Pho.  The essence of pho is the broth.  Which is why I hesitate to even classify this as pho; I totally cheated.  Or so I thought until I read this article.  Let me explain.

Just when you thought that dumb beef tongue post was out of sight I bring it up.  Yep, consider this tongue part duex.  Okay, so traditional pho does not require you go buy a tongue—however, I surely advocate that you do.  Generally the broth is made from boiling cheap cuts of beef, bones, spices etc.  It just so happens tongue is a cheap cut of beef, and I saved the liquid (better known as “broth”) we simmered the tongue in to make tacos.

Perhaps the lack of marrow-y bones classifies this broth to faux.  I’m okay with that.  When fish sauce and ginger were added to the re-simmered broth, it transformed.  All I’m sayin’ is at least it sounds like the real thing.


1 beef tongue (or other cut of cheap beef and bones if you have them)

1 thinly sliced low fat content steak (sirloin or skirt would work)

1 yellow onion, quartered

Fresh ginger

½ C fish sauce

4 green onions, chopped


Chiles, halved (we used jalapeno, but thai or Serrano would work well)

A bunch of water (ie. However much broth you want to make)

1 tbsp per serving hoisin sauce (optional)

1 tbsp sriracha per serving (optional)

Okay.  Fill up a big ‘ol cauldron with water and toss in your tongue (or other cheap meat and bones—NOT your lean beef), chiles, yellow onion, fish sauce, ginger, and ¼ of the green onions.  Simmer every-thang for at least 3 hours.  Then strain and make tacos de lengua out of your tongue.  Place the strained broth back on medium heat.

Meanwhile, thinly slice your lean beef and soak your noodles in room temperature water for 15 minutes.  Bring a pot of water to a boil and toss the noodles in for not much longer than a minute.  Those suckers cook fast.  Strain the noodles, and rinse with water—you don’t want them sticky.  Divvy up noodles amongst the bowls you will serve your pho in.

There are two ways to do your lean beef—it depends done-ness preference.  I would recommend the raw version, but I like tender almost under done meat.  1.  Done.  Toss the meat into the broth and let simmer until it is done to your liking.  2.  Place the raw meet on top of the noodles in your bowl.  (when you pour the broth in the bowl it will warm and cook the meet).

Place the remaining green onions in bowls and pour broth over everything.  Add cilantro, and stir in a dallop of hoisin and sriracha to your taste.  Beef-noodle-faux.


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