Local food is the highlight of any South East Asian holiday. A warm bowl of noodle soup can connect you with the true culture of a country – so you will love the wholesome Vietnamese pho. Here is something to test your culinary skills by trying the slow cooking of the Pho broth (up to 10 hours);
4 pounds beef soup bones
1 onion, unpeeled and cut in half
5 slices fresh ginger
1 tablespoon salt
2 pods star anise
2 1/2 tablespoons fish sauce
4 quarts water
1 package dried rice noodles
1 1/2 pounds beef top sirloin, thinly sliced
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1 tablespoon chopped green onion
1 1/2 cups bean sprouts
1 bunch Thai basil
1 lime, cut into 4 wedges
1/4 cup hoisin sauce (optional)
1/4 cup chili-garlic sauce (optional)
Preheat the oven to 220C.
Place beef bones on a baking sheet and roast in the preheated oven until browned, about 1 hour.
Place onion on a baking sheet and roast in the preheated oven until blackened and soft, for about 45 minutes.
Place bones, onion, ginger, salt, star anise, and fish sauce in a large stockpot and cover with 3.5 - 4 litres of water. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to low. Simmer on low for 6 to 10 hours. Strain the broth into a saucepan and set aside.
Place rice noodles in a large bowl filled with room temperature water and allow to soak for 1 hour. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and after the noodles have soaked, place them in the boiling water for 1 minute. Bring stock to a simmer.
Divide noodles among 4 serving bowls; top with sirloin, cilantro, and green onion. Pour hot broth over the top. Stir and let sit until the beef is partially cooked and no longer pink, 1 to 2 minutes. Serve with bean sprouts, Thai basil, lime wedges, hoisin sauce, and chili-garlic sauce on the side.
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