Easy Vietnamese Pho Noodle Soup

Easy Vietnamese pho noodle soup - Want to get a hearty bowl of Vietnamese pho noodle soup on the table within 30 minutes? Look no further! | omnivorescookbook.comIf you want to get a hearty bowl of Vietnamese pho noodle soup on the table within 30 minutes, look no further!

A bowl of traditional pho noodle soup requires an ingredient list of more than 20 items, plus at least six hours, to cook. It tastes great but is not really practical for everyday cooking. The other thing is, when I cook something complicated like this, I always have to cook a big portion, because it makes no sense to spend six hours on a soup that only provides one meal. Here comes the problem – I don’t really want to serve pho three days in a row, either.

So, I invented this simple solution to cure my occasional craving for pho noodle soup.

I cooked a big pot of Asian beef stock, which you can also use to create Taiwan style red cooked beef noodle soup, northern Chinese clear soup beef noodle soup, and Vietnamese pho.

Easy Vietnamese pho noodle soup - Want to get a hearty bowl of Vietnamese pho noodle soup on the table within 30 minutes? Look no further! | omnivorescookbook.com

How does it work?

The short answer: When I was creating the beef stock, I used the most basic Asian aromatics as the base, to build a soup base that can easily be tweaked into other styles.

Cooking the soup base for conventional pho requires a long list of herbs and aromatics. However, a majority of those ingredients overlap with those found in other Asian beef noodle soups, including ginger, green onion, cloves, star anise, coriander, etc. When I used just these overlapping ingredients to make the soup base, the flavor was quite neutral. But you can easily tweak the soup into, say, Taiwanese style, by braising the beef with stronger flavored ingredients (chili bean paste, soy sauce, etc.) and blending the braising liquid into the noodle soup.

In the recipe below, we will boil this Asian style soup base with a few signature pho ingredients to make it more Vietnamese flavored – that means stronger tones of cloves, star anise, and fish sauce.

All you need to do is boil the stock with a few more spices while preparing the beef and veggies. Then you’ll have a hearty bowl of pho on the table in 30 minutes. I admit, the flavor of the quick version isn’t quite the real deal, but if it only requires 1/12 of the time to prepare, I can’t complain!

Easy Vietnamese pho noodle soup - Want to get a hearty bowl of Vietnamese pho noodle soup on the table within 30 minutes? Look no further! | omnivorescookbook.com

4.5 from 2 reviews
Easy Vietnamese Pho Noodle Soup
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Vietnamese
Serves: 2
Ingredients
Broth
To serve
  • 200 grams raw beef short ribs (or sirloin steak, or tenderloin) (*see footnote 2)
  • 150 grams (5 ounces) dried rice noodles
  • 2 green onions (green part)
  • 1 cup bean sprouts
  • 1 cup fresh herbs (mix of cilantro, basil, and/or mint)
  • Sriracha and hoisin sauce (or homemade hoisin sauce)
Instructions
  1. Combine beef stock, ginger, star anise, and cloves in a pot. Bring to a boil over medium high heat. Turn to medium low heat. Add ginger, star anise, cloves, light soy sauce, and fish sauce. Cover and cook for 30 minutes.
  2. Use a slotted spoon to remove all the solid ingredients and discard them. Return soup to the stove, cover, and heat over the lowest heat needed to keep it hot. If you have leftover cooked beef, you can add it into the broth now to reheat it.

    Easy Vietnamese pho noodle soup Cooking Process | omnivorescookbook.com Easy Vietnamese pho noodle soup Cooking Process | omnivorescookbook.com
  3. While boiling the soup, slice the raw beef against grain into thin slices. You can freeze the beef briefly, about 10 minutes, so it will be easier to slice. Prep and cut veggies and set them aside.
  4. Ten minutes before the beef broth is ready, bring another pot of water to a boil. Add rice noodles and cook (or soak) according to instructions, or until tender. It usually takes 3 to 8 minutes, depending on the type of noodles. Rinse with tap water and drain. Divide the noodles among the serving bowls.
  5. Top beef slices, without overlapping, on the rice noodles and pour the soup over them, to quickly cook the beef. If you want the beef to be cooked more thoroughly, lightly press them into the soup to heat evenly. Garnish with bean sprouts and herbs. Serve immediately with lime wedges, Sriracha sauce and hoisin sauce.
    Easy Vietnamese pho noodle soup Cooking Process | omnivorescookbook.com Easy Vietnamese pho noodle soup Cooking Process | omnivorescookbook.com
Notes
1. If you boiled down your beef stock previously, you’ll need to add water to dilute it. The amount of water will depend on how concentrated your stock is. You can start by re-heating the stock to bring it back to liquid form, taste it, and adjust the strength by adding water.
If you don’t have any homemade Asian beef stock on hand, you can use store-bought beef broth instead. To make the broth taste more intense, you can refer to this recipe.

2. If you have leftover braised beef from making the beef stock, you can reheat it with the soup after discarding the aromatics, and serve the beef and soup together.

The nutrition facts are calculated based on 1 of the 2 servings generated by this recipe.

Easy Vietnamese pho noodle soup Nutrition Facts | omnivorescookbook.com

Easy Vietnamese pho noodle soup - Want to get a hearty bowl of Vietnamese pho noodle soup on the table within 30 minutes? Look no further! | omnivorescookbook.com

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Omnivore's Cookbook is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.
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Meet Maggie

Born and raised in Beijing, Maggie now calls Texas home. She’s learned to love barbecue, but her heart belongs to the food she grew up with. For her, Omnivore’s Cookbook is all about introducing cooks to real-deal Chinese dishes, which can be as easy as a 30-minute stir-fry or as adventurous as making your own dim sum. Recipes, step-by-step photos and video are the tools she uses to share her knowledge—and her enthusiasm for Chinese food.

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11 thoughts on “Easy Vietnamese Pho Noodle Soup

  1. Anh Phan

    Hi, I always admire your recipes and the efforts you put on them. But please don’t call this dish “Pho” as it is NOT our Vietnamese Pho, from the noodles to the spice, from the way how you prepare it to the way how it is presented. Please don’t humiliate our food. Thank you!

    Reply
  2. Ann N

    Hi Maggie! Great article! I literally just made pho the other weekend. You’re right, making a big stock of pho broth isn’t the best idea unless you plan to eat for the entire week.

    Agreed with other readers that there’s no soy sauce in pho broth and the noodles aren’t the traditional “banh pho” used. BUT I do appreciate the Asian beef stock you’re included in the recipe. I looked at the Asian beef stock recipe list and it is indeed close to the pho broth minus the rock sugar and aromatics ratio. Roasted beef bones – heaven on earth!

    Also we char onion halves and skinned ginger on an exposed burner and heat the aromatics on a dry pan prior to putting them into the broth. I wonder if doing those things prior to starting the 30 min broth would help intensify the quick pho flavor.

    Reply
    1. Maggie Post author

      Hi Ann, thanks for the kind words and I appreciate your honest opinion. I have to admit, this is not the recipe I’m proud of because apparently I didn’t do enough research and I’ve done too many short cut in the recipe.
      Re dry roasting the aromatics the char the onion and ginger, it sounds so good! I believe it adds more flavors into the broth and can make the quick broth much more interesting.
      On the other hand, the more I cook, the more I realize sometimes certain things cannot be done by shortcuts. Such as a properly prepared banh pho.
      I’m wondering whether it is possible to use a slow cooker to do it. It will still be quite a lot of work, but at least you don’t need to monitor the cooking process.
      By the way, if you have leftover pho broth , the best way is to freeze them to make beef stew later.

      Reply