Phõ is a classic
Vietnamese soup made from a long-simmered spiced beef broth poured over cooked rice
noodles and thinly sliced raw beef (the heat of the broth cooks the beef). The soup
is garnished with lots of bright, fresh ingredients, like herbs, scallions, and
lime. This superfast version calls for doctoring store-bough broth with the same
spices, and using thinly sliced leftover steak in place of the raw meat. It's not
the real thing, but it comes close to being just as tasty, especially on a busy
Serves 4 as
a main course.
3 whole star
3 whole cloves
1 2-inch cinnamon
1/2 tsp. fennel
2-1/2 cups low-salt
chicken broth, preferably Swanson's Natural Goodness brand
2-1/2 cups beef
broth, preferably Pacific brand or a lower-sodium brand
3 Tbs. fish
piece fresh ginger (1 to 1-1/2 inches thick), unpeeled and thinly sliced
8 oz. 1/8- to
1/4-inch wide rice noodles
8 oz. leftover
rare or medium-rare steak such as Rib-Eye Steak with Star
Anise and Rosemary,
- very thinly
sliced and cut into bite-size pieces (about 1-1/3 cups)
1/3 cup thinly
sliced scallion greens
1/3 cup coarsely
chopped fresh cilantro
1/3 cup coarsely
chopped fresh basil
1 medium shallot,
sliced into thin rings
1 cup bean sprouts,
1 lime, cut
into eight wedges
such as sambal oelek, or thinly sliced fresh hot chiles (optional)
In a dry 3-qt.
or larger saucepan over medium heat, combine the star anise, cloves, cinnamon stick,
and fennel seeds.
Toast the spices,
shaking the pan occasionally, until quite fragrant, 1 to 2 min.
Add the chicken
and beef broths, fish sauce, and ginger, and bring to a boil over high heat.
Reduce the heat
to medium low or low, cover, and simmer gently for 30 min.
the rice noodles in cold water for 20 minutes.
Bring 2 qt.
water to a boil in another 3-qt. or larger saucepan.
Drain the rice
noodles and add them to the boiling water.
Give the noodles
a quick stir and cook until just tender, 1 to 2 min. - don't overcook or the noodles
will get gummy.
Drain the noodles
and portion them into 4 large soup bowls.
steak, scallions, cilantro, basil, and shallot into the 4 bowls, scattering them
over the noodles.
Strain the broth
into a heat-proof container, preferably one with a pouring spout, such as an 8-cup
Pyrex measuring cup.
You should have
about 5 cups broth; if not, add water to equal 5 cups and quickly reheat the broth
Divide the broth
among the 4 bowls, pouring it over the noodles and other ingredients.
Top with the
Serve with the
lime wedges and chile paste or chiles (if using) on the side for diners to add individually
(per serving): Size: based on 4 servings, Calories (kcal): 410, Fat (kcal): 10,
Fat Calories (g): 90, Saturated Fat (g): 3.5, Protein (g): 25, Monounsaturated Fat
(g): 4.5, Carbohydrates (mg): 54, Polyunsaturated Fat (mg): 1, Sodium (g): 1540,
Cholesterol (g): 35, Fiber (g): 2.