Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Lazy Pho (Beef Noodle Soup)

Well, the broth is not home made at all, but this is how I make pho when I want that "homemade" taste without all that other work and it still tastes better than your instant noodle in a package. Also, because I have a small family of two adults and a small toddler, it doesn't make sense to make a batch of pho unless of course I plan to freeze the broth or eat pho all week. Besides, this is like making spaghetti from a jar. :) I still need to attempt to make pho from scratch again one of these days. My first time making it years ago was a disaster. It basically tasted like water with boiled beef and fat. The second attempt tasted much better, but I had leftovers for weeks and ingredients were just too much, so I never tried again. I was living by myself at the time.

I usually make my pho with the wide, fat noodles, but for some reason this Asian store didn't carry any (not even the dried kind). I don't know why, but I prefer the wide noodles when I eat pho at home, but don't mind the regular noodles when I'm at the restaurant. I also decided to buy the fresh noodles from the refrigerated section, and I did not like how the extra starch on the noodles diluted my broth. The noodles itself tasted better, but perhaps I should've rinsed the noodles more thoroughly.

Fresh noodles I tried today:

These are the fresh noodles that I would prefer and grew up eating. They make a difference to me:

Or course since I don't see the above fresh, wide noodles available very often, I have settled for the dried wide noodles and they taste fine. I forget the two brands I usually buy, but this is how they look similar to:

This is a great dish to make when you have extra or leftover ingredients laying around and you still want a hearty meal. Since I'm Asian, I usually have all these ingredients available. I just have to buy the broth and sometimes noodles. I usually keep a few cans and an extra package of pho noodles around for those days when I feel lazy to cook everything from scratch.

Serves 2-4
Ingredients - pho is one of those foods that you can easily opt out or add your favorite ingredients. The most important ingredients are the broth, and of course, you need the noodles. Everything else is simply there to complement. Why do you think instant noodle packages just come with noodles and a packet? :p

1 package of wide rice noodles (dried or fresh)
2 cans of beef pho broth (I tried a couple and the one I pictured is the best so far)
Meat of your choice such as thinly sliced beef, meatballs (found in the Asian market freezer section), chicken, and even seafood such as shrimp. (I prefer to eat beef pho with just beef, but I have added chicken to it as well and tastes just as good.)
Fresh herbs such as cilantro, green onions, and basil
Lime wedges
Jalapeno peppers, sliced
Fish sauce
Hot sauce such as sriracha sauce
Hoisin sauce

1. Soak the dried noodles in hot water in a large bowl while you prep the other ingredients.
2. Shop your cilantro and greens onions. Slice jalapeno peppers. Assemble the herbs, peppers and lime wedges onto a plate or serving trays.
3. Prep and cook your preferred meat. I usually just boil all my meat. Pretty simple and easy.
4. I usually heat up two pots. One for the broth and the other to make boiling water to soften the noodles even more. You want your noodles soft, but not too soft that they break easily. When the broth boils, turn down the heat to low to keep warm.
5. Simply assemble a large bowl with the soften noodles, then broth and add your other favorite ingredients.

Hearty, easy and still has that home made taste. Yum.


  1. YUM!!! Pho is one of mine and my husband's favorite meal. :D

  2. Is broth in a can safe to eat? I ask because often there isn't an expiration date marked on the can and Asian stores often sell old stuff.

  3. Aneko, I never had any problems or I haven't gotten sick from the pho can broth yet. It always tastes consistent too, but I know what you mean about Asian stores selling old stuff. It's mostly the ones that don't turn over their inventory often.