When I feel stressed and anxious, one of my favorite things to eat is Pho, a type of Vietnamese soup. Pho is typically made from beef stock and spices to which noodles and thinly sliced beef or chicken are added.
This week, as Coronavirus hits our country, I went and stocked up on some pantry staples and things to have on hand over the next few weeks (hopefully not more). The first thing I made (while I still have plenty of fresh produce on hand, too, I might add) was a big bowl of beef pho.
Pho broth is typically made from bones and spices and cooked for long hours (or even days) to make a rich, flavorful base of the soup. I didn’t have all the things to do that, but I did have some beef bone broth on hand from Trader Joe’s. With that, I added some beautiful flavors to give it that faux-pho vibe but also get on the table quickly. The other thing I had on hand was the Shaved Beef from Trader Joe’s, which makes this dish come together with little effort at all! The shaved beef they sell there is *paper thin* and amazing. Now, of course, if you don’t have access to this you can shave the beef yourself. Beef strip loin or filet works great, but any steak will do as long as you shave it super duper thin. One way to help get your steak super thin (other than a fantastic knife) is to freeze your steak for 20 minutes before slicing. It makes it easier to shave down. Here is a quick video to help you out.
I’ve always found comfort and nourishment in the kitchen and at the table during hard times. I hope you will, too.
Quick + Easy Beef Faux Pho:
For the Broth:
- 2 tbsp avocado oil
- 2 garlic very thinly sliced
- 1/2 inch ginger peeled and finely grated
- 3 whole cloves
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 2 whole star anise
- 1/2 tsp ground coriander
- 7 cups beef bone broth regular beef broth is ok
- 1 tbsp red boat fish sauce
- 2 tbsp coconut aminos
- 1 tbsp coconut sugar omit for Whole30
- 4 stems of cilantro leaves included
- salt, to taste
- 8 ounce package of Vermicilli rice noodles
- 1 pound shaved beef (I get the Shaved Steak from Trader Joe's OR see note above)
- Cilantro leaves
- basil leaves
- 1/2 small yellow onion sliced paper thin
- 1 serrano or jalapeno pepper thinly sliced
- 4 green onions sliced thin on a bias
- Limes cut into wedges
- Heat a large pot or dutch oven over medium heat with the avocado oil. When the oil is shimmering, add the garlic and ginger and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 3 minutes.
- Add the cloves, cinnamon sticks, star anise and coriander and continue to cook, stirring, to slightly toast the bring out the flavors of the aromatics, about 2 minutes.
- Pour in the broth, fish sauce, coconut aminos, and coconut sugar and stir to combine. Increase the heat to medium-high until the soup is boiling. Once boiling, reduce the heat to a low simmer and toss in the cilantro stems. Cook, covered, to allow the flavors to mend, about 20 minutes, and while you prep the garnishes and noodles for serving.
- Meanwhile, bring a small saucepan of water to boil and cook rice noodles according to package instructions.
- When ready to serve, taste the broth and add salt, to taste. Divide the cooked noodles amongst 4 large bowls. Place the raw shaved beef on top. Ladle the scalding hot broth directly over the meat (this will quickly cook the shaved beef). You may want to strain the broth before you do this to ensure you don't get a whole clove or anything. Or you can just ladle around it 😉
- Garnish as desired with sliced onion, green onion, basil, cilantro, serrano peppers, a squeeze of lime. Serve with sriracha, if desired. Enjoy!