Monday, December 29, 2014

Easy Beef Pho Recipe

I wouldn't say that I live in a small town by any means.  Actually Parkersburg is the third largest city in West Virginia, but being that as it may, we are limited in our ethnic cuisine.  Sure we have the Mexican restaurants and Chinese places, but aside from that it is pretty meat and potatoes around here.  That's why when I travel, I'm always looking for fun and exciting new foods to try.  One such culinary delight I've been hearing a lot about is Pho, a Vietnamese dish.  I learned about Pho from North Market in Columbus, Ohio, but every time I was up there something happened and I wasn't able to try it, so the other day my friend Melissa and I decided we were going to make some Pho at home.  However, upon doing some research, I discovered that a traditional Pho broth takes an upwards of 10-12 hours to make!  Ain't nobody got time pho that!  So, as I often do, I decided to make my own, quick version, of Pho and I think the result will blow your mind!  I can't wait to show you how we did it!

Let's Get started!

West Virginia Quick Pho:
*Prep Time: 10 min.  *Cook Time: 20 min.  *Difficulty:  Easy  *Servings: 4-6 generous bowls


  • 2 lbs. Deli Sliced Top Round Roast Beef (Sliced 1/8" thick) and cut into 1" slices.
  • 2 c. Shitake Mushrooms, sliced (You can also use Cremini mushrooms in this)
  • 8-10 c. Low Sodium Beef Broth
  • 4 Cloves of Garlic, mined
  • 1 tsp. Fresh Ginger, grated
  • 8-10 Scallions, sliced
  • 10-12 Basil Leaves
  • 1 Star Anise (if you do not have star anise, you can use clove)
  • 1 Cinnamon Stick
  • Pad Thai Rice Noodles, cooked

To begin, place a Dutch oven over medium/high heat and add some vegetable oil.

While the pot is heating up, take this time to slice the scallions, mince your garlic, and grate the ginger.

Once the pan is hot, add the WHITES of the scallions, ginger, and garlic to the pot.
Cook until the scallions start to soften and you smell the ginger and garlic coming from the pot.
About 2-3 minutes.

My first shortcut in my West Virginia Quick Pho is using premade beef broth.

I also have a new obsession in the kitchen, this beef base.  It is gluten free and no sodium.  It makes THE BEST broth.  So if you are using powdered bullion or base to make your broth, go ahead and add it to the pan now.  The heat will reconstitute the oils and waken up the flavors!

Now add the water or canned/boxed broth to your pot and bring it to a simmer.

Once the broth is at a simmer, add the star anise...

Cinnamon stick...

And basil leaves.

Allow the broth to simmer for 8-10 minutes.

My other short cut in this dish is that I am using Deli meat.

I know, I know...HOW DARE I, but this actually happened organically.
The traditional recipe called for a Top Round Roast, cut 1/8" thick, cross-ways.  I went to every meat market in town and NOT ONE could/would do that for me!!!  So, as we were leaving the grocery store my friend saw the organic top round roast beef in the deli section and we were like "PREFECT"!

The perk to using this is that it is fully cooked.  You don't have to worry about it not turning out right.

So while your broth is simmering, and your flavors are developing, slice the roast beef in 1 inch slices.

Once your broth has simmered for 8-10 minutes add the mushrooms and

Beef slices to the pot and simmer for 4 more minutes.

After 4 minutes, remove the start anise and cinnamon stick from the pot.

The final short cut I took in my West Virginia Quick Pho endeavor is that I used these awesome, precooked, pad Thai noodles.

You just open the package and

Break them apart in the bowl.
The hot broth will heat them through.  They were divine!

And there you have it!  A delicious, authentic tasting, Pho made in LESS THAN 20 minutes!  You want to talk about a great weeknight meal!  This West Virginia Quick Pho is warm, savory, sweet, and spicy all rolled into one!  You will notice that I didn't use any salt or pepper in this dish.  That is because with the beef base and deli meat you really don't need it.

Some of the traditional toppings for Pho are lime wedges, bean sprouts (I used canned), cilantro leaves, the greens of your scallions, chili sauce or siracha, and Serrano chilies.  It is amazing and I know you are going to love it!

I will warn you that there will be A LOT of "PHO" jokes passed around the table, but I can't think of a better way to spend a meal with my family and friends than laughing together over some great food!  So get in your kitchen tonight and try this wonderful Vietnamese delight!

And as always...

Happy Reading, Happy Eating, and Happy Living,
~The Kitchen Wife~


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