A few years ago, an Asian restaurant opened nearby and everyone was raving about the Pho. Since I had never had it, I couldn't tell if it was authentic or not, but the flavor was something I never forgot.
I began researching Pho recipes and they all called for oxtail or bone marrow bones with very long cooking times. They also included spice mixtures of anise & fresh ginger, along with cilantro, bean sprouts, chile-garlic sauce, Thai Basil, and green onions for garnish.
Being married to a picky-eater who doesn't like (or won't try) half of the ingredients, I had to come up with a recipe that he would enjoy without sacrificing the taste. I also wanted a recipe that didn't take hours of simmering; something I could make on the fly without sacrificing taste.
After a few tries, I came up with what I refer to as 'Faux Pho'. While there's nothing fake about it, the process takes less than 30 minutes and the taste is pretty close to the restaurant at a fraction of the cost.
FAUX PHO Close to Restaurant-Style Pho Soup Recipe
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4 large bowls or 6 medium bowls
1/3-pound Filet Mignon, Skirt Steak or Sirloin, slightly frozen and sliced paper-thin across the grain (set aside to rest at room temp)
1/2 medium White or Yellow Onion, sliced thinly
3-inches fresh Ginger, peeled and grated
3-4 medium Garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
1 medium Jalapeno, seeds removed and chopped
4 medium Baby Portobello Mushrooms, thinly sliced
Juice of one Lime
2 Tablespoons Fish Sauce
2 Tablespoons Soy Sauce
1 Quart Beef Broth (I prefer Kitchen Basics for the rich broth)
1/2-package of wide rice sticks, soaked, cooked & drained (or substitute with Fettuccine noodles)
Toppings can include: Bean Sprouts, chopped Cilantro, chopped Thai Basil, and/or Scallions cut into thin slices
- Slice beef and set aside.
- Preheat a large saucepan over medium heat. Add 2 Tablespoons of Beef Broth, onions, ginger, garlic, and jalapeno. Cook until onion becomes translucent, about 5 minutes.
- Add mushrooms, lime juice, fish sauce, soy sauce, and beef broth. Stir ingredients until well incorporated. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes.
- While the soup is simmering, prepare noodles according to package directions. Noodles should be al dente at most, to avoid overcooking after adding to the broth.
- Drain and add to broth. Cook on low for 3-4 minutes to return noodles to temp.
- Add raw beef to soup bowls and carefully ladle soup over the meat. The meat will cook in the soup due to the thin slices.
- Top with your favorite additions and enjoy!