Photographer's Note

I took that image at a Vietnamese restaurant along the harbour. It's an excellent restaurant with Viet food and also some famous Chinese and Thay dishes.
A couple in front of us was eating the Pho Tai soup

2 medium yellow onions (1 pound)
4-inch piece ginger (4 ounces)
5-6 pounds beef soup bones (marrow and knuckle bones)
5 star anise
6 whole cloves
3-inch cinnamon stick
1 pound piece of beef chuck, rump, brisket or cross rib roast, cut into 2-by-4-inch pieces
1 1/2 tablespoons salt
4 tablespoons fish sauce
1 ounce yellow rock sugar

1 1/2-2 pounds small dried or fresh banh pho noodles
1/2 pound raw eye of round, sirloin, London broil or tri-tip steak, thinly sliced across the grain
1 medium yellow onion, sliced paper-thin, left to soak for 30 minutes in a bowl of cold water
3 or 4 scallions, green part only, cut into thin rings
1/3 cup chopped cilantro
Ground pepper

Char onion and ginger. Use an open flame on grill or gas stove. Place onions and ginger on cooking grate and let skin burn. After 15 minutes, they will soften and become sweetly fragrant.

Under warm water, remove charred onion skin; trim and discard blackened parts of root or stem ends. If ginger skin is puckered and blistered, smash ginger with flat side of knife to loosen flesh from skin.

Place bones in stockpot and cover with cold water. Over high heat, bring to boil. Boil vigorously 2 to 3 minutes to allow impurities to be released. Dump bones and water into sink and rinse bones with warm water. Quickly scrub stockpot to remove any residue. Return bones to pot.

Simmer broth. Add 6 quarts water to pot, bring to boil over high heat, then lower flame to gently simmer. Use ladle to skim any scum that rises to surface. Add remaining broth ingredients and cook 1 1/2 hours. Boneless meat should be slightly chewy but not tough. When it is cooked to your liking, remove it and place in bowl of cold water for 10 minutes. Drain the meat; cool, then refrigerate; in total the broth should simmer 3 hours.

Use ladle to skim as much fat from top of broth as you like. Taste and adjust flavor with additional salt, fish sauce and yellow rock sugar.
Assemble bowls: Thinly slice cooked meat.

Heat broth and ready noodles.
If you're using dried noodles, cover with hot tap water and soak 15-20 minutes, until softened and opaque white.

Fill 3 or 4-quart saucepan with water and bring to boil. For each bowl, use long-handle strainer to blanch a portion of noodles. As soon as noodles have collapsed and lost their stiffness (20 seconds), pull strainer from water, letting water drain back into saucepan. Empty noodles into bowls. Noodles should occupy 1/4 of bowl.

Add other ingredients. Place meat, raw meat and tendon atop noodles.
Garnish with onion, scallion and chopped cilantro.

Pho Tai Recipe

mdetay, jrj, ChrisJ, atus, fabio_ts, sam224, erdna, siolaw, andante, capthaddock, peter1892 has marked this note useful

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Additional Photos by Paolo Motta (Paolo) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3739 W: 144 N: 8840] (41258)
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