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Food & Wine Ground >> Missing something with my Pho recipe, help please


3/5/11 7:58 PM
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Saku39
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So I have been messing around with pho the last few weekends. Ingredients:

2oz Anise
1 Tsp fennel
1 Tsp coriander
4-6 Cloves
2-4 Black cardamon
1 big chunk thai cinnamon
Toast all the above spices

Forgot how much sugar, but I didn't have yellow rock sugar so I just used granulated sugar.

Leg Bones with large marrow deposits, 4-6 lbs
Chunk of Daikon radish
2-3 TBLS fish sauce
2-3 TBLS MSG

Par-Boil bones, skimp scum
While doing this I broil my yellow onion, 4-6 pieces of garlic, 4" chunk of ginger.

Add all to the pot, bring to a boil then simmer. Continuously skimming the scum., for 4 hours.

Let it sit over night and removed a layer of fat, returned to stove and simmered for 4-6 hours until the marrow was noticeably reduced. At the 2 hour mark I added a piece of brisket to the mix. I left the pot covered, is this a no no ?

It was good but not great, lacked the savoriness that I get at my local joint.

Any input would be greatly appreciated. Should I add oxtails ?

FYI- I'm white,so I know I am fuckin this up somehow.
8/11/11 10:49 PM
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Seul
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I worked in a viet restaurant with excellent pho for a couple years and spent several months trying to make pho the equal of my Boss's recipe with no success; it's a surprisingly tricky thing to really do well, imo (and good fucking luck getting a viet person to give you their recipe, all the ethnically asians I know who are in to cooking guard their recipes with jealousy and rage).

Do your bones still have meat on them? My boss always used thick hunks of chicken meat with bones for the stock, not just bare bones. She would discard the chicken afterwards and (if someone ordered a pho with chicken) would serve new slices of chicken in the soup.

Also, for the amount of bones you're using (in comparison with her, whom I was only able to observe surreptitiously), 2 oz of star anise is probably not enough; she used significantly more (how much I'm not sure).

8/27/11 1:56 PM
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Saku39
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Thanks Seul, I have made it like 5 times each batch I tweak a little, but it is like 2 steps forward then 3 steps back the next batch. Ill try the Anise route and get some meater bones and some chicken bones.
9/12/11 11:55 PM
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Stone Rolled
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Oxtail maybe?
10/3/11 12:52 PM
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foo55
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what have you done differently? skimming is something i dont necessarily see asians do when making pho, maybe a lot of the flavor from the marrow is being taken out inadvertently that way
10/3/11 8:34 PM
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Stone Rolled
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Oh maybe try cooking it 10 hours. I heard that's what they do at the restaurants. At least that long.
10/14/11 3:43 PM
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jaydub
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add more bones and reduce more....leaving the pot uncovered...the cinniamon, fennel, anise seed etc isnt what makes the soup good...its the beef bones and marrow..

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