Wednesday, 30 December 2009

Pho Bo - the quick way!

I recently blogged about instant sauces not too long ago and decided to use one of it to try out a Vietnamese beef noodle dish called Pho. I first fell in love with the dish when having it for the first time in Kuala Lumpur at Sao Nam. Yes, yes, yes... I know the original tastes way better in Vietnam, but I have yet to fly there and actually try it. In any case, my cooking senses was up to my ears and thought, if I can't get the original, I might as well give it a go trying to cook it. As what I normally do with my ingredients, I dig out what is available in my fridge. So here's my version of Pho Bo.

The ingredients:

1 Sachet                   Instant Pho Sauce Mix (here I used Asian Food Gourmet)
1 Packet                  dried egg noodles (the original uses flat rice noodles or thin rice noodles)
500 gms                   minced beef - marinated with pepper, chilli oil, light soy sauce and some sesame oil
                                (original normally uses sliced beef)
1 bunch                    romainne lettuce - washed (the original uses bean sprouts, veitnamese basil and mint)
2 stalks                    spring onions - finely chopped
3 bulbs                    shallots - diced
2 large bowls           water
                                pepper to taste


  1. Heat up soup pot, add in vegetable oil. Then add in the shallots and stir fry till fragrant. Next, add in water and instant Pho Sauce Mix. Bring to boil.
  2. When water is coming to a boil, spoon in small spoonfuls of minced beef. Alternatively you can roll them into balls and then add them in slowly in to the soup. Bring to a boil. When water is boiled, lower the temperature to a simmering consistency to allow beef to cook thoroughly and the marinade to mix with soup base.
  3. In a separate pot, bring to boil a bowl of water, some oil and salt. Add in the egg noodles when water is boiling and allow to cook for about 3 minutes or when noodles becomes soft and easy to manage. Drain water and add in cold water to stop the cooking process. Spoon into bowls accordingly.
  4. After noodles are cooked and separated into bowls, check your soup. This is when you can use your soup to cook the vegetables or rather blanch it. It is way easier than having to boil up another pot of water and blanch it separately. Place the vegetables into the soup. Once you see it turn a darker green, take it of and place it on the noodles. 
  5. Dish out the soup with enough meatballs or minced beef into the bowls, garnish with spring onions and serve.
Whilst the ingredients may not reflect that of the original Pho, it does provide you the taste. I enjoyed it tremendously and had the opportunity to have this version for 3 meals. Notice I did not add salt at all in the soup base. This is because your instant soup mix already has salt in it and the meat has been marinated with light soy sauce as well. The more salt you add, the saltier it gets. So, omit the salt where necessary. Just be aware of what you add in.

If you want the dish to look as authentic as it should be, then use these ingredients:

500 gms               thinly sliced beef
A bunch of           bean sprouts
2 sprigs                Vietnamese basil leaves
2 sprigs                Mint leaves
3                          bird's eye chillies - thinly sliced
A sliver                lime (lemon does not do justice here)

Savoured her craving for Vietnamese Pho Bo,
The Innovative Baker


  1. u should go to vietnam the next time u return. I highly recommend Hanoi.

    BTW, happy new year!!!

  2. qwazymonkey: yes sir! Happy New Year to you too!!!

  3. nice and spontaneous is a great way to cook!

  4. Ravenous Couple: that's the way!!!! Cooking with spontaneity always makes the dish tastes better.

  5. hmm looks good, i wonder where i can find vietnamese basil? :)

  6. AugustDiners: normally you can find them in Asian grocery stores if you're based outside of Asia. Otherwise sweet Basil, used by the Thais are also good to go!


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