Authentic Vietnamese Beef Pho Broth

Authentic Vietnamese Beef Pho Broth



For the broth

  • Use marrow and knuckle bones. The more the better. Ratio for bone to liquid is approximately 1 pound bone to 1 quart of liquid. 

  • Oxtail (optional)

  • Beef brisket (optional)

  • 2 packs ginger (about 6-8 roots) washed

  • 1lb shallots, peeled

  • 1 large yellow onion

  • Joy and Jolie Organic Pho Spice Mix

  • Yellow Rock sugar (season to taste)

  • Salt​ (season to taste)


For the bowls

  • Fresh pho noodle

  • Flank steak very thinly sliced (optional)

  • Beef meatballs (optional)

  • 1 yellow onion, sliced paper-thin, then soak in a bowl of cold water for 30 minutes 

  • 3 or 4 scallions, thinly sliced green part only

  • Cilantro, roughly chopped

  • Ground black pepper

  • Culantro fresh leaf (ngò gai)

  • Thai basils

  • Lime wedges

  • Jalapeño peppers, thinly sliced

  • Hoisin sauce, and sriracha (optional)



Prepare the pho broth


  • Parboil bones: In a large stockpot, over high heat, bring water to a boil. Add bones and let it boil vigorously for about 10 minutes. This helps bones to release some of its impurities. Dump everything into the sink. Rinse and clean bones with cold water. Carefully wash stockpot to remove any residue. Add clean bones back to the pot and fill with water, with ratio 1 pound of bones to 1 quart of water. Leave room for onions and gingers.

  • Simmer broth: The key to a clear pho broth is LOW and SLOW. Over high heat, bring the pot to barely a boil then lower the heat to simmer immediately. As the broth simmers, the bones will release more impurities; skim as much off and as often as you can. This is to keep your broth clear. Simmer uncovered for at least 8 hours. This is important because good pho broth takes time to make. You don't want to rush the process.

  • Char onion and ginger: While the broth is simmering, char onion, shallots and gingers over open flame, on a cooking grate, and on low heat. Use tongs to turn them regularly to keep them from burning. Do this until it becomes fragrant and you can see a little bit of juice from the onion ooze out. This process takes about 15 mins or more. Wash them under water to remove the charred black burn. Add to broth. 

  • Seasoning: Season the broth with rock sugar and salt to taste. Do not season pho broth with fish sauce as it will give a sour after taste. If cooking with oxtails and brisket, only add them toward the end of the cooking and cook until they are tender and done to your liking. Once removed from broth, blanch the meats in iced cold water. It helps stop the cooking, firm up the meats and prevent them from developing a dry dark outer layer from exposing to air. After 5 mins or so, remove from ice bath. Wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to eat. 

  • Pan roast organic pho spices: 1 hour before finish cooking the bones, toast the spices in a skillet on medium heat until fragrant. Remove from heat. Do not brown spices. Just roast them long enough for them to release the essential oil. Pour the toasted spices into the fabric sack that comes with the packet. Tie the strings to seal it tight. Add the spice sack to the broth to let it steep and soak.  Then remove the sack after an hour is up. DO NOT steep spices in broth longer than an hour because that's all it needs to give the broth the flavor. Steeping spices too long in broth will make the broth taste a bit bitter. Season again to taste. Strain pho broth with a strainer and serve.

  • Assemble pho bowls: Cook noodle per package instructions. Place serving size noodle in a bowl. Atop noodles, neatly place thin slices of cooked meat, raw meat and beef meatballs (if using). Garnish with thin slices of onion, scallion and chopped cilantro. Finish with black pepper. Ladle in broth. Make sure to distribute hot liquid evenly so as to cook raw beef (if using) and to warm other ingredients. Serve with a plate of Culantro fresh leaves (ngò gai), Thai basils, lime wedges, Jalapeño peppers, Hoisin sauce, and sriracha (optional)