Tag Archives: Pho

Pho-A Soup That Heals

We gotta start with the stock home made or it won’t be healing! This can be gluten free or grain free. Your choice.


Pho-Classic Vietnamese Soup

Vietnamese Spiced Beef Stock (Nuoc Dung Bo)

3 lbs meaty beef bones or oxtails
14 cups purified water
1 3-inch piece of ginger
1 onion, cut in quarters
1 tbsp salt
6 whole star anise
1½ cinnamon sticks
2 large bay leaves
4 whole cloves
1 tbsp coconut sugar or raw agave nectar
2 tsp fennel seeds

Place bones in a roasting pan and roast in oven on 350° F until browned. Remove bones
and put into a large stockpot. Pour the fat out of the roasting pan. Place pan over burner
and add cold water. Scrape up all the good brown bits and add the contents of the pan to
the stockpot. Add more COLD water to cover the bones. Make sure liquid comes no
higher than 2 inches from the top. Salt and return to a boil. Stir in the star anise,
cinnamon, bay, cloves, ginger, onion and sugar. Put the fennel seeds in cheesecloth, a
tea ball, or in tin foil that’s been pierced all over, and add them to the pot. When the stock
comes to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer, skimming, for about 4 hours. Strain and
remove fat. ***To make this into a super stock as I like to call bone broth, simmer for at least 24 hours and add water as you need to. You also must add at the start, either cider vinegar or lemon juice to help extract the minerals from the bones. I think lime juice would be nice in Pho too…just 1/4 cup. Why bone broth? It’s full of minerals, collagen (helps joints and other tissue), glycine, glutamine and proline. The minerals are in a form that can be readily absorbed…things like calcium, magnesium, silicon, sulphur, phosphorous and more. This can help reduce inflammation which is a big part of getting healthy. It can also boost your immune system. Best of all…it heals your gut lining and leaky gut is an immense health problem these days. It causes all kinds of troubles including auto-immune diseases.

Now for the soup itself…

Phó (Vietnamese Beef-Noodle Soup) Serves 6 big bowls and I think there might be leftovers:)

If you like Asian soups and can tolerate some spice, this is the ultimate comfort food. It’s
a snap to make once you get hold of all the ingredients and in many cities and other locations we have access to an amazing array of Asian ingredients. Depending on personal tastes, variations on phó would include crunchy tripe, tender long-cooked brisket, savoury beef balls, or silky tendon. Or it could come as a light chicken version, phó ga. A good phó restaurant would be expected to list 15 to 20 of these choices.

Whatever your preference, this soup is delicate but filling; fragrant and satisfying–and
historically interesting. Phó is a blend of Mongolian beef hot pot (the Vietnamese were
the only people who defeated the Khan’s invading armies–that grilled their meat on their
shields and made “hot pot” soup in their helmets), Chinese spices, and SE Asian herbs.

So gather the ingredients and prep…

½ pound phó rice noodles (These can be the real thing, banh phó, or rice sticks or any
rice noodle at all.)  So this will be gluten free but not grain free. For grain free, you can substitute zucchini spiralized to make noodles. Just cook for a short time in the broth and voila, veggie noodles. I’m thinking abut trying a mix of daikon with the zucchini.


8 cups Vietnamese Spiced Beef Stock (above)
Lime juice to taste.
2-3 tbsp nuoc mam (fish sauce made from fermented anchovies available in some
supermarkets and Asian markets) or other Southeast Asian fish sauce
¾ pound slab of boneless beef (top round is fine but I spoil myself with fillet), partially frozen then sliced into paper thin slices (ask your butcher). I was even able to get the
butcher at Save on Foods to slice it for me.

Accompaniments: ¼ cup sliced green onions, ½ cup Thai basil or regular, 2 cups fresh
mung bean sprouts, 6 lime slices, finely sliced jalapeno peppers, and nuoc mam.
Cook the noodles in boiling water for 5 minutes, then drain (or follow package directions
for whatever noodles you’re using). Heat spiced beef stock, lime juice, and nuoc mam (fish sauce) in a large non-aluminum saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer the broth for about 30 minutes. If you are using zucchini noodles, put them in the broth about 5 mins before ready to plate.

Arrange green onions, basil, bean sprouts, chilies, and lime slices on a platter.
When ready to serve, distribute the noodles evenly among the deep bowls, then top with
meat slices. Pour the hot broth over both, filling the bowl, and serve immediately, with
porcelain spoons and chopsticks and with the platter of accompaniments, nuoc mam (fish sauce), and chilli sauce on the side. This is a meal in a bowl!

Accompany with a bottle of chili-garlic sauce (Tuong ot Toi Viet-Nam, if you can get it) or
chili oil drizzled into broth for extra heat on the side (Yum!).



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Soup Stock-How Important is it to Make Your Own? VERY!

So why make your own when it’s readily available in stores? To me it’s obvious…you have control over the ingredients and length of simmering time.

Contrary to popular belief...Stock does not include the kitchen sink or the family pet! He looks a bit photoshopped, no?

In the old days, people always had a big pot of stock simmering on the wood stove. Not only was it a way to use up left overs, helping to stretch the budget but most importantly it offered a simple nutritious meal. The cooks in those days didn’t waste. They would use the bones, hoofs, antlers and any other part of the animal they could glean gelatin from. Gelatin is important to healthy joints, nails, hair etc. Here’s a tip to get more gelatin and other goodies like calcium, magnesium, and potassium to leach from the bones into your simmering stock…add a small amount of lemon juice or vinegar (not white vinegar which is a petroleum product). White wine, red wine or cider vinegar are OK as well as wine. Just a TBSP to 1/2 cup is enough depending on the size of your batch. Meat stocks should simmer for many hours (12 to 48) to produce a gelatinous stock. When the stock is cool, it should be wobbly like jelly. Gelatin is also known to aid digestion and allows the body to more fully utilize complete proteins. Other stocks like veggie and fish stocks simmer just a couple of hours. I don’t salt my stock as I can salt the dish I’m using it in later.

Now this is more like it!

Stock should be simply, bones, carrots, celery, onions (maybe tomatoes and mushrooms), peppercorns, herbs and water. All the other junk that is added to many store-bought stocks is totally unnecessary.

Still not convinced? Here’s a story that might shock you! In fine restaurants, you would think a good stock would be a must in soups and sauces, mainly because of the taste it imparts. BUT DINER BEWARE! Many restaurants use commercial canned or concentrated stocks, which are usually very salty and contain preservatives. We had a shock when dining in a Seattle seafood restaurant a few years ago. Dr. Van Dueck ordered the chowder (you know the white kind–Boston) and liked it so much that he asked for the recipe. The waiter was kind enough to bring us the recipe card for us to copy. Much to our chagrin, we found that it was made with a powdered stock mix and didn’t have milk or cream in it, but Coffee Mate!! We were stunned and needless to say didn’t bother to write down the recipe. I finally realized why they used Coffee Mate instead of the real thing. They were avoiding dairy for those with allergies and I suppose it kept forever unlike milk or cream. I still think that it is awful that unsuspecting customers are fed Coffee Mate, a product we personally avoid because it’s made out of corn syrup solids and partially hydrogenated oils, and artificial flavorings, none of which were ever designed to go into the human body. What did we learn from this? …You can’t always trust your taste buds!

Here’s some more reasons for making it yourself. Fish stock, especially when the heads are used, provides iodine, which is extremely important to the thyroid gland. According to research, 40% of all Americans have some level of thyroid dysfunction which causes, fatigue, weight gain, frequent colds and flu, inability to concentrate, and depression, etc. Click here for info on Hypothyroidism.

So take a couple of weekends a year and get the family involved. Once you make your chicken, beef and fish stocks, preserve them for later use by freezing or canning.

TIPS: Keep a plastic ziplock bag in the freezer to collect onion skins and trimmings, celery bits, carrot ends, mushroom stems and tomato bits. Always start your stock with cold water. Chicken and beef stocks can be intensified by roasting the bones first.

Keep separate bags to collect chicken bones, fish bones/crustacean shells, beef bones and meat scraps. When it comes time to making stock, you will have a lot of the ingredients just waiting for you and may only have to purchase some bones.

Today I will give you the recipes for beef, chicken and fish stocks and a few soup recipes you can use your stock in.

Variations on these include lamb, veal, turkey, and duck depending on your preferences.

“Indeed, stock is everything in cooking…without it nothing can be done.” ~Auguste Escoffier

Beef Stock

Hearty Beef, Barley & Vegetable Soup

Pho (Vietnamese Aromatic Soup)

Pho Stock

French Onion Soup





Chicken Stock

Classic Chicken Noodle Soup

Thai Chicken and Coconut Milk Soup

Fish Stock

My Favourite Chowder…a cross between Boston (white) and Manhattan (red)  -Who would have thought? The best of both worlds! I call it B&M Chowder. You can very this recipe to be a fish chowder, crab chowder etc.

B&M Clam Chowder

Serve in a small round hollowed out sour dough loaf to impress your guests.









Shrimp Bisque (secret ingredient-Mace-which is the outside skin of nutmeg)


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