Pho is a rich and spicy soup that is perfect for a cold winter day.

Pho is a rich and spicy soup that is perfect for a cold winter day.

Sheridan Way

Sheridan Way

On those cold January days, there is nothing better than a bowl of soup, scorching and delicious, to warm the soul of winter, and today’s featured recipe is sure to do exactly. that.

Pho, pronounced “fuh” (not “enemy” as I often misunderstand), is a dish that has a history and traditions as rich and fluid as the broth with which it is made. My first experience with this simple and magical soup was living in Chicago, north of the city, where a lesser-known Asian neighborhood 20 years ago was home to many traditional Vietnamese family-owned restaurants and grocery stores. Right next to the Argyle L red line stop by my best friend Doan who was born and raised in Vietnam and I would recount the fun we had the night before over a steaming bowl of pho and coffee. extra strong Vietnamese iced – just the ticket to brunch after a late night out.

Previous column: Epicuriosity 101: Why not a new tradition for a new year?

Yes, this rich and spicy soup was a brunch and the perfect dish to cure just about anything on a cold winter day. Reading a little more about its history, this soup testifies to the dynamics of food trends as times, cultures, and constituent requirements change over time.

The BBC travel site notes the following:

“Although no one knows exactly how the pho came about, most believe the villagers saw an opportunity in 1898 when the French colonialists started building the textile factory in Nam Dinh (northern Vietnam). French technicians and thousands of laborers flocked to the area to work on Indochina’s largest silk factory, and these two soup dishes, bánh đa cua, a type of river crab soup using the tiny crabs which abounded in the rice fields to make a seafood broth and the xáo, which consisted of slices of water buffalo meat cooked in a simple bone broth with rice vermicelli noodles, spring onions and herbs, were probably combined and modified to meet French tastes (using thinly sliced ​​beef instead of buffalo).

At my friend and I’s favorite stop, we almost always ordered the thinly sliced ​​raw beef and added the Vietnamese meatballs to the large bowl of steaming hot broth with rice noodles. The thin slices of beef cooked in the hot broth were tender, and we often added Hoisin, Sriracha, and the vegetable kitchen sink often served alongside: a herb cousin of cilantro, Thai basil, sprouts. of fresh soybeans, green onions and a squeeze of lime. The rich and aromatic nature of this soup is a culinary moment that I cherish with fondness. In today’s COVID chaos, this may also be the ticket for you and your loved ones.

Following: Epicuriosity 101: Three Ways to Make Meal Prep Fun This Year

Chef Josh, a new member of the LLCC Culinary and Hospitality team, shares his recipe for this delicious soup – a recipe he makes very often for his own family. Joshua Dineen joins our program as a Specialist Chef and brings with him a wealth of experience that will soon be appreciated by all through his contributions to Epicuriosity in addition to bringing his expertise to both our academic courses and our community education landscape. Traditional soup will also be part of our Bistro Verde menu this semester, which opens on February 1. Please visit our Facebook page at LLCC Culinary and Hospitality for menu information, meal reservations, and ordering instructions. closer to our opening date. The Bistro invites everyone to participate in the active classroom where cooking and hospitality students perform dishes to order. Everyone stay healthy and warm.


For the soup:

2 pounds of oxtails

3 pounds of beef bones

5 inches of fresh ginger root

2 shallots

1 onion

8 cloves of garlic

1 gallon of cold water

3/4 cinnamon stick

3 stars anise

2 black cardamom pods

(Optionally add also for a spicier flavor – 2 whole cloves, ½ cup coriander seeds, t fennel seeds)

½ cup * ¼ cup fish sauce

2 T of sugar (rock sugar, palm sugar or brown sugar – depending on your availability)

1 T sea salt – NO iodized salt

1 T of vinegar

For mounting :

Ready-to-eat prepared rice noodles. There are many varieties available. Use what works best for you. Follow the package directions.

Bean sprouts boiled for 2 minutes then placed in cold water to drain.

White onion minced, raw or boiled for 1 minute, rinsed in cold water-drain.

Coarsely chopped fresh cilantro and basil

Fresh lime wedges and sliced ​​fresh chili (if you like spices)

Thinly sliced ​​beef rolls – found in the local Asian market in the freezer section.

Sriracha and Hoisin Sauce in a Side Dish


1. Wash the oxtails and the bones in cold water to rinse them.

2. Place it in a large saucepan, cover with cold water and bring to a boil.

3. Boil for 5 minutes, pour into colander, discard liquid, rinse oxtails and bones to remove scum and debris. Wash the pot.

4. Return the oxtails and bones to the clean pot.

5. Place the ginger, shallots, onion and garlic on a baking sheet. Grill them until they are charred but not burnt. Rinse lightly and add to the oxtails and bones.

6. Add up to a gallon of cold water. It’s important to cover the ingredients with water, but don’t add more than a gallon of water. Bring to a boil, lower the heat to a slight bubble. Bake 5-7 hours (up to 24 hours). Top up the water level if necessary. This can also be done in an instant pot on the pressure cook setting for broth / soup to save time.

7. During this time. Lightly toast the whole spices in a sauté pan, do not burn.

8. Add the toasted spices, ½ cup of fish sauce, sugar and salt to the pot after the simmer time is finished or the pressure cook cycle is finished. Simmer lightly for 30 to 60 minutes, or another pressure cook cycle in Instant Pot.

9. Add 1 tablespoon of vinegar and ¼ cup of fish sauce to the pot. Taste for seasoning. The broth should be fleshy, rich with a pleasant spicy heat. Should NOT taste like traditional beef broth. At this point, you can strain the broth and keep it hot and covered for serving.

10. Place the rice noodles in the bottom of a large bowl. Garnish with the toppings that make you happy.

11. Pour the broth over the bowl you created. The hot broth will instantly cook the thin slices of raw beef.

12. Alternative / additional meat options. Add a small brisket or other roast beef to the oxtails and bones at first. Remove when breast or roast is tender, but not too soft. Cool and set aside. Slice cold and use as a delicious garnish.

13. You can also buy Vietnamese style meatballs in the freezer section of the Asian market. Another complicated recipe is making them from scratch.

Sheridan Lane is Director of Culinary Programs and Operations at Lincoln Land Community College.

Want to know more?

Lincoln Land Community College offers Associate Degree programs in Culinary Arts and Hotel Management, Certificates in Culinary Arts and Bakery / Pastry, and non-credit community courses through the Culinary Institute.


Questions? Send an email to [email protected]

This article originally appeared in the State Journal-Register: Pho is a rich and spicy soup perfect for a cold winter day

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