Restaurant one day, and this is one step forward for me. Playing around with different ingredients and recipes to find the most authentic tasting dishes (without the MSG). 

I love cooking so much, and if you are someone who does not, then pho is not the dish for you! This recipe took me two days to make (although, if I started early in the morning, we could've eaten it that night), including 8+ hours of actual cooking time, and hours of prep.

After a long two days of chopping, soaking, boiling, roasting, slicing, squeezing, grilling, and more, I was so proud to serve this delicious dish to my family, who simply couldn't get enough of it. The brisket had been cooked for around six hours in the broth making it absolutely melt in your mouth, and the spices mixed together to form the most perfect taste not only in the broth, but all throughout the meat.

I hope you enjoy this recipe and I hope you have a chance to try it out! If you do please tag me on social media so I can see your creations!

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This recipe serves about 20 people comfortably. Feel free to cut out the brisket and just use the meat that will fall off the bones for a cheaper and smaller portioned alternative. Fresh noodles are always best, but are hard to get if you don't live near Melbourne, so dry ones are okay. Get the ones that say 'banh pho' on the packet, available from any Woolworths stores.
All measurements are using the metric system.

2kg beef bones
4tbsp salt
1 garlic bulb
4 red shallots
150g ginger
2kg beef brisket
3/4 cup fish sauce
1/2 cup sugar
6L water
Pho noodles

Spice bag:
8 cloves
1 tsp fennel
1tbsp peppercorns
5 star anise
5 sticks of cinnamon (20cm total)
1tbsp salt
Muslin cloth

To serve:
Spring onions
Spring onions
Lime wedges
Crushed garlic
Siracha sauce


1) In a large stock pot, soak the beef bones in cold water with 1tbsp of salt for one hour. While you're waiting, dry roast the cinnamon, fennel, star anise, and peppercorns on low heat until fragrant. Place them in a muslin cloth, and tie it up.

2) Char grill the unpeeled ginger, shallots, and garlic for around 15 minutes or until all sides are blackened. Once cooled, peel excess blackened skin and discard. Roughly chop the ginger, shallots, and garlic to put in the pot later.

3) Place the strained beef bones and 2kg of brisket in 6L of water and put on to boil. Once boiling, turn down to a simmer and add 3/4 cup fish sauce, 1 tbsp of salt and 80g sugar. Add the garlic, shallots, and ginger. Place the muslin wrap with the spices in the water. Leave the pot to simmer for 6-8 hours. Leave to cool overnight, or until it's needed to be served.

4) Once cooled, the broth will have a layer of fat on top that has solidified. Don't get rid of this, bring the both back up to a simmer until the fat has dissolved and then remove the brisket and leave to cool.

5) Strain the broth through a double layer of muslin cloth to get rid of all impurities, and place back on the stove to simmer.

6) Remove the excess meat from the beef bones, at this stage it should just fall off as you take the bones out of the stock pot. Put the meat in a bowl and set aside for later. Slice the brisket thinly and also set this aside.

7) Prepare toppings by slicing spring onion, and chopping up coriander. The take around 5cm of the spring onion to serve in one piece, and chop the rest of it as you usually would, about 5mm thick. Prepare the lime wedges as well as the chopped chilli and crushed garlic to serve.

8) Prepare the noodles as directed and place desired amount into a bowl, topping with some thin slices of the beef. Take two of the 5cm pieces of spring onion and a sprinkling of the smaller pieces, sprinkle with bean sprouts and ladle soup over the noodles to fill the bowl. Top with coriander and each person can garnish with lime, chili, garlic, and siracha as needed.


I hope you give this recipe a chance! If you give it the love and time it deserves, it's evident in the end product. If you do make it and post any photos tag me, I'd love to see them!

I'd like to give a huge shoutout to Luke Nguyen for the inspiration for this recipe!

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