Nothing says comfort like a bowl of steaming noodle soup; major bonus points if said soup is pho, the fragrant, rich, noodle- and fresh herb-packed Vietnamese specialty. With nearly magical restorative (ahem, hangover-curing) powers, pho is somehow more than the sum of its parts, but that’s not to say that the ingredients it’s made from don’t matter. Crunchy bean sprouts, good-quality rice noodles and super-fresh herbs are key, as are good cuts of beef.
Here, we employ a little kitchen hack and use Side Project Jerky‘s Pho Flavored Jerky instead of cooking fresh beef. This flavor (which was once limited edition and now is on Side Project’s roster full-time) is made with a heady combo of mushroom stock, soy sauce, sriracha, lime juice, coriander, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, fennel seed, black peppercorn, star anise and Thai basil. It really tastes like pho. And while we can’t imagine you’re going to have a cauldron of beef broth simmering away for 24 hours in your home kitchen like your favorite Vietnamese joint does, you can still make a pretty good go of homemade pho with plain beef broth that you spice up yourself (more on that below). Learn this technique and you’ll always be just a few minutes from this delicious soup!
Side Project Jerky Pho
|Prep Time||Cook Time||Total Time|
|10 min||5 min||15 min|
- 6 ounces dried rice noodles
- 1/2 cup fresh mung bean sprouts
- 4 or 5 large pieces of Side Project Jerky Pho Flavored Beef Jerky
- 16 ounces pho-spiced beef broth
- Fresh basil leaves, to taste
- Fresh cilantro leaves, to taste
- 1 soft boiled egg, sliced in half
- Chili garlic sauce, to taste
- Jalapeno pepper, sliced thinly, to taste
- Fresh lime wedges, to taste
- Heat up the beef broth in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a simmer.
- Place rice noodles, sprouts and beef jerky into a wide bowl. Pour the hot broth carefully over the ingredients in the bowl. The hot liquid will soften the rice noodles, which may take a few minutes.
- Garnish with fresh basil and cilantro, soft boiled egg, chili garlic sauce and sliced jalapeno.
- Squeeze some fresh lime on the pho and serve hot.
To make your own pho-spiced broth, start with homemade or store-bought beef broth, and add in a cinnamon sticks, a few cloves, coriander pods, star anise and crushed cardamom. Simmer gently for 30 minutes, then strain. You can also find pho seasoning in powder or paste forms in many Vietnamese markets.
- Photo and recipe: Dish Works