Lao Pho - Beef Noodle Soup
Happy New Year! My plans for this year is to publish Thai & Lao Food Recipe Book 2.
Thai pho is called 'Guoi Tiao' so when in Laos, ask for 'Pho' and when in Thailand, ask for 'Guoi Tiao'. This beef noodle soup is the most popular soup in Laos and Thailand. I like to make this soup on new years and weekends because it requires low preparation time, the broth simmers all day, and guests help themselves.
People from the northern region of Laos prefer khao soy which is with minced pork and salted soy beans noodle soup. Khao soy uses wide pho noodles.
For 12 years, everytime I craved pho, would order it at restaurants and was never quite satisfied of the taste. I find the pho soups at restaurants have too much fat and not enough meat, vegetables, herbs and sauce options. Since my parents taught me, I make my own at home and for the price of one pho soup bowl, I could feed a family of 6.
You can stir fry pho noodles to make Pad Thai Pho Noodles. Do not substitute vermicelli noodles for pho noodles. The star anis can also be added to dome kim which is pork and egg in soy sauce.
Pho Soup Broth:
1 pound beef bones
1 tablespoon salt
3 liters water
4 star anis
1/2 of whole onion
24 beef balls
In a large pot, over high heat, add all ingredients except beef balls. Boil 30 minutes. Scoop out dark foam that floats in broth. Cool to room temperature. Refrigerate overnight or until fat hardens. Remove fat and place broth over high heat. Add beef balls and boil.
Side Options of Meat, Vegetables, Herbs, and Sauces:
thinly slice raw beef
chopped cooked tripe
chopped green onions
chili tomato sauce
Soak pho noodles 30 minutes in cold water and drain. In a large soup bowl, add a handful of noodles. Pour hot water into bowl to cover noodles. After 3 seconds, drain water out. Add desired amounts of meat, vegetables, herbs, and squeezed lime into bowl. Add pho broth and beef balls. Add 1 tablespoon each fish sauce, oyster sauce, chili tomato sauce, and 1/2 teaspoon shrimp paste. Mix soup and enjoy!
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