Pho, the Vietnamese rice noodle soup dish (pronounced “fuh” with the inflection and not “faux” as it’s commonly mispronounced), has quickly become a go-to comfort food for many. Its distinctive blend of aromatics and, of course, wallet-friendly price point, is a welcoming sight on a cold, miserable night. For those times when venturing out the door is too much of a challenge, here’s a surprisingly easy way to recreate the flavours in less than half an hour in your very own kitchen.
Faux Pho Broth
Yields enough broth to cook noodles for two people, or make one XL-sized bowl.
900 ml no sodium-added chicken or beef broth
3 star anise pods
2 teaspoons all-spice
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon black pepper
Sriracha, to taste
Salt, to taste
Package of noodles (Vietnamese rice noodles or Japanese udon)
1. Bring the broth to a simmer in a soup pot. Add the anise, all-spice, black pepper, cinnamon. Continue to simmer for 10 minutes.
2. Season with salt to taste. Drizzle in Sriracha as well if you want a spicy broth.
3. Throw in noodles. Continue to simmer until noodles are tender.
4. Finish with various toppings and serve immediately.
Make sure to slice the meat really thinly so that they’re easier to pick up (and eat) with chopsticks.
Roast beef or flank steak
Peeled shrimp (grilled or boiled in the broth)
Fried or boiled egg sliced in half
Raw veggies add that distinctive watery crunch that contrasts the hot, earthy broth.
Snow peas or sugar snap peas
Mushrooms (add when the broth is simmering with the spices)
Raw baby kale or spinach leaves
1. Simmer sliced cucumbers, julienned carrots, white onion, and daikon in a saucepan with 1/2 cup white vinegar, and a pinch of both salt and sugar for 10 minutes.
2. Remove from heat and pour into a bowl.
3. Let cool to room temperature or chill before serving.
Karon Liu is a freelance food writer based in Toronto who is slightly lactose intolerant but will otherwise eat and cook anything.