Pho is one of my favorite soups. I make this broth in large batches freeze half of it and use the rest for quick meals during the week. This is a great broth to stir miso in for a light dinner. Or boil fish balls, ramen noodles and an egg in for a heartier meal. I always make sure I have a back up jar of pho broth in my freezer during the winter. You never know when you are going to get sick, and a bowl of this soup is a god sent when you have a cold.
- 1 large yellow onion
- 3 inches ginger
- 1 head garlic
- 4 beef bones
- 1/2 a chicken (I like to get a whole chicken cut the legs and breast off and use the rest, can also use 4 chicken thighs, 2 chicken legs or 6 chicken wings)
- 2 black cardamom pods
- 1 tsp fennel seeds
- 2 tsp coriander seeds
- 1 tbs star anise
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 tsp fish sauce
The key to a good pho broth is charring everything (accept the chicken) before making the soup. I do this by turning the broiler on and roasting the onion (quartered), ginger (halved), and beef bones on a baking sheet. I char the garlic (halved), cardamom, fennel, coriander, star anise and cinnamon stick in a separate plan since they burn faster than the bigger items. It is okay to burn the ingredients just do not burn them past nonrecognition.
Pull out your biggest stock pot (mine is 6 quarts) and fill it with the ingredients you just charred, chicken bits, and salt. Fill stock pot with later the 1/2 inch above brim and bring broth to a boil. Let cook for 1 to 2 hours skimming fat* and refilling with water as it boils off(the longer the soup cooks the better). Half an hour before serving add fish sauce and salt to taste. When broth is seasoned to your liking strain and serve right away or cool and store in fridge/freezer for later meals.
*Note: If you are not planning on using this broth right away this step can be bi-pasted the fat with naturally float to the top while cooling and can be skimmed off then.