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TV chef Thomas Joseph traveled to Vietnam to study pho, the country's traditional noodle soup; he came back with this authentic recipe. Martha made this recipe on Cooking School episode 304.

  • Servings: 10

Source: The Martha Stewart Show, Episode 6112


For the Broth

  • 4 pounds marrow or knuckle bones, rinsed and patted dry
  • 3 pounds oxtail, rinsed and patted dry
  • 2 1/2 pounds beef brisket, rinsed and patted dry
  • 10 whole cloves
  • 6 pieces star anise
  • 2 sticks Vietnamese cinnamon
  • 2 black cardamom pods
  • 2 teaspoons whole black peppercorns
  • 2 teaspoons coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1 (4-inch) piece ginger, halved lengthwise
  • 2 large onions
  • 4 shallots
  • 1/3 cup Vietnamese fish sauce
  • 1 (1 1/2-inch) piece yellow rock sugar

For Serving

  • 1 (16-ounce) package pho rice noodles
  • 1/2 onion, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
  • 4 to 5 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 8 ounces eye of the round, frozen until firm and thinly sliced
  • Vietnamese cilantro, for serving
  • Thai basil, for serving
  • Bean sprouts, for serving
  • Lime wedges, for serving
  • Thai bird's eye chiles, thinly sliced, for serving
  • Chile sauce, such as Sambal, for serving
  • Hoisin sauce, for serving


  1. Make the broth: Fill a large stockpot with water and bring to a boil over high heat. Add bones, oxtail, and brisket to boiling water and cook for 5 minutes. Drain and return to stockpot.

  2. Meanwhile, place cloves, star anise, cinnamon, cardamom, peppercorns, coriander seeds, and fennel seeds in a medium skillet and toast over medium high heat until fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer spices to a plate to cool; set aside.

  3. Preheat broiler. Place onions, shallots, and ginger on a baking sheet and place under broiler until blistered and charred. Alternatively, using tongs, hold onions, shallots, and ginger individually over an open flame; transfer onions, shallots, ginger, and spices to stockpot with bones and meat.

  4. Add enough water to stockpot to cover bones, meat, onions, shallots, and ginger (32 to 40 cups). Place stockpot over medium-high heat and bring to a simmer. Let simmer 6 to 8 hours, skimming impurities from the top as necessary.

  5. Remove brisket from stockpot and transfer to refrigerator; chill until firm before thinly slicing. Remove bones, oxtail, and large pieces of onions and ginger from stockpot and discard. Strain broth through a fine-mesh sieve lined with cheesecloth; discard solids. Stir in fish sauce and yellow rock sugar. Skim any remaining fat from surface (refrigerating broth overnight will make this easier) and discard.

  6. To serve: Place noodles in a large bowl and add enough water to cover; let soak 30 minutes and drain.

  7. Bring broth to a simmer over medium-high heat. Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat; add soaked noodles and cook, swishing noodles to release starch and prevent clumping. Immediately divide noodles evenly between 8 to 10 serving bowls. Top with sliced onions, scallions, and eye of the round and brisket sliced. Ladle over hot broth and serve immediately with cilantro, Thai basil, lime wedges, bean sprouts, chile, chile sauce, and hoisin sauce.

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