I have heard people say that Pho or Teriyaki are the “official” foods of Seattle and now that I’ve lived here for over three years, I would have to say I would definitely agree to that about Pho. It’s pretty much impossible to get even a couple blocks in any part of town without seeing a Pho joint.
My Quick Beef Pho is not in any way an authentic Vietnamese Pho, but it does taste damn good and is as close as you are going to get without making the traditional, homemade Pho stock all day.
It is based on you already having some of my Homemade Beef Broth on hand or in the freezer. If you don’t and want to use store-bought beef broth, try and get the cleanest brand you can find without additives and MSG. If you can’t pronounce it, don’t eat it!
This comes together so quickly and is perfect for serving a crowd. Everyone can fill up their bowls with their favorite ingredients and hand you their bowls. Pour the super-hot broth over to cook the thinly sliced beef and soften the vegetables, let it sit for a couple minutes and Enjoy!
- I left out the rice noodles to keep it Paleo. I have tried spiralized veggie “noodles” in Pho and don’t love them but if you want to try, here is my tutorial for Zucchini Noodles.
- Obviously, rice noodles are traditional for Pho. If those are OK for you, pick up “medium” size rice noodles (which are naturally gluten free) and use this method to pre-soak them. Don’t cook them in the broth as they add too much starch, absorb too much broth and can get gummy.
- I haven’t tried it yet myself but I know that Pacific Foods has an Organic Beef Pho Starter Broth. Another brand of packaged Beef Stock I have used before is Kitchen Basics. It is Gluten Free and MSG Free but does have “Natural Flavors” added to it.
- Note that my spice amounts are based on the flavor and salt level of my Beef Broth. If you use another broth, you may need to adjust the seasonings.
- If you are on the Whole30, omit the coconut palm sugar.
- You want the beef very thinly sliced so it will cook quickly in the hot broth. I like to freeze the beef for 20 to 30 minutes before slicing as it makes it much easier to handle. If you are squeamish about cooking the beef this way, you can submerge all of the sliced beef in the hot broth for 1 to 2 minutes right before serving.
- I used Choy Sum but almost any quick-cooking Asian greens will do. I recommend Bok Choy leaves, Tatsoi or even organic baby spinach. Just be sure not to include any woody stems as they need more cooking time and will remain tough.
- 1 Tablespoon virgin coconut oil
- 6 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
- 1 5″-piece ginger root, peeled and sliced in half lengthwise
- 1 large yellow onion, divided
- 3 whole star anise
- 1 cinnamon stick (about 3 to 4″ long)
- 8 cups beef broth
- 1 to 1¼ pounds pastured eye or round steak, very thinly sliced (see NOTES)
- 2 cups quick-cooking Asian greens, cut into small pieces (see NOTES)
- 1 12-ounce bag Bean Sprouts
- 1 handful each of fresh basil leaves, mint leaves and cilantro leaves
- 1 red chile, thinly sliced
- 1 large lime, cut into quarters
- 1½ Tablespoons fish sauce
- 1 teaspoon coconut palm sugar
- kosher salt as needed
- Sriracha for serving
- Peel and smash garlic. Use a spoon (click here for a tutorial) to peel the ginger root and slice in half lengthwise.
- Leaving the skin on, halve the yellow onion. Add the half (with skin intact) to the pile of ginger and garlic and peel the remaining half and proceed to thinly slice. Set aside thinly sliced onion.
- Thinly slice partially frozen beef (see NOTES) and place covered in fridge until ready to eat.
- Clean Choy Sum and slice into bite-sized pieces. Place in a bowl, cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
- Grab a large serving plate, open bean sprouts and place in one section. Add fresh herb (basil, mint and cilantro) leaves, thinly sliced yellow onion, sliced red chile and quartered lime. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
- Heat a large soup pot over medium high heat. Once hot, add coconut oil and then crushed garlic, peeled ginger and half of onion with skin intact cut side down.
- Cook for 2 to 3 minutes and toss in star anise and cinnamon stick. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, another 2 to 3 minutes.
- Add in beef broth and bring to a boil. Once boiling, cover and reduce to a simmer. Simmer for 25 to 30 minutes.
- Right before serving, remove sliced beef, cut greens and condiment platter from fridge. Also, grab the Sriracha.
- Use a slotted spoon to remove onion, ginger, garlic and whole spices from broth (discard).
- Add fish sauce and coconut palm sugar to broth. Taste and adjust kosher salt if needed. Raise the heat and bring broth to a rapid boil. Have everyone assemble their Pho bowls and as soon as its boiling, ladle 2 cups over each bowl, serve and Enjoy!