There’s nothing like cooler weather that makes me want to cook up a big batch of soup and spend a cozy evening in with family and friends. Especially one that involves bone broth, grass-fed beef, and immune-boosting herbs and vegetables. That’s right, I’m talking about this pho recipe, which will warm you up, aid your gut health, support your immune system during these cold winter months and is downright tasty.
What is pho?
Phở, pronounced “fuh,” is a Vietnamese soup that is normally made with a bone-beef broth, banh pho noodles, and thinly sliced beef, that’s often served with bean sprouts and other fresh herbs on the side. Not to be confused with Japanese ramen, which is usually made with wheat noodles, pho is made with rice noodles. It is important to note that there are many variations of pho. The most common is pho nam, which originates in Southern Vietnam, and pho bac, which is from Northern Vietnam and considered to be the original pho.
History of Pho
According to Cuong Hyunh, creator of lovingpho.com, it is believed that pho originates in the Nam Dinh and Hanoi regions of North Vietnam after the French colonization of the country in the late 1880s. It is believed that the word “pho” comes from the French word “feu,” meaning fire, and could possibly be a Vietnamese take on the French dish pot au feu.
Pho bac, the original pho, is made by boiling beef bones for several days and has a heavy emphasis on the delicate and simple broth. The broth is accompanied only by rice noodles and thinly sliced beef. After the second world war, many people from North Vietnam moved to South Vietnam to escape the communist rule of the North.
This led to the creation of pho nam. Pho nam is usually made with a broth that is seasoned with many spices and heavily garnished with fresh herbs such as bean sprouts, basil, and cilantro. Pho nam became popular in southern Vietnam and is still commonly sold by street vendors due to its convenience.
After the fall of Saigon at the end of the Vietnamese conflict, many people of the South fled to various parts of the world, allowing the spread pho along with other Vietnamese dishes. Pho is now easily found in many places in the world and is very popular on social media.
Is pho healthy?
“Pho is a very nutritious dish,” says nutritionist Rachael Hartley. “Made with rice noodles and a rich beef bone stock, it’s a perfect vehicle for bean sprouts and nutrient-rich herbs.” The soup itself, a rich bone broth, is filled with health benefits for your body, including your immune and digestive system, and your bones and joints.
How To Make Pho
- For the broth:
- 6 cups beef bone broth
- 2 onions, peeled and halved
- 4-5 whole carrots, chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, peel on and smashed
- 2-3 whole cinnamon sticks
- 2 tablespoons coconut aminos
- ½ pound sirloin steak, sliced into ¼ inch pieces
- 1 pound zucchini, spiralized
- 1 cup bean sprouts
- A half a cup chopped green onions
- ½ cup chopped cilantro
- A half a cup Thai basil leaves
- ¼ cup mint leaves
- Organic sriracha, to taste
- Coconut aminos, to taste
- Take the bone broth and add it to a large stockpot
- Add in onions, carrots, garlic cloves, cinnamon sticks, and coconut aminos and bring it to a boil.
- Once the broth is boiling, reduce the heat so that the broth will simmer for 30 minutes.
- While the broth is simmering, go ahead and spiralize your zucchini into noodles or “zoodles.”
- Chop up your herbs and vegetables and set aside
- Slice your sirloin steak into very thin slices, about one-fourth of an inch.
- Place the steak slices back in the refrigerator to keep them cold until the broth is ready.
- After the broth has simmered, strain out the solids and discard them.
- Return the broth to the stove top and keep piping hot until ready to serve.
- Now you’re going to assemble your pho soup bowls.
- Add in a handful of zucchini noodles to the bottom of the bowl.
- Pour in a cup or two of bone broth over the noodles
- Quickly add 5–6 raw beef slices
You’ll see them begin to cook through in the piping hot broth.
- Top off your pho with:
- Green onion
- Bean sprouts
- Thai basil
- Organic sriracha
- More coconut aminos, if you want.
This pho recipe is so soothing, warming and nourishing. You’ll want to make this again and again in the upcoming winter months!