Sunday, January 9, 2011

Vietnamese Pho with Beef

I've been wanting to make this soup for several years.  I probably have hundreds of magazines and cookbooks with the recipe for this dish yet I always had some reason why I didn't make it.  Well I finally gave it a try.  I have to say I like the soup.  It's probably not authentic but for someone who until about 15 years ago wouldn't touch anything that was American cooking I found it pleasantly good.  After smelling the 5 spice powder I had my doubts cause it didn't really smell good. Tip on the 5 spice powder look for it at a local Asian store.  I paid $1.99 for a nice size bottle for it there.  The local grocery store wanted $8.99 for a 2 oz. bottle. Nice thing is the soup didn't taste like the smell of the spice at all.  I'll admit I chickened out on using the fish sauce.  I bought the fish sauce and planned on using it but after opening the container I just couldn't do it.  If you know me you know I don't like fish or things that smell like fish.  I used soy sauce and my sweet husband swears you couldn't tell I had used soy sauce.   Overall this was a very fast dish to put together and made it to the table in less than 25 minutes.  Not bad for a night you really want take out.

Vietnamese Pho with Beef
The Best Simple Recipes America's Test Kitchen

8 cups low sodium chicken broth
1 2 inch piece fresh ginger, peeled, halved lengthwise, and smashed
3 2 1/2 inch strips zest and 1 tablespoon juice from one lime
1/2 teaspoon Chinese five spice powder
8 ounces thick rice noodles
1 pound sirloin steak tips, sliced thin
3 tablespoons fish sauce (note I used low sodium soy sauce)
1 teaspoon Asian chili garlic sauce
4 scallions, sliced thin
1/4 cup fresh whole cilantro leaves

Bring broth, ginger, lime zest, and five spice powder to boil in dutch oven over medium high heat.  Add noodles and cook until nearly tender, about 5 minutes.  Stir in beef and simmer until cooked through and noodles are completely tender, about 2 minutes.

Off heat, stir in fish (soy) sauce, chili garlic sauce, and lime juice.  Remove ginger and zest with slotted spoon.  Stir in scallions and cilantro.  Serves 4.

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