How to make traditional beef pho recipes (pho bo) of Hanoi and Nam Dinh

Secrets of yummy beef pho have been maintaining by the senior chefs in the North of Vietnam who hold the traditional recipes. There are two debates about pho’s origins concluding either Hanoi or Nam Dinh to be the first pho bo appearances (beef noodles). However, it is undeniable that the best beef noodles recipes are “pho-cooking talents” come from two above destinations.

Right now, Run Cooking would like to introduce some inherited beef pho recipes!

Read more list pho bo: 

Traditional pho bo – beef noodles in the North.

Ingredients: for 7-8 noodle bowls

  • 3 short stumps of beef bones
  • 400-500 grams beef (based on eater’s preference)
  • Haft of 85 grams of noodle spice package which offers star anise, coriander, cinnamon, clove and back cardamom. If the package is not available, you can buy 5 separate spices then combine to make your “pho”
  • 4-5 small fired shallots
  • 1 onion (with more shallots, then do not need onion and double the shallot amount)
  • 1 big garlic
  • 1 fried flat rice noodles package
  • Spring onion, fresh coriander

Recipe for pho bo

Step 1: First, clean beef bones, place to the pot, add 1 teaspoon of salt, boil and then simmer with very low fire in 5 minutes. As you can see in the picture, impurities will float. Then clean bones by clean water, place onto the electric pressure cooker or the normal pot to simmer (add a little salt). Simmer 20 minutes then turn off heat for the pressure cooker, and 35-40 minutes for the normal pot.

Step 2: Put to the grill stove directly to get more fragrance. Clean dust and coal on the onion, shallots and ginger, then transfer to a bowl.

Step 3: Dry seasoning ingredients in the small heat until releasing the smell. Avoid being burned by the high heat.  Then pour all seasonings into the cloth, tighten it. Cinnamon stick can be out side the cloth because it is easy to take out.

Pho Broth: Pour the simmered bones water (drain if it is still not clear), add 5 liters water. Add noodles seasoning, fried shallot and ginger to pot. When boiling, add 3-4 tsp fish sauce (15 ml), 1 tsp salt, ½ tsp peppers, 1 tsp sugar (not too sweet, but for making soft water base). Simmer more 30 minutes. Remember to season the water base again when scoop it out to “pho”.

Step 1: While simmering, prepare beef. In fact, secret for slice beef thinly: 1. A sharp knife. 2. Leave beef in freezer to create firm piece but it can be slice, not too icy.

Then, prepare a boiling water pot about 90% (closely to boil with some small bubbles), blanch beef until it turns to a slightly rosy color. Tran beef is pink just be (even the red color is fine) because when scoop hot broth to pho, beef slices will be further cooked. Usually change blanching water to make beef more clear especially when you want to make for guests.

Step 5: Finally, boil dried rice noodles, pour out then rinse through cool water (if you have fresh noodles, it is better). Cut lengthwise the white part of spring onions into thin strips.

Okay, that is enough for a delish noodle meal. Before eating, blanch slightly flat rice noodles to make the noodles hot and absorb the seasoning (or you can place in the microwave). Eating pho must be heating, therefore flat noodles have to be heated before scoop broth. Blanch white part of spring onions into the broth then assemble to the bowl. Add blanched beef, sprinkle thinly chopped coriander, spring onion, then scoop the broth. We have already finished a tasty Hanoi beef pho.

beef pho 5

Traditional Hanoi beef pho recipe

Ingredients (3-4 pho bowls)

  • 5kg oxtail
  • 5kg beef ribs
  • 5kg beef shank (or beef brisket)
  • Rare beef (optional)
  • ¼ big onion
  • 1 garlic (1.5 larger than a thumb)
  • 5-6 red shallots
  • 1 teaspoon chicken flavor powder (optional)
  • 5-6 coriander roots
  • 1 cardamom
  • 2 anise flower
  • 1 small cinnamon stick
  • 2 short stumps of sugarcane (about 10cm long for one)
  • Seasoning powder or salt
  • Flat rice noodles
  • Onion and coriander, finely chopped
  • Chili sauce, lemon

Beef Pho Recipe

Step 1: Cut tail and ribs into small pieces. But do not cut beef shank. Soak tail, ribs and shrank in the salty water (slightly salty as in soup) in 2 hours to reduce the strong smell of beef especially the tail as well as to make meat tender when eating.

Step 2: Prepare ingredients while waiting meat.

  • Onion, shallots, ginger, sugarcane, don’t remove shells, grill directly on the electric stove until smelling fragrant. Maintain the medium fire to cook finely inside. After finishing, remove shells of ginger and shallots, but leave sugarcane shell. Wash all under water. Onion can be double cut or four cut pieces. Slice or smash ginger.
  • Clean coriander roots
  • Place star anise, cinnamon, cardamom, coriander seeds (optional) into fried-pan with the medium fire until releasing the flavor. Note: do not toast in too high heat or too long to avoid being burned. Put to one small cloth bag and tighten.

Step 3: Pour the soaking water, wash again oxtail, ribs and shrank. Place all of them to the pot, add water covering the meat surface, boil with the high heat. Until boiling, slow down fire and simmer in 1-2 minutes. Discard the boiling water, clean well all fragile meat and impurities to make broth clearer. You can boil and clean one more time if meat is still not clean. Do not worry that the sweet taste is disappeared because it can be from the simmering process of bone. Boil with boiling water 1-2 more times to clean totally.

Step 4: Place tail, ribs, beef meat into a pot. Add more 4-5 large cool water bowls. Cook in high heat until boiling, and remove impurities. Add prepared spices to the pot concluding onion, shallots, ginger, sugarcane, coriander roots, the tighten cloth of star anise, cinnamon, cardamom, coriander seeds. Season soup powder, spice powder or salt. Do not use fish sauce to prevent pho broth from being sour.

Simmer in 1.5-2 hours for the normal pot, and faster for electric pressure cooker. Notably, take out beef shrank first, not leave it too soft and fragile. You can soak shrank into cool boiled water, then slice thinly.

Occasionally remove the scum to make water clear. Add boiling water if necessary (not use cool water).

After simmer well tail and ribs, season spices again to fit your taste. You can season slightly bland if you want to add fish sauce when enjoying. The tasty broth has the gently golden, clear and a little oil floating on the top, with the naturally aromatic sweet flavor from bone and sugarcane.

Step 5: Prepare flat rice noodles and served fragrant vegetables (coriander, spring onion, thinly chop the green part, cut the lengthwise of white parts into strips)

Step 6: Before eating, slightly dip the bowl and rice noodles into the hot water that makes the dish tastier. Assemble flat rice noodles in the serving bowl, then add meat, aromatic vegetables on the top. Cook the broth well boiled, then scoop into bowl. Eating in heat with fresh lemon and chili sauce.

beef pho 1

Recipe to make traditional Nam Dinh beef noodles.


Bones and meats

  • Marrow bones
  • Rare beef

If you want to eat tendon, you need marrow to simmer then cut out tendon

Seasonings to cook flat rice noodles

  • Black pepper seeds, coriander seeds, cloves, cadamon, cinnamon, anistar and fennel.
  • Coriander leaves, bean sprouts, basil leaves, flat rice sticks, chilli, lemon
  • Spring onion, chilli sauce, black sauce
  • Onion, ginger, garlic, rock sugar
  • Vietnamese “sa sung”-sea worm (optional)
  • Fish sauce, salt, seasoning powder, sugar and seasonings

Pho Bo Recipe 

Step 1: Boil marrow bones, pour out all pot and wash bones to remove the impurities. Any bones also need boiling and pour them out, clean again to discard the scum.

Step 2: Add water to the electric pressure cooker covering bones and account about 2/3 pot. Add salt and rock sugar, wait until floating small bubbles, then add bones and simmer in 30 minutes, in normal pot, simmer in 2-3 hours.

Step 3: Broth will be tastier if you simmer overnight. If you simmer by normal pot, lower heat until bone extracts all sweet.

Step 4: Remove 2 onion shells, ginger and 2 cloves garlic. Roast until smell fragrant. Then place to the broth.

Step 5: Remove the impurities rise on the top to make broth clear and clean.

Step 6: Slightly roast “sa sung”, smash and place to a small pot covered with water until sweet, then transfer “sa sung” water into the broth (if sa sung is not available, it is fine), the body is put in the cloth and tighten, place to the broth

Step 7: Tighten the beef, place to the water base (or boil by pressure cooker for time saving) until being done, transfer to the cool water, slice into mouth-sized pieces.

Step 8: Fry cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, pepper, coriander seeds, anistar until golden brown and aromatic, tighten in a cloth and add to the broth. You can mince to the powder, place to the tighten cloth and put to the broth. Simmer more 1-2 hours until smell great based on the skill of the cook because it is time-consuming with 4-hour noodle pot.

Step 9: Season and taste the broth, add beef balls.

Step 10: Slice thinly onion, spring onion and coriander, mix well together in a separate bowl.

Step 11: Blanch flat noodles, transfer to the serving bowl, add rare beef, beef brisket, add chopped onion, spring onion and coriander, then scoop broth to the bowl and place beef balls.

Step 12: Serve with dipped bean sprouts, vegetables as well as sauce.

Recipe beef pho12

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