It’s easy to fall into a hurried pace, rushing through meals and caving in to the grab-and-go culture of eating on the run which adds up for all of us. I’m doubling up on soup efforts as the season begins to change. This pho recipe (a variation by C.V. along with the powerful story of her escape from Vietnam) turns out bowls of perfection to prompt even the most hurried among us to sit back and slurp slowly.
Keep basic ingredients and spices stocked to minimize shopping and kitchen prep. No star anise on hand? Pick up a few pods the next time you’re out and prepare for the slow slurp of pho.
2-3 pounds country style pork ribs
8-10 cups water (make sure pot is at least half full)
1 tablespoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon fish sauce
3 star anise
1 cinnamon stick (optional)
1 16-oz package Oriental style flat (pho) rice noodles
2 pounds beef sirloin, sliced paper thin
3 scallions, finely chopped
Fresh cilantro leaves
Fresh Thai basil leaves
Fresh bean sprouts
Hoisin sauce (for dipping)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place the pork ribs in the stockpot and cover with water. Cook as you prepare other ingredients. Keep an eye on the pot and skim impurities and fat with a large spoon during the cooking process. The marrow of the bone will start flavoring the broth, but you don’t want to see anything floating on the surface.
Peel the shallots and slice the gingerroot in half and place in oven for roasting, 30 minutes. Add salt, sugar and fish sauce to broth. Stir and skim surface. Add star anise and cinnamon to broth. Add roasted shallots and gingerroot. Continue to stir and cook uncovered for two hours.
Remove pork from broth. Cool and cut meat away from bone. Set aside.
Prepare rice noodles in boiling water. While noodles are cooking, strain all solids from pho broth. Rinse cooked noodles in hot water.
Once the pho ingredients are ready, C.V. dishes them assembly-line style around her kitchen counter.