Pho Tai – Vietnamese soup (Video)

by Kayla Magazine

Those who have traveled to Vietnam will remember the Pho Tai soup served for breakfast. Yes, as soon as the sun rises on the streets of Hanoi, tiny “kitchens”rows are lined up. Pots full of aromatic broth simmer over hot coals.

What is Pho tai?

Pho Tai Nam is a Vietnamese street food soup available throughout the day. It is popular with locals in the morning. Meat broth flavored with star anise and cinnamon warms your whole body. The soup’s ingredients are mostly the same everywhere: rice noodles, Vietnamese herbs (lemon, basil, mint, coriander), thinly sliced ​​pieces of cooked sirloin, soybean sprouts, and the most important, a must – special sweet and sour fish sauce to season the soup.

Pho Tai is currently one of the trendiest restaurant dishes! Similar to ramen, a bowl of Vietnamese Pho Tai Nam is both – a soup and a main course. So for me, it’s the perfect pre-made lunch dish.

Making the Pho Tai soup

Perhaps you just think that this soup is too complicated on a busy day! No, not at all. After slurping down a bowl of such flavorful, light food, you feel warm, full and happy. After having this soup, even the lack of sun seems not that bad, considering that the light deficit in January is just the beginning of a long February.

There is not much to say about the soup Pho Tai (pronounced [fo]) – you just have to try it. First, you need to cook beef or chicken broth (I think authentic pho should be made with beef broth…). Making broth will be the most “difficult” and longest task, since everything else will be ready right away. Actually there is not that much to do. You only need to throw quartered onions, add water, spices, meat and leave to simmer for about an hour or two. So, is it that hard.

By the way, make sure you make more broth than you plan to eat. Tomorrow, as you return home tired and hungry, your tummy will thank you. You’ll be happy once this aromatic dish starts steaming on the table.

broth ingredients

Ingredients needed for Pho Tai broth

  • 2 medium-size onions,
  • fresh ginger
  • 3 scallions,
  • 2.5 liters of boiling water
  • 17 oz (500g) beef with bones, or just bones for broth
  • 1 cinnamon bark stick
  • 2 stars anise
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon of salt

How to make Pho Tai beef broth

Preheat the oven to 400 F/200 C. Add the onions, ginger root, bone-in meat (or bones) to the baking sheet. Turn several times and cook until the onions are nicely browned and softened (If I have no time, I skip this step). Transfer everything to a large pot. Pour over boiling water and bring to a boil. Skim off the foam, then add the spices and salt. Cook the broth on low heat for at least an hour. The longer you cook, the tastier and more concentrated the broth will be. As the liquid evaporates during the cooking process. I promise. Strain the broth, cut the meat from the bones and transfer it to a separate bowl. Serve it as an addition to the soup. Throw away all the leftover onions and bones.

Pho tai ingredients

Pho Tai soup ingredients

  • Rice noodles (pour hot water and leave for about 3 minutes or so)
  • 1 piece of beef tenderloin, cut into very thin strips
  • Fresh red onion, cut into thin strips (not necessary)
  • Soybean sprouts (or bak choy – scald it with hot water)
  • Greens (coriander, parsley, basil, mint)
  • Roasted peanuts
  • Homemade Fish sauce (ingredients and instructions below)

How to make Pho Tai soup

In Vietnam, all sauces are placed on the table, so that you can make soup to your taste. At street food restaurants in Vietnam, the broth simmers on the table because it has a cavity with hot coals to keep it hot. Therefore, raw beef strips are prepared right on the table. When I cook at home, I usually throw the beef strips to the broth for a minute before serving to boil the meat through.

Pour hot water over rice noodles and leave for about 3 minutes or so. Strain. Add a large handful of cooked rice noodles to your soup bowl. Then a handful of soybean sprouts (if you have them), Bok choy (you can find it in Food Lion) softened in boiling water for 1 minute. Pour boiling broth with meat pieces over everything, sprinkle with greens and nuts. At the very end add homemade fish sauce to your taste.

fish sauce ingredients

Ingredients needed for Vietnamese Fish sauce

  • 3 cloves of garlic (crushed)
  • 1/4 cup cane sugar (50g)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup of water (125ml)
  • 3 tablespoons lime or lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons of fish sauce
  • 1-2 chili peppers, thinly sliced ​​or chopped

How to make Best Vietnamese fish sauce

Mix the crushed garlic with the sugar and salt in a bowl. Then add the water and stir until the sugar dissolves. Pour in the rest of the ingredients, cut the chili pepper, throw in a bowl and mix everything together.

fish sauce

Substitutions

  • What is a good substitute for beef broth? You can make chicken, turkey or pork broth. Just use your favorite type of meat or what you have on hand. Real broth should be boiled with bones. If you have them, make sure to add them.
  • Can I substitute fish sauce with soy sauce? Definitely yes. Use less of soy sauce, as it is darker and more caramel-flavored than the bright sour saltiness from fish sauce.
  • I’m allergic to peanuts. What to do? Can I substitute cashews for peanuts? Use cashews or pistachios. Pine nuts are also a good choice.  If you are allergic to all nuts try beans or chickpeas.
  • I’m vegetarian. What is the best plant-based meat substitute? All pulses. Try beans or chickpeas.

Recipe FAQs

Can I freeze broth?

Strain and pour the broth into an ice cube tray, and freeze it in cubes. Once fully frozen, remove the cubes of broth and store them in a freezer-proof container such as glass storage dishes or stainless steel storage dishes. You can freeze larger quantities in glass mason jars. There is a risk of breakage as liquids expand during freezing which can crack your jars resulting in wasted.

Leave enough room for expansion. Leave a two-inch clearance between the top of the jar and whatever you’re filling it with. Always remember, frozen liquids expand, so don’t overfill, or you will end up with a cracked jar.

pho tai soup

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pho tai

Pho Tai

Serves: 6 Prep Time: Cooking Time:
Nutrition facts: 200 calories 20 grams fat
Rating: 5.0/5
( 1 voted )

Ingredients

  • BROTH
  • 2 medium-size onions,
  • fresh ginger
  • 3 scallions,
  • 2.5 liters of boiling water
  • 17 oz (500g) beef with bones, or just bones for broth
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 stars anise
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon of salt
  • SOUP
  • Rice noodles (pour hot water for a few minutes until soft, then pour cold water)
  • 1 piece of beef tenderloin, cut into very thin strips
  • Fresh red onion, cut into thin strips
  • Soybean sprouts or bak choy (you can steam them briefly)
  • Greens (coriander, parsley, basil, mint)
  • Roasted peanuts
  • Homemade Fish sauce* (ingredients below)
  • VIETNAMESE FISH SAUCE
  • 3 cloves of garlic (crushed)
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar (50g)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup of water (125ml)
  • 3 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1-2 chili peppers, thinly sliced ​​or chopped

Instructions

Pho Tai beef broth

Preheat the oven to 400 F/200 C. Add the onions, ginger root, bone-in meat (or bones) to the baking sheet. Turn several times and cook until the onions are nicely browned and softened. Transfer everything to a large pot. Pour over boiling water and bring to a boil. Skim off the foam, then add the spices and salt. Cook the broth on low heat for at least an hour. The longer you cook, the tastier the broth will be. I promise. Strain the broth, cut the meat from the bones and transfer it to a separate bowl. Serve it as an addition to the soup. Throw away all the leftover onions and bones.

Pho Tai soup

In Vietnam, all these sauces are placed on the table, so you can make your own soup. At street food restaurants in Vietnam, the broth simmers on the table because it has a cavity with hot coals to keep it hot. Therefore, raw beef strips are prepared right on the table. When I cook at home, I usually throw the beef strips in the stock for a minute before serving to boil the meat through. Add a large handful of cooked rice noodles to your soup bowl. Then a handful of soybean sprouts (if you have them), Bok choy (you can find it in Food Lion) softened in boiling water for 1 minute. Pour boiling broth with meat pieces over everything, sprinkle with greens, nuts. At the very end add fish sauce to your taste.

Vietnamese fish sauce

Mix the crushed garlic with the sugar and salt in a bowl. Then add the water and stir until the sugar dissolves. Pour in the rest of the ingredients, add the chili pepper and mix everything together.

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