Sunday, April 1, 2012


This is my slightly adapted version of a Pho recipe from a friend. I had no idea what I was doing, but was 
very pleased with my first attempt! This Vietnamese noodle soup is the perfect meal on a cold day and once you figure out what you are doing, a simple and easy meal for any occasion. 

Now that I know how to successfully make Pho I can more easily lure family members into coming to Texas to visit me. 


Pho (beef flavor)

Serves 6

12 Cups of water
3 lbs Oxtail or other beef bones (I used ribs)
1 medium onion, peeled and quartered
2 Tablespoons Pho soup paste
1 Bag of Pho seasonings tied up in mesh bag (pha lau)
2 Beef bouillon cubes (optional)
Pork meatballs (found in frozen foods section)
2 Bags of Rice Noodles (found in frozen foods section)
Thai basil
Shrimp (found in frozen foods section)
Mae Ploy- sweet chili sauce

Other Ideas for toppings/condiments:
Thinly sliced round-eye beef
Thinly sliced sweet onions
Hoisin sauce
Siracha chili sauce
Mung bean sprouts


1. Set frozen items out a few hours before hand to let thaw (or follow directions on back of each package on how to thaw). 

2. Bring 12 cups of water to a boil and add ox tail (or beef bones). Bring to a boil again and add Pho paste, chopped onion, and spices in mesh bag to water. 

3. Let it boil for 15 minutes then reduce heat to low and simmer for a long as you can, preferably 2.5 hours or more. Test flavor of broth. If taste is weak, add two beef bouillon cubes to broth for more robust flavor. If level of broth is too low from evaporation, add more water.

4. Skim off any floating fat and oil from the surface of broth, and allow broth to come to a rolling boil again before serving. Add thawed pork meatballs to broth to heat through.

5. When ready to assemble your noodle bowls, bring 8 cups of water to a boil in a separate pot then turn heat down to low. 

6. Have each person take their serving of uncooked noodles with salad tongs (or strainer) and put it in the hot water for about a minute. Then lift out cooked noodles (strain liquid back into the pot if necessary) and place noodles in bottom of their individual bowl. 

7. With cooked noodles in bowl, add shrimp and top with hot broth and pork meatballs. Distribute the hot broth evenly over meats and noodles to finish cooking and heating through. Add thai basil, cilantro, Mae Ploy and other sauces and toppings as desired. 

8. Serve immediately, and enjoy!

Ribs added to boiling water.

For the broth.

Pho paste. 

Pho spice packet in mesh ball. 

Trying to get bones to fit in pot so that they are all submerged at the same time. You can also see the oil and fat rising to the top of the broth here. Don't forget to skim this oil off before serving!

Loosely chopped to fit in pot.

Rice noodles, Pork meatballs, and Shrimp.

Found at Asian Market. Let me know if you find these somewhere else!

Found at Asian Market.

Hot water to cook noodles in.

Pork meatballs added, oil and fat needing to be skimmed off the top. 

Thai basil.

Chopped cilantro.

Bowl of goodness.

Messy, but effective Pho buffet line.

Pho being enjoyed by all.

It was so good.  The only thing I would do differently next time would be to find ribs that had less fat on them so that there was less fat and oil to skim off the top of the broth before serving.

What other toppings or sauces would you add in? Let me know if you try it, and how it turns out!


  1. It was so good! Ohh my gosh! Anytime you want to make this we will be there!


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