Saturday, March 5, 2011
Homemade Vietnamese Pho Broth
I regret that I didn't put more broth into my bowl above just for the photo. Perhaps the reason why I didn't was because the recipe I tried produced such small quantity for so much work involved and I didn't want to use all the broth in one eating. :p I started with six quarts of water and only got three quarts when I was done. The broth tasted good, but I was disappointed that it took so much work for such small results. I probably will not make pho broth from scratch again. I know I mentioned in my earlier posts the obvious reasons, but it's been at least ten years since I last made pho broth from scratch and wanted to see if I could improve. Just not worth the time or money. This recipe I tried was good, but it had too much salt to it (including the fish sauce). When I ate the pho, I didn't need to add any extra condiments except for the hot sauce. No fish sauce or hoisin. Nada. I wasn't used to that. It really didn't need it. I suppose that's a good thing, right? I guess not if someone doesn't like their pho to be on the salty side. Also, I skimmed the fat twice and it was still pretty greasy. I got tired of skimming it, so I quit at the second time. My broth came out darker than what I'm used to seeeing. I left the bag of spices in the whole time. I read from another recipe to take it out after 30 minutes. This recipe I tried did have a more intense flavor because the dried spices was simmered for at least four hours. Would I recommend this recipe? Yes. It was good. A lot better than some home made pho I have had before. I just wouldn't make this again because it was just too much work and ingredients. You can find the recipe from Andrea Nguyen. I also referenced Wandering Chopsticks and here.
Yellow rock sugar, star anise, whole cloves and cinnamon stick:
Charbroiling the onions and ginger in the oven under broil since I don't have open flame. Flavors are still there doing it this way:
Putting all the ingredients together in the pot. I used 2.5 lbs oxtails and the rest bones with marrow and tendon. I also put my spices in a pouch. You can use cheesecloth as well or use none at all. It's just easier to get them out later especially if you want the spices out earlier:
Make sure you submerge everything under water:
I skimmed the foam and and other impurities with this handy dandy tool that I found at the local Asian store. It works very good since the mesh is very fine:
After boiling for four hours and letting it cool, I put the pot in the fridge overnight and took out the fat that submerged to the top. I did this twice and it was still greasy. Seeing all this fat scared my husband, so he didn't even bother eating the pho I made for us. I told him this is how it's made and he doesn't believe me. He thinks pho broth just magically comes out clear.