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Making pho may be an all-day affair, but the process is straightforward, and most of the time is hands-off. And the result is well worth it!
Bring a large Dutch oven or stockpot of water to a boil. Add beef bones, oxtail, and brisket. Return to a boil; cook 5 minutes. Drain; return beef bones, oxtail, and brisket to pot.
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Add Toasted Spices
Toast cloves, star anise, cinnamon, peppercorns, coriander, and fennel seeds in a small skillet over medium-high heat, stirring, until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Transfer to pot.
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Add Broiled Aromatics
Heat broiler. Place onion halves, shallots, and ginger on a rimmed baking sheet. Broil, turning occasionally, until charred in spots, about 10 minutes. Transfer to pot.
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Simmer And Skim Foam
Add enough water to cover (about 8 quarts). Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat; do not boil. Skim foam with a spoon, adjusting heat as necessary to maintain a simmer.
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Simmer until broth is golden brown and liquid level has lowered about 2 inches, 6 to 8 hours. Transfer brisket to a dish; let cool, then cover brisket with plastic wrap and refrigerate.
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Remove bones and oxtail; discard. Strain broth through a sieve lined with cheesecloth. Stir in sugar and fish sauce. Refrigerate overnight or up to 2 days, or freeze up to 1 month.
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Skim Fat; Reheat Broth
With a large spoon, remove most of hardened fat from surface of broth; discard. Bring broth to a simmer over medium-high heat.
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Freeze and Slice Beef
Two and a half hours before serving, freeze eye of round until firm, about 2 hours. Slice very thinly against the grain. Slice chilled brisket thinly against the grain as well.
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At least 30 minutes before serving, place noodles in a large baking dish or bowl. Cover with cool water and let stand until pliable. Drain, rinse, then drain again.
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Cook noodles in a pot of boiling water until al dente, 3 minutes. Drain; divide among 12 bowls. Top with meats, sliced onions and scallions, and broth. Serve with accompaniments.
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