Beef Pho usually takes hours of cooking, but you'll get this fast and easy version on the table in no time. There's nothing quite like the first mouthful of Pho. Warm and nourishing, the combination of salty, tangy and umami flavours are incredibly comforting.
Why does Beef Pho broth usually take so long?
Traditional Beef Pho takes around 12 hours to simmer - and this is to dissolve the bone marrow in the beef bones and get that intense and incredibly nourishing bone broth. In our version, we're going for a version that certainly isn't traditional, but IS delicious, and a perfect fix when you want Beef Pho, fast.
How do we make Fast Beef Pho?
Instead of boiling down our own bone broth, we will use beef stock with a combination of herbs, spices and sauces to bring out a rich and complex flavour. You can also use ready made bone broth instead of beef stock for extra richness.
What is in our Fast Beef Pho?
To make our Fast Beef Pho we'll use
- Stock - Sesame oil, freshly grated ginger, ground cinnamon, beef stock (or bone broth), brown sugar, soy sauce, fish sauce and lime juice.
- Beef - use eye fillet or another good cut, and pop it in the freezer for about 15 minutes so it's easy to slice finely.
- Noodles - use vermicelli rice noodles.
- Toppings - Basil, coriander, long red chilli (opt.) and bean sprouts.
Is raw beef okay in Pho?
Raw / rare beef is safe to eat, as long as it has been handled well and kept clean and cold. Raw beef is in some of the world's delicacies - steak tartare, beef tataki, the list goes on, and Beef Pho is no different. Pho is traditionally made by pouring boiling stock over very finely sliced beef to cook it lightly. It is definitely rare, but that is part of the delicacy, and why we use a good cut of steak, and slice it finely.
However, if you prefer your meat well done, you can add the steak to the broth to cook to your preference, and then ladle both broth + meat over the rice noodles.
Top tip for Beef Pho
I have two tips to help you slice your steak finely.
- Place it in the freezer while you are preparing the other steps. This will make it firmer and easier to slice finely.
- Sharpen your knife - a blunt knife is the enemy of an easy cooking experience, so make sure you keep your knife sharp using a simple at home knife sharpener. Here's one that I found online for only $10. You really don't need to spend more than $20 on a knife sharpener.
- Alternative proteins - You can use pork tenderloin or chicken breast, just make sure you slice it very finely, and with chicken you may prefer to cook the chicken in the stock to make sure it is cooked all the way through.
- Vegetarian - Use vegetarian stock instead of beef stock and mushrooms instead of beef. Skip the fish sauce and use more lime juice instead.
- Gluten Free - Use tamari instead of soy sauce.
- Dairy Free - this recipe is Dairy free.
Select the toppings to suit your child's taste. They may just prefer simple beef stock, noodles and beef.
You will need a kettle, a large stock pot or casserole dish, a stovetop.
More Asian recipes
If you are looking for another warming soup, try this Thai-style Easy Laksa Recipe. It's so simple and easy to adapt for kids.
This Thai Green Chicken Curry is a really wonderful and simple green curry.
I've made a simplified version of Banh Xeo Inspired Pancakes for Dinner made with coconut milk and turmeric. Shredded chicken filled pancakes with a tangy Vietnamese dressing - it's delicious!
This Thai Beef Salad is one for the ages! It's made with tender marinated beef that is so full of flavour.
Fast Beef Pho
- Large stock pot or casserole dish
- 500 g steak eye fillet
- 3 cm ginger
- 2 lime
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 3 L beef stock
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- ¼ cup soy sauce
- 2 tablespoon fish sauce
- 2 tablespoon lime juice
- 200 g vermicelli rice noodles
- ½ bunch basil
- ⅓ bunch coriander
- 1 long red chilli opt.
- 125 g bean sprouts
- Place beef in the freezer for 15 minutes - this is to help you slice it very fine, so it will cook in the stock.500 g steak
- Put your kettle on to boil. Peel and finely grate ginger. Juice half the lime.3 cm ginger, 2 lime
- Heat a large stock pot or casserole dish on high and add sesame oil, grated ginger and ground cinnamon. Stir until fragrant.1 tablespoon sesame oil, 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon, 3 cm ginger
- Add beef stock, brown sugar, soy, fish sauce and the juice of 1 lime and bring to a boil, then simmer for 15 minutes (reducing). Skim any scum that develops on the top of the broth.3 L beef stock, 1 tablespoon brown sugar, ¼ cup soy sauce, 2 tablespoon fish sauce, 2 tablespoon lime juice
- Pour boiled kettle water over rice noodles and leave for 4 minutes then drain and divide amongst the bowls.200 g vermicelli rice noodles
- Slice remaining lime into wedges. Pick basil leaves, rinse and roughly chop coriander. Finely slice chilli (opt.) and rinse and add bean sprouts to a platter.½ bunch basil, ⅓ bunch coriander, 1 long red chilli, 125 g bean sprouts
- Take the beef out of the freezer and slice it as finely as you can. Distribute amongst the bowls. This will be very rare, so if you’d prefer well cooked meat you can add it to the boiling stock and then ladle into bowls over the noodles.500 g steak
- Taste the stock and add anything that might be missing (salty = soy, sweet = brown sugar, umami = fish sauce, sour = lime juice), then turn up the heat so it’s really bubbling away.
- Ladle / pour simmering stock into each bowl. It’s important to return the pot to the heat while doing this, otherwise the stock won’t be hot enough to cook the beef.
- To serve, let people add their choice of toppings from the platter.