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Pho

about 10 lbs. of bones (beef, the leg part)
fresh ginger root, about 1 inch
5 small shallots
2 star anise seeds
1.5 gallons water
one package of fresh rice noodles (banh pho)
salt
fish sauce
1 lb beef fillet mignon, cut in thin slices
one toe sized lump of rock sugar (available in Vietnamese market) (optional)
fresh basil leaves
green onions, chopped
fresh cilantro, chopped
fresh bean sprout (optional)
fresh lemon (optional)
fresh jalapeno pepper or hot red pepper (optional)

Submerge the bones in hot tap water and bring to boil, then discard
this first "broth" so that the "pho" final broth would be nice and
"clear" and not muddy looking. Now for the real broth, add 1.5
gallons of water and 1 tsp. salt and bring to boil. While waiting
for boiling point, add these:

Lightly charbroil the ginger root and shallots over open flames on
your stove. For the ginger, roast until you can easily peel the
skin, about 3 min. Peel off the out skin. Add to the broth. For
the onions, charbroil until the outer skin layer are burnt, but
don't over do it, about 3 min. Lightly roast the auiseeds for
about 1-2 min. in a pan. Add all of these to the broth. Add the
sugar (optional). When the water boils, lower the heat and simmer
for about 6 hrs.

For the rice noodles preparation, boil some water in a pot. Put
the amount of rice noodles you want in a strainer (the kind with
a handle, and small enough to fit in the pot you're using.) and
submerge it in the boiling water for a few seconds and quickly take
it out!! The timing is important for a good rice noodle. You
don't want to overcook the rice noodle for too long ( even 15 sec.
can be too long!!) and have soggy noodles! Just dip the noodles
in the boiling water and lift it out (about 5 sec., or just done)
quickly and put it in your bowl.

If you have a lot of broth and only wants to make one or two
servings, take out enough broth you want and bring it to a boil in
another pot. Dip in the amount of sliced beef you want, just enough
to cook the meat, depends on how well done you want it. Put the
cooked meat into your bowl of rice noodle and add enough broth to
submerge them. Then add the green onions & cilantro to garnish.
Add fish sauce to taste, if needed. Usually the broth is good
w/out any extra salt or fish sauce. Then garnish with fresh basil
leaves and/or bean sprouts (a handful) if you like. I love to
squeeze a slice of fresh lemon and a bit of red hot pepper (or
jalapeno) to taste. This is optional. If you're using hot red
pepper, becareful! It can too very hot, depending your your taste
buds tolerance!!

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6 of 11 people found the following review helpful:
Taste: Ease of Prep: Appearance:
Didn't taste right, July 16, 2005 - 07:58 PM
Reviewer: Joan from USA
I tried this recipe about three different times hoping to get it right. Later found out it was right. Well it tasted different from what I buy at Hoa Viet. This maybe the real thing for others, but it wasn't for me. It tasted like a pack of Ramen noodle soup base.

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