Vietnamese Beef Pho
Other comments are right that this recipe is missing a whole lot of authentic ingredients. It tastes okay as is (I made a small batch just to test), but it's not the same. Here's a few tweaks to make it more authentic:
1. Use beef STOCK instead of BROTH, if you can. Broth is beef stock with added vegetable stock and herbs. Pho is made from straight stock.
2. Add the following spices along with the peppercorns and cinnamon: 5 Star Anise (regular anise works as well. Both contain anethole, which is what gives it its flavor) and 5 whole cloves.
3. Other recommended spices you might add are: 1 cardamom pod, 1 tsp coriander or cilantro, dash of nutmeg, 1 tsp fennel seeds, 1 bay leaf.
4. Put your spices in a mesh bag or one of those reusable mesh balls used for loose tea, to make it easier to remove.
5. Many recipes recommend using shallots, a small, mild sort of onion with a somewhat garlicky flavor. Char them in the broiler first (about 10-15 mins, turning once), or on a grill, and then boil them along with the spice mesh.
6. Garnish with chopped scallions if you have some available.
One last note: Lemon grass is very hard to find if you don't have an Asian grocer nearby. I checked 3 grocery stores and none of them carried it. I substituted with a few dashes of dried lemon peel I found in the spice section. Seemed to work okay.
10 users found this review helpful
May 21, 2011