To make the stock, place the beef knuckle in a very large stock pot. Season with salt, and fill pot with 7.5 litres of water. Bring to a boil, and cook for about 2 hours.
Skim fat from the surface of the stock, and add the oxtail, radish and onions. Tie the anise pods, cinnamon stick, cloves, peppercorns and ginger in a cheesecloth or similar; add to the soup. Stir in sugar, salt and fish sauce. Simmer over medium-low heat for at least 4 more hours (the longer, the better). At the end of cooking, taste, and add salt as needed. Strain stock and return to the pot to keep at a simmer. Discard spices and bones.
To serve, bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Soak the rice noodles in water for about 20 minutes, then cook in boiling water until soft, but not mushy, just a couple of minutes. Slice the frozen beef paper thin. The meat must be thin enough to cook instantly.
Place some noodles into each bowl, and top with a few raw beef slices. Ladle boiling broth over the beef and noodles in the bowl. Serve with hoisin sauce and chilli sauce and with a plate of bean sprouts, basil, slices of fresh chilli and lime out at the table for everyone to add their own toppings.
Love my traditional dish.
That's a great Pho recipe. I LOVE Pho but I no longer have to labor for my love since I discovered this great company called Star Anise Foods that make these incredible Pho kits that's all natural and organic, and using a family recipe from Nam Dinh where Pho came from. You must try them! It takes 15 minutes and it comes out tasting wonderful every time I make it. They sell you a spice packet and a noodle packet, all you do is add fresh ingredients. I got mine off Amazon.com, just search for Happy Pho, but you can also get them in Northern California stores http://staranisefoods.com/find-us.aspx - 15 May 2010
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