Spring is right around the corner, but for now, the air outside still bites back. This warm-spiced beef pho recipe is just what you need to warm up. Starting with a steaming bowl of rich broth, you build your soup with your favorite ingredients and allow the flavors to get to know each other as they quick-cook right in your bowl.
While you may love to have an occasional bowl of pho at your favorite neighborhood pho place, you may want a more paleo, Primal, or keto-friendly option. Some places use excessive MSG, and traditionally pho is built upon a substantial pile of carby rice noodles. When you make it yourself, you can put whatever you want in your bowl.
The Best Beef for Pho, and How to Prepare It
For this recipe, we used top sirloin and carefully sliced it extra thin with a sharp knife. That’s it! You can also use other types of steak, like eye of round. Fattier cuts may be more difficult to slice thin, so opt for leaner cuts of beef for pho.
How to Make Beef Pho at Home
For the broth:
- 2 lbs marrow bones
- 2 lb oxtail
- Primal Kitchen Avocado Oil Spray
- 1 onion, cut into quarters
- 3 green onions
- 2 inch piece ginger, cut into thick slices
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1 tsp. coriander seed
- 1/2 tsp. black peppercorn
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1-2 star anise
- 1/4 cup coconut aminos
- 1/2 tbsp. coconut sugar or 1-2 carrots
- Optional: 1-2 Tbsp. fish sauce
- 6-7 cups water
Beef Pho Add-in Ingredient Ideas
- 1/2-1 lb. very thinly sliced top sirloin
- Noodle of choice : shirataki noodle, kelp noodles, zucchini noodles, hearts of palm noodles
- Herbs: mint, basil, cilantro
- Thinly sliced vegetables like daikon radish and/or carrot
- Hot peppers
- Sriracha, fish sauce, coconut aminos, red pepper flakes
- Lime wedges
Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Lay your marrow bones and oxtail on a sheet pan.
Roast for 20 minutes, then flip them over and roast for an additional 20-25 minutes.
On a second tray, toss the onion, green onions, garlic and ginger in a spray of avocado oil. Roast for 15-20 minutes.
In a small skillet, toast the coriander, peppercorns, cinnamon and star anise for about 1 minute over medium heat, or until fragrant.
Once the bones and vegetables are roasted, place them all into an instant pot. Add the toasted spices, coconut aminos, and coconut sugar.
Pour in 6-7 cups of water, or until the liquid is halfway between the 1/2 and 3/4 fill lines. Secure the lid on the Instant Pot and set it to the Soup/Stew Function. Set the Instant Pot to high pressure for 1 hour 45 minutes. After the pot finishes cooking and beeps, allow it to naturally release for 20 minutes. Allow the broth to cool slightly, then strain the broth into containers. Reserve any meaty bits from the oxtail for the soup or other purposes.
At this point, you can either refrigerate the broth to let the fat separate from the broth, or immediately use it. If you refrigerate, refrigerate overnight and scrape off the fat layer that forms at the top of the broth.
Place the broth in a pot and bring it to a boil. Allow it to simmer for a few minutes.
Very thinly slice your beef. You may find it easier to freeze the piece of beef for a few minutes to help it firm up and be easier to slice.
Traditionally, you pour the hot broth over the beef which cooks it to rare, but you can also place the beef into the simmering soup for a short amount of time to cook it more if you’d like. Arrange your bowls with your beef, noodles of choice, and any other add-ins, such as cilantro, basil, mint, daikon radish, and scallions. Feel free to add in any red pepper flakes, sriracha, coconut aminos or fish sauce to taste.
- This broth is made in an instant pot to save time. You can also make it on the stovetop. If cooking on the stovetop, allow the broth to simmer for 8+ hours. When the vegetables start to fall apart, remove them from the broth to prevent them from making the broth cloudy.
- For the noodles, you can use shirataki or kelp noodles  for low carb options, or even zucchini noodles. You can also use thin rice noodles if you want to keep it similar to your favorite pho spot.