An attempt at Pho

Rare beef Pho! Beautiful colours, but not quite there yet.


I can’t get enough Vietnamese food. Plus most pho goes for under $7, and affordable amazingly delicious food is generally a good thing.

So I wanted to try and make it. I’ve tried before, and it was kinda..eegh. This time was better, but still not perfect.

This was the recipe I used for my reference. But I used about half the amount of meat, no daikon, and no star anise.

  • 5 pounds beef knuckle, with meat
  • 2 pounds beef oxtail
  • 1 white (daikon) radish, sliced
  • 1 onion, charred
  • 2 ounces whole star anise pods
  • 1/2 cinnamon stick
  • 2 whole cloves
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 1 slice fresh ginger root
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • rice stick noodles.


All you do is just simmer all of the ingredients, except for the noodles, until you have a rich broth. Skim any scum that forms on the top. Once done, cook/strain your noodles, or you can precook them and rinse under cold water, the hot broth will heat them back up again!


My garnishes! You can get a ton of thai basil at T&T for like $1. Same with those chilis. I love asian supermarkets. I also added some chopped cilantro and green onion to the broth at the end. And a BIG BOTTLE OF SRIRACHA! Clarification that I didn't ADD an entire bottle of sriracha to my soup, it was just on the sidelines for moral support.



I also got some super thinly sliced sirloin. My favourite type of pho is rare beef, where they place the thinly sliced beef overtop the noodles in the bowl and pour the hot soup over top. It cooks the beef perfectly and is OH so good.

I think the main problem with my soup was the lack of star anise. I looked EVERYWHERE, 3 grocery stores. T&T, Superstore and Save On Foods. We sell them at my work, but I’m not bussing for half an hour just to get some star anise. Next time I make this recipe, I will at least will remember to grab some from work. I also was making some lemongrass chicken (which I will post later) and threw in some of the outside “husk” of the lemongrass into the broth, but I don’t think that took away from the soup.

I need to cook that broth for much longer (someone was hungry and whiny), and I think add more fish sauce. But don’t get me wrong it was GOOD, just not as good as the $6 soup I can walk two blocks to go get.  So it kinda feels like a failure in that sense.

But you can’t learn without making any mistakes! So lets see what happens next time!


24 responses to “An attempt at Pho

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