Quick Beef Pho Recipe with Quoc Viet Foods' Pho Soup Base
The bones, brisket and flank are essential for the beef flavor in the broth. While Quoc Viet has done a great job saving you from having to cook the bones, brisket and flank are still require to give you the rich taste. Now you can substitute more flank or more brisket in place of the other, but I would not recommend foregoing them altogether. The base itself can only give you marginal broth quality, but you may still try the soup base by itself just to know. My guess is it may be better than many restaurant broths I've tasted, but really it's half of what a real pho broth should be. Let us know what and how you did.
I just tried the Quoc Viet base for the first time today. Not only did use beef chuck (couldn't find brisket and flank at my local grocery store), I also bought a small amount of beef ribs to throw in the pot for extra depth of flavor. It came out GREAT! It was really good. I'm pretty particular about my pho. My mom's pho was the best. It wasn't like my mom's but it certainly tasted homemade and was as authentic as can be.
For those who want a little more star anise flavor (which I love in pho), you can also throw a little more into the pot.
Hi Long: I'm glad you find it acceptable to your taste. Yeah I would say adding more of any kind of beef/beef bones should definitely help the flavor. And I agree, adding more star anise can really bring pho flavor out even more. I do this myself as well.
The one thing that I found odd though was the fact that the Quoc Viet directions had you only use the spice packet for 15 minutes in the broth. I left it in there for about 25 minutes. And I found the broth when eating to be mild in pho aromas. I remember that my mom used to leave all the spices in the broth the entire time. So next time, I'm going to leave it in longer to see how it goes.
Long: It may be odd or it may not. My take on this is QV is just practicing proper precaution, specifying what I would call a safe, reasonable amount of time. I agree with you in leaving the spices in there longer; I love my pho to be real fragrant with pho spices too. From a manufacturer's point of view though, I can see that they know they do not have total control over what their customers do, so the safest is to recommend something "reasonable," like 15 minutes. With QV products, they aim to serve those who may not have ever made pho themselves before. So new QV customers may not know how long to simmer spices, or they may leave them in too long resulting in a broth too pungent for average people. Anyway what they should do is suggest something like "vary amount of spice time to fit personal preferences." If you like yours in there longer, I'd say go for it.
What cut of beef and how much should I buy for use in the broth?
Hi Joe: You want to use beef flank and/or brisket. Depending on where you live, you may not get the proper cut, but anything close should be fine. Vietnamese use untrimmed flank in pho, but you may find it difficult to get untrimmed flank in American supermarkets.
I've tried looking EVERYWHERE for this product, and I still have not luck 🙁
I live in Toronto, Canada and I've managed to only find the cheap unsatisfying Pho soup powders.. Does anyone know where to buy these Quoc Viet products specifically in Toronto? I'm REALLY craving Pho Tai Chin Nam as we speak!
Hi John: I am not sure if Quoc Viet is available in Toronto market. From what I know they do not do mail orders for retail sales. You may want to contact the company directly to find out where their products may be carried in your area. I know they may ship out products to retail customers from time to time. You can contact Alan Khoa Nguyen, Quoc Viet's Sales at firstname.lastname@example.org, I'm sure he can steer you in the right direction. Alternatively, you can try Quoc Viet's Amazon storefront.
Let us know how you fare. A man should not have to suffer just because he wants some decent Pho Tai Chin Nam.
Joe: I think you can honestly use whatever beef cuts you like. Obviously, don't waste your money on expensive cuts like filet mignon or rib-eye. If you don't like gristle or fat, use leaner cuts. If you like all that stuff, use cheaper, fattier cuts. I've even used basic baby back beef ribs for the soup stock. And the meat came out delicious! So, I cut them off the bone and added it to my bowl of pho.
Like Long just said.
I love cooking
Kim Thoa: I don't doubt you love cooking, but can you make a good pot of pho, that is the question 😉
I just purchased my first container and cannot wait to cook up my first pho effort! I've read all the comments here and have a couple of questions. Cuong how long do you leave the spice packet in for? I see Long says 25 minutes worked but maybe longer next time, do you or anyone else have a perfect time? Also, any tips on charring the onion and ginger? Do you do it stovetop or use a grill? I was advised to use beef knuckle to add depth to the broth along with the brisket and tendon, any thoughts on that? Thanks so much.
Hi Blaine: For the spices, I left mine in for various amounts of time, depending on my mood 😉 Sometimes 15 minutes as stated in this article, other times longer if I want a little stronger fragrance. One time I got distracted and forgot it until about 50 minutes later. No big deal, just a little stronger spice taste, no one will know. Others above may have found their own preferences. So I don't think there is a perfect time, because each individual is different. The restaurants cook for the mass so they have to choose one time (arbitrary but to their preference) so that the broth they serve stays consistent from one day to the next. At our Ui-Cha! Pho and Ca-Phe I think we use 45 minutes.
Charring onions and ginger is pretty easy. Either stovetop or grill or any other open flame would work. Charring in an oven at high 450°F can also work. The main thing is high temperature, dry heat, and give it enough time to burn the sides and edges. Just be sure to wash them thoroughly first. You can cut them up so they have more charred surfaces which results in more of that burnt flavor, and/or smash or crush them before going into the broth to help with the extracting of the flavors.
With respect to beef knuckle, yes that would be nice, or better yet if you can find ox tails, then that would be even better. The bones with marrow in it will give you great pho flavors, but then you'd be defeating the purpose of using the Quoc Viet soup base, because they have the marrow in there already. The idea is QV products save you time in cooking the bones. Good luck Blaine, hope this helps.