Food Truck Friday: Faux Pho Noodle Soup

Big Bowl of Pho Noodle Soup

Pho Noodle Soup: photo by fuel

Happy Friday Everyone,

I have not done a Food Truck Friday recipe in a while, I am sorry. I could make excuses, but why, let’s just move forward.

One of my all time favorite soups is Pho, but Pho is not paleo friendly. It has noodles, rock sugar, and fish sauce with added sugar. Then you accessorize your soup with either rooster sauce (sriracha), hoi sin sauce, or more fish sauce all with added sugar.

This recipe takes 24-48 hours. You will need to make your own bone broth and the longer it cooks the richer the broth. I cook my broth for 24 hours, because when I  make bone broth it can wake me in the middle of the night. Yes, it smells that good. This is the most time-consuming but the easiest part and is nearly hands free. Most of the time happens in the crock pot.

Now, the best Pho I can remember having had meatballs in it. I make my Pho with meatballs, but this is totally optional. Once I got the broth going I went ahead and made the meatballs then threw them in the fridge so that they would be ready the next day when I assemble my bowls of tasty Pho.

Pho Bone Broth

What you Need

5 to 6 pounds of beef soup bones
cold water (enough to fill your crock pot)
1-2 medium onions, quartered
4-inch piece of fresh ginger, halved lengthwise
2 cinnamon sticks
1 tablespoon coriander seeds
1 tablespoon fennel seeds
6 star anise
6 whole cloves
1 black cardamom pod* 
1 1/2 tablespoons salt
1/4 cup fish sauce, (Red Boat)

* Make sure you use the mature black pods and not the immature green pods. You can find this at most Asian grocers or Whole Foods. If you cannot find it then just omit it.

How to Make It

  1. Toast Spices: Add cinnamon sticks, cardamom seeds, fennel seeds, star anise, cloves and the black cardamom pod to a dry frying pan.
  2. Place on low heat and cook, stirring occasionally until fragrant. About 5 minutes.
  3. Char Onion and Ginger: Move an oven rack to a high position then turn broiler to high. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
  4. Place quartered onions and halved ginger on a baking sheet, then broil for 10 to 15 minutes, turning onions and ginger occasionally so that they become charred or browned on all sides.
  5. The Broth: Throw the bones, onions, fresh ginger and fish sauce into the crock pot.
  6. Add the toasted spices.
  7. Add enough cold water to fill the crock pot (mine is about 3 quarts).
  8. Cook on low for 24-48 hours.
  9. Pour the broth through a fine mesh strainer.
  10. Let it cool in the fridge long enough so that the fat solidifies on the top and skim it off.

Vietnamese Meatballs

For these I used the Bánh Mi recipe from Well Fed 2. Melissa has an entire (tasty) section all about burgers and meatballs on page 87.

Pho Noodle Soup

What you Need

1 to 2 pounds Kelp Noodles* 
1/2 pound raw eye of round, sirloin or tri-tip steak
1/4 cup thinly sliced onions 
1/4 cup whole cilantro leaves

OPTIONAL Garnishes Served Alongside Pho
Sprigs of fresh mint and/or Asian/Thai basil
Bean sprouts
Thinly sliced jalapeño
lime wedges
Fish sauce

* We found kelp noodles at Wild Mountain Paleo Market, but you might be able to find them at your local Asian Market.

How to Make It

  1. Heat up your freshly made bone broth and meatballs until the broth reaches a slow boil.
  2. Meanwhile, Slice the onions, jalapeño, and lime wedges.
  3. Mince up some fresh basil.
  4. Remove a hand full of cilantro leaves from the stems.
  5. Thinly slice the beef against the grain.
  6. Rinse off the kelp noodles and cut them to the desired length (I cut our in half).
  7. Once everything is ready put the broth into bowls, add the beef, noodles and onions.
  8. Serve with optional garnishes on the side.

Quick Tips:

Freeze the beef for no more than 30 minutes to make slicing easier.

Quarter the onions and then slice them in the food processor. After you slice them, let them soak in cold water until ready to use and then drain them. Soaking raw onions helps to prevent an overpowering onion flavor in your dishes.

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2 thoughts on “Food Truck Friday: Faux Pho Noodle Soup

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