• Prep Time:
  • Cooking Time:
  • Serves: 4 Servings

Pho Bac (Hanoi Beef and Rice-Noodle Soup)

  • Recipe Submitted by on

Category: Soups

 Ingredients List

  • 5 lb Beef bones with marrow
  • 5 lb Oxtails
  • 2 lb Short rib plate
  • 2 lg Onion; halved
  • 3 Shallot; unpeeled
  • 2 oz Ginger, fresh; unpeeled, in
  • 8 Star anise
  • 1 Cinnamon stick
  • 4 md Parsnip; cut into 2" pieces
  • 2 ts Salt
  • 1 lb Beef sirloin
  • 2 Scallion; thinly sliced
  • 1 tb Coriander; shredded
  • 2 md Onion; sliced paper-thin
  • 1/4 c Hot chili sauce (tuong ot)
  • -or nuoc cham)
  • 1 lb Dried rice stick, 1/4" wide
  • 1/2 c Nuoc mam (Vietnamese fish sa
  • Pepper, black


2 c Fresh bean sprouts
2 Fresh red chile peppers;
2 Lime; cut into wedges
2 tb Olive oil
2 lg Garlic clove; flattened

*Leave onion unpeeled, and stud with eight whole cloves.

In order to cut the beef into paper-thin slices, freeze the pieces of
meat for 30 minutes before slicing.

The night before, clean the bones under cold running water and soak
overnight in a pot with water to cover at room temperature. (This will help
loosen the impurities inside the bones. When heat is applied, these
impurities are released and come to the top much faster and can be removed,
therefore, producing a clear broth.)

Place the beef bones, oxtails and short rib plate in a large stockpot.
Add water to cover and bring to a boil. Cook for 10 minutes. Drain. Rinse
the pot and the bones.

Return the bones to the pot and add 6 quarts of water. Bring to a boil.
Skim the surface to remove the foam and fat. Stir the bones in the bottom
of the pot from time to time to free the impurities. Continue skimming
until the foam ceases to rise. Add 3 quarts more water and bring to a boil.
Skim off all the residue that forms on the top. Turn the heat to low and

Meanwhile, char the clove-studded onions, shallots and ginger directly
over a gas burner or under the broiler until they release their fragrant
odors. Tie the charred vegetables, star anise and cinnamon stick in a
double thickness of dampened cheesecloth. Add the spice bag, parsnips and
salt to the simmer-ing broth. Simmer for 1 hour.

Remove the short rib plates. Pull the meat away from the bones. Reserve
the meat and return the bones to the pot. Simmer the broth, uncovered, for
4 to 5 hours. Keep an eye on it; as the liquid boils away, add enough fresh
water to cover the bones.

Meanwhile, slice the beef sirloin against the grain into paper-thin
slices, roughly 2 by 2 inches in size. Slice the reserved short rib meat
paper-thin. Set aside.

In a small bowl, combine the scallions, coriander and half of the slice
onions. Place the remaining sliced onions in a small bowl and stir in the
hot chili sauce. Blend well.

Soak the rice sticks in warm water for 30 minutes. Drain and set aside.

When the broth is ready, remove and discard all of the bones. Strain
the broth through a strainer or colander lined with a double layer of
dampened cheesecloth into a clean pot. Add the fish sauce and bring the
broth to a boil. Reduce the heat and keep the broth at a bare simmer.

In another pot, bring 4 quarts of water to a boil. Drain the noodles,
then drop them in the boiling water. Drain immediately. Divide the noodles
among 4 large soup bowls. Top the noodles with the sliced meats. bring the
broth to a rolling boil. Ladle the broth directly over the meat in each
bowl (the boiling broth will cook the raw beef instantly). Garnish with the
scallion mixture and freshly ground black pepper.

Serve the onions in hot chili sauce and the accompaniments on the side.
Each diner will add these ingredients as desired.

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