What’s Your Beef?: Beefed Up Pho

3 months ago

Warm up your night with a hearty bowl of noodle soup!


Beefed Up Pho

Makes 6-8 servings


2 kilos Beef knuckle bones

1 kilo Oxtail

½ kilo Beef brisket

4 Onions, whole, with skin, sliced in half

1 4-inch Ginger, sliced in half

10 Whole cloves

5 Star anise

3 Cinnamon sticks

5 Cardamom pods

1 Tbsp Black peppercorns

2 gallons Water

1 Tbsp Brown sugar

½ cup Fish sauce

1 pack Rice noodles

1 Onion, sliced thinly

3 stalks Scallions, sliced

½ kilo Beef meatballs (optional)


1 pack Rice noodles

1 Onion, sliced thinly

2 stalks Scallions, sliced

1/2 kilo Beef meatballs (optional)





*Lime wedges

*Bean sprouts

*Siling labuyo, sliced thinly (optional)


  1. Get a stock pot big enough to contain the bones, oxtail, and brisket. Add water and bring to a rolling boil. Slowly put in beef bones, oxtail, and brisket and blanch for ten minutes. Drain the bones and meat, and return to the pot.
  2. Put onions and ginger on a rack directly over a gas flame and char. Use tongs to turn them over until burnt black on both sides.
  3. Put cloves, star anise, cinnamon sticks, cardamom, and black peppercorns on a skillet and toast over medium high heat until mixture turns very fragrant.
  4. Combine charred onions, ginger, and toasted spices to the beef in the pot.
  5. Add 2 gallons of water to the pot and bring to a simmer (do not boil) over medium heat to ensure a clear stock. Cook for 4-5 hours. Skim off the scum as it forms on top. 
  6. Remove brisket from stock when it is fork tender.  Cool and chill until firm so that it’ll be easier to slice thinly when serving.
  7. Strain stock over cheesecloth on a sieve. Remove bones and oxtail. Stir in fish sauce and sugar. Cool down and chill overnight. Remove the solidified fat layer that forms on top the next day. 


  1. Soak noodles in a bowl with cold water for 30 minutes. Drain. Bring a pot of water to boil and stir in soaked noodles.  When cooked, drain immediately. Divide noodles into serving bowls.


  1. Put sliced onions, scallions, and thinly sliced beef brisket on top of noodles.
  2. Pour hot broth carefully over the noodles. Serve with a plate of cilantro, basil, mint, lime wedges, bean sprouts, and chopped siling labuyo.
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