@Steven: Based on the additional information, here are some additional feedback for you:
- The spice in water test should be just that, testing some spices in boiling water in a small sauce pan just so you see what color you get. This is for your own understanding of how these ingredients behave and how they affect the liquid color. I wouldn't just continue to make your pho from this. Instead of using pre-made bags, you may consider buying your own spices and mix them yourself. This way you know exactly what you use.
- 23 quart pot is not very large, especially with bones and other things in there, but it should be fine for home cooking. Just be aware that, for such small pot, any change you make may become more magnified and exaggerated than you may intend to.
- The instant flavoring may have contributed to your color, but without knowing what it is, it's hard to say.
- Regarding the bones, if you haven't done so, I suggest you have them cut into 2 inch long pieces. This will expose more marrow for more flavor quicker.
- During blanching, I would not just simmer the bones and the meat (like flank and/or brisket, if you use any). I would boil it at the highest boil you can for 5-10 minutes, then discard the water and wash the bones and meat. This is the time to get all the dirty stuff out of both the bones and the meat, and this is the way to do it. Otherwise, you're not getting much junk off at slow simmering.
- For the charred ginger and onions, it's not necessary to clean off the black/burned stuff. The black stuff actually contributes to your broth's flavor, and they don't add much color if at all. You said you filter the broth afterward so that is perfectly fine.
The bottom line is to have fun finding what you want, but you want to do it with the proper knowledge in order to say on track. I hope these tips help. Happy hunting.
Thanks for the advice! I'll try it again this time with your suggestions. Until then, I have to finish the big pot of hu tieu in my kitchen.
Let me know how it goes the next time you try it again @Steven. Looks like you're very busy cooking good stuff in your kitchen there.
Its look like a duck, walk like a duck, quack like a duck, it is a duck! There are many companies out there making much better tasting products than this company with better flavors. Someone commented in amazon this product smell like fish food. Also I heard this company put dead people bone in their soup base. No lie. do your research.
anh cuong - we LOVE your amazing PHO wisdom and knowledge!
we will in Australia and they don't carry Quoc Viet here :((((
but we brought back some from trip to USA
I will use QV's beef base tomorrow.
1) do you recommend adding fish sauce and rock sugar at the end?
2) I made QV's chicken pho with coconut sugar. Would coconut sugar be okay substitute for rock sugar in the beef base?
3)what containers do you freeze leftover broth in? do you also freeze the meat, too?
4) 10 Quarts is enough for 4 people or 20? I was confused on that.
For us, 1 tub of base is enough for 10 servings
THANK YOU !!!
I was recently at our local Oriental grocery store and came across these products on a shelf. I've only had pho a handful of times and have loved it. We have California Pho (a franchise, I believe) here and Honestly I have no idea how authentic it is or if it is actually 'good' pho.....but I have really enjoyed it every time! I bought the beef flavor and was excited but nervous to use it and was so happy to come across this blog prior to actually making it! I think I ended up reading the whole comment thread. Even though the recipe is on the container, I found this and many of the comments very helpful in making a successful....pho tai chin? I think? I made my pho with brisket and thinly sliced sirloin....my fiance was super confused when I put slices of raw beef in the bowl prior to adding the hot broth but once it cooked before his eyes he understood! I'm not a fan of sprouts but am trying to incorporate a lot of veggies in my meals, so even though it may not be proper, I added thinly sliced pepper rings and baby bok choy to my bowl. I'd say it turned out comparable to what I've had at the pho restaurant nearby.
Because I live 100 miles from the nearest Vietnamese restaurant, I've learned to make pho myself, and I use the QV soup base exclusively. The big key is to make sure you rise your bones and beef and rinse the pot out before after boiling, and starting with fresh water to get that nice clear broth. I've also read that it's best to use the beef "knuckle" bones, but I can't find them in my area. Instead I use the traditional beef shank-type bones and dig the marrow out of them. This also helps to keep the broth clear. Thai basil grows beautifully in my area of northern Michigan and it's a really nice extra treat when I can have that fresh in my pho! Thanks for such a nice blog. I've enjoyed reading this!
I use the base because, well, I'm still intimidated about toasting the appropriate spices! I use the bones because I think it adds a beefier flavor than just the base alone. I also char my ginger and onion. Here's the website I'd read about removing the marrow from to make a clearer broth, thus, my rationale. https://steamykitchen.com/271-vietnamese-pho-recipe.html I simmer the bones about three hours.
I can only grow Thai basil in the summer months. Incredibly, in my sandy Lake Michigan soil, it grows really well. Better than Italian basil! I end up just settling for other herbs in the winter.