Verdict: Win

Again, I didn't have the time to do this Vietnamese dish the "right" way, so I opted for a quick version by using store-bought beef broth. I had to make all sorts of improvisations (my real onions sprouted, so I had to use pearl onions, I bought cheap beef versus flank or sirloin, cinnamon powder over a cinnamon stick, etc etc) to suit my budget and what I already had. Below is my quick recipe.

Quick Beef Pho
Yield: Serves 4

2 14.5 oz cans of beef broth
1 cup water
6-8 peeled and diced pearl onions, or just 1 medium onion
2 tbsp fish sauce
1 tsp cinnamon
1 star anise
1 tbsp sugar
1/2 package thin rice pho noodles
1 lb beef (I used angus chuck roast) sliced thinly against the grain

bean sprouts
1-2 lime(s)cut into wedges
Huy Fong Chili Garlic Sauce

Place the beef broth, water, onions, fish sauce, cinnamon, star anise, sugar, and a handful of cilantro in a medium pot and bring to a boil. Then reduce heat to low and simmer for at least 15 minutes.

Cook rice noodles in a separate pot until soft. Drain and divide noodles into 4 bowls. Place cilantro, spinach, and bean sprouts on now if you like.

Once the broth mixture has simmered for 15 minutes, raise heat back up to a boil and then place the sliced beef in the boiling broth. Cook for a few minutes until the beef is no longer pink. Turn off heat.

Evenly distribute the beef to the 4 bowls of noodles. Ladle broth into each bowl. Squeeze lime juice on top and/or add chili garlic sauce to make the broth spicy. Serve warm.


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