Phoken good Pho (recipe)

If you were to come and tell me that there were a better Mac and Cheese than Kraft’s Cheesiest, I’d send you to the mental institution.  You Crazy!  The Mac and Cheese I grew up with?  The one so close to my heart that even my Chinese mother could not pry me from with her dragon mom talons?

So for me, a chinese, mid 20’s male to say he’s created an amazing Pho, not being Vietnamese, you’d think I’m crazy.  Well, I am.  But give this a whirl, it’s made with a deep, rich stock, full of rounded flavor and body, the right amount of viscosity, clarity, and pure, beefy flavor.  The picture below is from the 1st edition.  This includes so much beef bone, and an additional step well worth the trouble.  So much for Pho where you must ration the amount of beef to noodle.  Like Yan Yan crackers and chocolate.  Ration your noodles and your stomach cause this is coming 100% at you.

It’s not cheap; ends up running $15-20 a bowl.  Or $160 if you eat straight from the Brazier, it’s that good.

To make this, I used over FIFTEEN pounds of bones and the beef ribs, OH the beef ribs are divine.  Let them rest in the liquid so they reabsorb the liquid they lost during braising.

Need: 24qt brazier/pot.  Why so damn big???? Cause its yammmyy.

For stock:

  • 5 pounds beef knuckle bones
  • 1 pound beef marrow bones
  • 3 pounds beef shank (veal is better for a higher gelatin content)
  • 8 pounds meaty beef back ribs (whole foods/your local butcher, NON frozen), trimmed
  • 2 pounds oxtail (add more than 2 pounds if you want, people devour this)
  • blackened ginger, 2 blackened onions
To complete:
  • wagyu chuck roll
  • prime short rib
  • prime ribeye
  • onion, green onion, cilantro, jalapeno, sriracha, bean sprouts, lime, chili, hoisin

I’m not so good at following directions, so forgive me if my directions are misleading.  Here are some Rough Directions: 

  1. Blacken 2 onions for a deep rich flavor and 1 medium sized piece of ginger.  Blacker is better.
  2. Heat the knuckles, marrow, and shank at 450F and brown in the oven
  3. season & Seal the Meaty back ribs on the stove with vegetable oil and some garlic, past golden brown.
  4. Create or purchase two spice packets containing allspice, clove, cinnamon..
  5. Put the browned meat in ~ 5 gallons cold water (you want to start from cold so when you boil then turn to simmer (4-5 hours) you extract maximum flavor from the inside of the bones/gelatin.
  6. Constantly skim impurities + scum throughout the cooking & skim fat at end.
  7. Add 1/8 cup fish sauce, ~ 1/8 cup sugar / season w/ kosher salt to taste. Taste and adjust.
  8. You know how to boil noodles, cook them super al dente and later complete with boiling stock.
  9. Pour boiling water in your serving bowls to heat, then dump out.  This will ensure your soup bowl stays hotter, longer.
  10. Briefly cook raw meat in boiling water to remove blood impurities
  11. (under the “to complete section”) Add noodles, a beef rib or three per bowl, garnish.
  12. People will love it, and WARNING! you may love it so much, you will eat more and more and have meat sweats, meat nightmares, but that’s your problem… I have no solution except to drink more beer.

Alcohol pairing: tried a number of different wines.  Stick with vodka or ice cold Sapporo.


  1. Boy does this recipe sound good and rich and beefy. The only time I make pho is when I get a deer where I use the shanks for broth. The raw meat varies with the individual muscles I may have separated. I don’t use the prime cuts for the raw meat though, ie., back strap and filet, those are used for fine wine meals.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *