I didn't know the proper pronunciation of this word was "pha" until just recently when I was watching The Next Iron Chef: Redemption. If the super chefs pronounced it this way, then it must be true right? Just to be sure, I wikipedia-ed it and yes, it's "pha".
Eating Phở is one of those things where you're like..its just noodles and broth. But then again, how can it be soooo good when it's only noodles and broth??? I thought you just threw a bunch of beef bones in a pot, fill it with water, add a little MSG and pray that great things happen to it. Just kidding, it's actually the spices that go in. Nothing special. It's exactly what you would find in a pumpkin pie plus a little cardamom, coriander, and star anise. Oh yea and some fish sauce makes it taste reeeeeal good.
I was skeptical during the cooking process but when it was done after 3 hours of vicious boiling, I was in heaven. I was so excited that I stupidly called my sister and was like "Anna! I invented Phở!!!" and she's "yea..okay Annie, that's definitely going on my facebook".
2 lbs of beef bones
12 cups of water
1 cinnamon stick
5 whole cloves
1 tsp grated nutmeg
4 star anise
2 cardamom pod
1 tsp fennel seeds
1 tsp coriander seeds
5 cloves garlic
4 knobs ginger
1/4 cup fish sauce
2 tbsp sugar
Bean Sprouts (I didn't have any on hand)
Rice "sticks" noodles
Parboil the beef bones for 10 minutes to get rid of any blood and fat. Rinse and add back to the pot along with 12 cups of cold water and the flavourings. Bring it up to a hard boil and let it go for an hour and half. Then turn it down and boil for another hour and half. After 3 hours, all the flavours should have been extracted.
Freeze your meet for 30 minutes to make slicing easier. You want to get the beef as thin as possible because all the cooking you will be doing is pouring the broth over it.
Add cooked noodles to your bowl (Cooked according to instructions on the pkg. Mine was 10 minutes). Top with bean sprouts, herbs, and sliced beef. Pour over hot broth and enjoy!