Pho has been a pho-nonemon in the States recently. Yes, I feel the urge to use that pun.
So when you say "Pho" it usually means beef Pho, and if you are referencing the other pho that's not beef, then you would put the name of the protein beforehand, or afterwards in Vietnamese, like Pho Ga, aka, Chicken Pho or Pho Do Bien, aka, Seafood Pho and etc. Pho is all about the broth and that takes hours to prepare. But sometimes, we don't have the luxury of making the broth from scratch, and thus this "quickie" method in using the ready-to-use beef stock. We'll need to amp the broth up with the Pho usual-suspects of ingredients to bring this broth back to Vietnam. It can be done, and Swanson beef stock served well for this semi-homemade Pho recipe.
RECIPE for 4 servings.
3 boxes of 32 oz unsalted beef stock
1 package Pho noodle (fresh), prepared according to instructions on package
1/2 lb thinly sliced eye round steak, ask the butcher to thinly slice these
1 lb, fresh beef meat balls, cut into halves (your local Vietnamese market has these fresh or frozen)
1 yellow onion, cut in half and char over open fire
1 knob of ginger, about 3-inch, half it lengthwise, char over open fire
1 box of Pho spice pouch, Pho Hoa or Pho Pasteur brand (available at Vietnamese stores)
2-3 tbs premium fish sauce, or to your taste
1 piece of 2x2 rock/palm sugar or 1 tbs sugar (optional)
To be served at table side:
Sirachi hot sauce
Marinated red onion - (1/2 red onion, thinly sliced and then marinade with 2 tablespoon of white vinegar, 2 tablespoon of water, 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of sugar, fresh cracked black pepper)
1/2 small white onion, slice thin
1 jalepeno, sliced
1 bunch green onion, diced
1 bunch cilantro, chopped
1 bunch thai basil
1 bunch vietnamese saw tooth herb (Ngo Gai)
1/2 lb bean sprout
1 lime, cut into wedges (lemon works too if lime is not available)
Prepare noodles according to instructions on package.
Place broth, the charred ginger and onion, and Pho spice pouch in soup pot. Bring broth to a boil then keep at simmer for additional 15 minutes.
Remove spice pouch. Taste with a tablespoon of fish sauce and sugar. Put in beef meat balls at the last 5 minutes to warm up the already-cooked meat balls.
Assemble Pho noodle in large soup bowl. Then place slice by slice the raw beef. Top with diced green onion, thin slices of white onion and diced cilantro.
Ladle hot broth with meat balls into bowl to cook the raw beef.
Serve soup with tableside plate of veggie condiments.