Ad. This easy beef pho soup recipe was created for the Arkansas Soybean Promotion Board. All opinions are my own. #ArkansasSoy #ArkansasSoybeans
You know those times when you are craving beef pho soup from your favorite restaurant and you just don’t feel like getting dressed, jumping in your car, and heading into town to pick it up? Of course you do! Well, I have good news – it is INCREDIBLY simple to make an easy beef pho soup at home. All it takes is a little know-how.
First things first, how do you pronounce beef pho?
Think of the word “fuddy-duddy” and take off the words “ddy-duddy.” (Fuh!) And no, I’m not teaching you how to pronounce beef.
What does beef pho taste like and why are people so crazy about it?
Beef pho is the Vietnamese version of chicken noodle soup. Only, without chicken and well, actually it tastes nothing like chicken noodle soup. Instead, capture the FEELING that chicken noodle soup gives you… comforting, warm, delicious, spicy-ish, and incredibly satisfying without being complicated.
Tell me more about beef pho tasting “spicy-ish.”
See, that’s the thing about beef pho. Whether you order it at a restaurant or make it home, you can temper the spice to fit your personal taste. Traditionally, beef pho is made with ginger, garlic, cinnamon, black peppercorns and star anise. The salty taste comes from beef brother, fish sauce, Sriracha and hoisin sauce. Traditionally, hoisin sauce is made using toasted mashed soybeans with a bit of vinegar, sugar, garlic, starch, and various spices. It’s quite delicious. And, in case you wondering, hoisin sauce is different than soy sauce, which is made of soybeans, wheat, salt, and water. Tamari sauce is similar to soy sauce, only without the wheat. Shew, that’s a lot of soybeans creating delightful condiments! Oh, one more thing… although not technically spices… layering vegetables to this soup brings out the deliciousness. Check out the recipe below.
What cut of beef is beef pho made with? And, is it true that it’s raw?
Slow down, one question at a time! Haha So, here’s where it gets interesting. Traditionally, beef pho takes a while to make because you make your own broth using oxtail bones and simmering with all the spices and well, this is an easy beef pho soup recipe, so we’re cutting out the hard work and using good quality pre-made beef broth. I prefer the no sodium Kitchen Basics brand for my pantry-stable broths. The ingredients are natural and they are tasty.
As for the actual cut of meat, take your pick. I’m partial to beef flank and just the other day I found a small cut of beef tenderloin that was on sale and just begging me to go into this soup. The simple trick to beef pho is to put your raw cut of meat in the freezer just until it gets firm. This will allow you to thinnnnnnnnnnly slice the meat against the grain. And just like your hoisin sauce, soy sauce and tamari sauce… beef is fed a diet of grain, aka soybean meal, so OF COURSE they’re a perfect compliment to pho soup!
Which brings us to that second question about whether or not beef pho uses raw meat. The answer is “it depends.” IF you make your broth where it is absolutely boiling hot and IF you have your meat thinnnnnnnnnnly sliced enough, then, by all means, go for it. Let your broth cook the meat as you pour. Me personally? I’m not a big rare meat fan, so I sear mine on the stovetop before adding it to the soup. There, that answers that.
Is beef pho healthy? And by healthy, I really am asking if I can eat it on my KETO diet.
It depends. If you’re in the KETO camp and you feel like loaded up carbs aren’t healthy for you, then your first inclination may be to walk away from this recipe. BUT WAIT… COME BACK! You have options (and no, I am not talking about another cauliflower substitute here!). Traditional beef pho uses rice stick noodles, which tends to be pretty carby (yet delicious). Simply replace them with your beloved zucchini noodles. There, feel better?
So there you have it. Now all you have to do is print, pin and save this easy beef pho soup recipe, shop your pantry and have a comforting meal.
Have you ever tasted beef pho soup? Are you curious about it? Do you have any additional questions that I failed to answer? Hit me up!
Eat well, my friends.
Easy beef pho soup recipe
- 8 ounces rice stick noodles
- 2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- one inch peeled and sliced fresh ginger
- ¼ sweet onion, thinly sliced
- 2 garlic gloves, peeled and thinly sliced
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ tablespoon whole coriander
- ½ tablespoon whole peppercorns
- 1 pound flank steak or beef tenderloin
- 4 cups beef broth
- ½ tablespoon fish sauce
- ½ cup fresh mung beans
- 2 mushrooms, thinly sliced
- 2 scallions, thinly sliced
- 1 baby bok choy, leaves removed
- 1 lime, quartered
- 4 pickled jalapeno slices
- 2 stems fresh cilantro, leaves removed
- garnish – hoisin sauce and Sriracha sauce
- Prep noodles by flash boiling them in medium size soup pot for 2-3 minutes. Drain and divide evenly between four soup bowls.
- In cast iron skillet, brown the following over medium-high heat: 1 tablespoon olive oil, ginger, sweet onions, garlic, cinnamon, coriander and peppercorns. Transfer to soup pot.
- Add 1 tablespoon olive oil to cast iron and quick sear beef on both sides, remove from heat.
- Add beef broth and fish sauce to soup pan and boil. Cover and simmer for ten minutes.
- While broth is cooking, prep your toppings: mung beans, mushrooms, scallions, bok choy, lime, cilantro and jalapeno. Divide evenly and place in four soup bowls. Lay beef on the top.
- Strain broth and pour evenly into each soup bowl. Serve and eat hot. Add hoisin sauce and Sriracha sauce and taste to your liking.
Don’t let the long list of ingredients fool you – this is really a very simple recipe to create.