• Prep Time:
  • Cooking Time:
  • Serves: 6 Servings

Hanoi Beef Noodle Sou (Pho Bo)

  • Recipe Submitted by on

Category: Soups

 Ingredients List

  • 5 lb Oxtails; Or Beef Short Rib
  • -Bones
  • 4 qt Water; Plus More As Needed
  • 5 Star Anise; Pods
  • 1 2-Inch Cinnamon Stick
  • 5 Whole Cloves
  • 1 ts Black Peppercorns
  • 1 2-To-3 Inch Piece Fresh
  • -Ginger
  • 2 md Onions; Unpeeled Cut In Half
  • 1 lb Beef Roast; Bottom-Round (in
  • -one piece) Trimmed Of Fat
  • 2 tb Fish Sauce; 2-3 Tablespoons
  • 2 c Mung Bean Sprouts
  • 1 lb Rice Noodles; Thin Or
  • -Medium-Width
  • 3 Shallots; Thinly Sliced And
  • -Separated Into Rings
  • 1/2 c Basil Leaves
  • 3/4 lb Beef Sirloin Or Tenderloin;
  • -Very Thinly Sliced Across
  • -The Grain into 1- To 2-Inch
  • -Slices
  • 1/2 c Cilantro Leaves
  • Coarse Salt
  • Coarsely Ground Black Pepper
  • 2 Limes; Cut Into Wedges
  • 2 Bird Or Serrano Chiles;,
  • -Very Finely Chopped


Place oxtails (or short ribs) in a large soup pot, cover with water and
bring to a a boil. Boil vigorously for 5 minutes, then drain. Rinse pot out
well, rinse off oxtails, then place back in pot.

Add 4 quarts water, star anise, cinnamon, cloves and peppercorns; bring to
a boil. Scorch ginger and onions (see note 1 below) ; add to pot. Once
water comes to a boil reduce heat to low and simmer gently, uncovered,
skimming off foam, for about 3 hours./ Add more water as needed to keep
oxtails covered.

Add bottom-round roast and simmer until very tender, about 2 hours longer,
adding more water as needed to keep meats covered. Remove roast and set
aside to cool slightly. When cool enough to handle, slice the beef against
the grain into paper thin slices. Set aside.

Remove soup from the heat and remove oxtails; discard or reserve for
another use. Line colander with a double layer of cheesecloth and strain
broth through cheesecloth into a clean bowl. Let cool slightly, the
refrigerate until thoroughly chilled, at least 2 hours. Skim fat from top
of broth and discard. (Soup can be made ahead to this point. Store beef and
broth in separate covered containers in refrigerator for up to 2 days, or

Shortly before serving, bring a large pot of water to a boil for blanching
bean sprouts.

Place broth in a large pot and bring to a simmer. Season with fish sauce.
Simmer gently, partially covered, while preparing accompaniments.

Place bean sprouts in a sieve or colander and immerse in boiling water for
20 to 30 seconds. Rinse with cold water; set aside to drain. Bring water
back to a boil and drop in rice noodles. Cook just until softened but not
mushy, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Drain and rinse with cold water; set aside.

Divide noodles among 6 large bowls. Top with a generous pinch of been
sprouts, a few shallots, several basil leaves, slices of cook beef and
slices of raw sirloin or tender loin. Ladle hot broth over (the heat of the
broth will cook the raw meat). Sprinkle with cilantro. Each guest should be
provided with a spoon and a pair of chopsticks, as well as a small side
plate with a generous pile of salt, another of black pepper beside it, and
a lime wedge or two. Guests can squeeze a little lime juice, blend together
salt and pepper in the proportion they wish, then use the mixture as a
condiment for the beef slices. Set out small dishes of chiles, remaining
herbs, shallots and bean sprouts.

NOTE 1 To scorch ginger and onion If you have a gas burner, use tongs
to hold ginger and onion pieces in the flame until charred. If you have an
electric burner, heat a dry heavy cast-iron skillet over high heat. Add
ginger and onion pieces and turn until blackened on all sides.

NOTES : Recipe by Jeffrey Alford & Naomi Duguid

Authors' Note: In Vietnam, beef bones, unlike pork bones, are believed to
need washing before using; the recipe starts the traditional way, with
instructions for boiling the oxtails then discarding the water and starting
to make the stock.

Nutritional info by Eating Well Mag.

370 calories per serving; 13 grams protein, 4 grams fat (1.5 grams
saturated fat), 70 grams carbohydrate; 850 mg sodium; 32 mg cholesterol; 1
gram fiber.

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