Saturday, February 26, 2011


Vietnamese Meatball Beef Noodles Soup aka Pho Bo is a nourishing soup made with flat rice noodle.It's a popular street dish in Vietnam and so popular that many consider this dish as a national dish. This dish has its story, there are many stories how this dish became the Vietnamese classic, some claimed that it was originated from Hanoi and some claimed that there were French influence in the broth. Anyway this dish is fantastic your trip to Vietnam will not complete without tasting it.

For muslim there are few halal restuarants that you can enjoy this. My first encounter this authentic Vietnamese Beef Noodle Soup was way back in 2004 in HCMC - Ho Chih Mi City. Superb...7 days there and 7 days without miss.

The beef broth is the most important element in this dish. The beef broth perfumed with star anise, peppercorns and ginger. Translucent rice noodles float in the bowl, topped by thin beef slices and sauteed sweet and crisp shallots. Sprigs of fresh Thai basil, mint and cilantro always accompany Pho. Bean sprouts, chilies and fresh squirts of lime also are added for a burst of flavor. To do this dish on your own you got to ensure these three important points are strictly adhered

  • The broth must be clear and have the essence of beef and beef bones. It must be steaming hot to the touch.
  • The rice noodles should be soft but firm. The sliced beef must be cooked and tender. 
  • The presentation must be attractive with garnishes of harmonious colour.

I had been wanting to try making the traditional beef pho (or pho bo) from scratch. I started looking for a recipe in my bookmarks and the one that caught my attention was  from   Even though this Pho Bo sounds like our local Mi Soup or Bihun Soup it took a bit of work and time to prepare the broth. To get a clear soup, you have to strain the broth. This part of the process I considered a bit taxing, but you have to do it if you really want the authentic Pho Bo, after all I can said that it's worth. Nice and beefy and sweet and salty and eating with raw taugeh, basil and mints enhances the noodles aromatically. 

For this recipe I used egg noodles (yellow mee) and since my children loved meatballs, I added the meatballs to the broth. To get a better impact I made our own "sambal kicap", real....real hot. The choice of noodles is your, you can use keuw teaw, bihun or  even egg noodles.

For the broth: 
2 medium yellow onions / 2 biji bawang besar
4-inch piece ginger / 4" halia
2 -3 kg beef soup bones / 2 -3 kg tulang lembu campur
5 star anise / 5 bunga lawang
6 whole cloves / 6 ulas bawang putih
3-inch cinnamon stick / 3" kulit kayu manis
1 pound piece of beef chuck, rump, brisket or cross rib roast, cut into 2-by-4-inch pieces / 1 kg campuran tulang rusuk som-som
1  1/2 tablespoons salt / 1 1/2 sdb garam
4 tablespoons fish sauce / 4 sdb sos ikan
1 ounce (1-inch chunk) yellow rock sugar / 1 oz gula merah

For the Meatballs
500 g minced meat / 500 gm daging kisar
2 tsp tapioca flour / 2 sdt tepung ubi
1 sdt salts / 1 sdt garam
1 tsp baking powder / 1 sdt baking powder.

Combine all and shape into balls and set aside / Campurkan semua bahan dan bentukkan seperti bebola kecil dan letak sebelah.

For the bowls:

1  1/2-2 pounds small (1/8-inch wide) dried or fresh banh pho noodles ("rice sticks'' or Thaichantaboon)
1/2 pound raw eye of round, sirloin, London broil or tri-tip steak, thinly sliced across the grain (1/16 inch thick; freeze for 15 minutes to make it easier to slice)
1 medium yellow onion, sliced paper-thin, left to soak for 30 minutes in a bowl of cold water
3 or 4 scallions, green part only, cut into thin rings
1/3 cup chopped cilantro (ngo)
Ground black pepper/
Masukkan mee yang celur ke dalam mangkok, letakkan hirisan daging(dipotong nipis-nipis), taugeh, daun ketumbar,daun pudina, daun selasih dan hirisan limau nipis.

Optional garnishes arranged on a plate and placed at the table: 

Sprigs of spearmint (hung lui) and Asian/Thai basil (hung que)
Leaves of thorny cilantro (ngo gai)
Bean sprouts (about 1/2 pound)
Lime wedges

Serving Option

The one that I had in HCMC, was a bowl of noodles and beef sliced. All garnishing ingredients were served in a separate plate,/ Semasa di HCMC, sayur-sayuran diasingkan dalam pinggan lain manakala mangkok utama mengandungi mee dan hirisan daging bersama supnya. Ini adalah salah satu cara lain untuk menghidang sajian ini.
  1. Place the bones into a large stock pot and bring to a roiling bowl for a few minutes./ Rebuskan daging dan tulang-tulang untuk beberapa minit.
  2. Drain the water, rinse the bones and the pot and fill with clean water./ Tapiskan sup dan asingkan tulang-tulang tadi ke dalam periuk lain dan masukkan air baru.
  3. Add the beef, onion, ginger, star anise, cloves, cinnamon, peppercorns, fish sauce and sugar and simmer for 2 hours./ Masukkan daging, bawang, halia, bunga lawang, kayu manis, buah pelaga, lada hitam, sos ikan dan gula. renehkan selama 2-3 jam.
  4. Remove the beef and continue to simmer for another 2 hours./ Angkat daging dan renehkan lagi.
  5. Strain the solids from the broth and season the broth to taste with fish sauce and sugar./ Tapiskan sup untuk membuang lemak-lemak dan kerak-kerak hitam pada daging.
  6. Add in the meatballs / Masukkan bebola daging.
  7. Shred the beef that was simmered in the broth and divide between 4 large bowls./ hiris daging nipis-nipis
  8. Divide the noodles between the bowls along with the beansprouts and place a few slices of the raw beef on top./ Hidangkan mee dalam mangkuk  dan letakkan taugeh dan hirisan daging.
  9. Bring the broth back to a roiling boil and ladle into the bowls. (This will cook the raw beef.)/ Panaskan balik sup dan sendukkan ke atas mee tadi.
  10. Garnish with the basil, cilantro, jalapeno peppers, lime slices. Hias dengan daun ketumbar, daun selasih,daun pudina dan hirisan limau.
Tips adapted from Closet Kitchen

Tip: You can char the onion and ginger directly on the flame of a gas stove or under the broiler. / Untuk menambahkan keharuman sup, bakar bawang dan halia terlebih dahulu (macam membakar belacan untuk sambal belacan)

Tip: You can place the beef in the freezer for 20-40 minutes before slicing to make it easier to slice thinly./ Masukkan daging ke dalam freezer selama 20 -40 untuk mendapatkan hiris yang cantik dan nipis.

Tip: Since the broth takes so long to make you can make it the night before. Another benefit of making it the night before is that you can easily skim off the fat when you pull it out of the fridge the next day./ Memandangkan sup mengambil masa yang terlalu lama untuk direneh, buatlah sup sehari lebih awal, cara ini memudahkan untuk mengeluarkan lemak-lemak pada daging.

For those who are tempted enough to try but couldn't have the time to D.I.Y you can try this dish at any SECRET RECIPE outlet. if I'm not mistaken 1 bowl will cost you RM15.90 / Kepada yang teringin nak merasai mee dan tiada kesempatan waktu untuk membuatnya, anda boleh mencubanya di mana-mana cawangan SECRET RECIPE. harga semangkuk kalau tidak silap saya ialah RM15.90. 

Pho Bo atau Mi Sup Bebola Daging Vietnam dianggap sebagai sajian kebangsaan Vietnam. Sajian favorite masyrakat Vietnam yang terkenal di persanda dunia. Pendek kata sebut aje Vietnam orang akan  teringat akan Mee ini. Memang cukup terkenal dan tidak sah kalau tidak mencubanya, kalau kaki sudah menjejak di bumi Vietnam. Untuk mendapatkan yang halal tidak susah, banyak restuarant-restuarant halal di Vietnam menyediakan sajian ini. Saya mula mencuba sajian ini pada 2004 di Ho Chi Minh City, sejak dari itu saya membuat kajian untuk mendapatkan resipi asli sajian ini. Saya telah kenal pasti beberapa resipi dan seperti biasa membuat beberapa adaptasi bagi menyesuaikan dengan selera kita.

Kalau diteliti sebenarnya tidak banyak bezanya dengan Bihun/Mi Sup Utara, dimana daging, tulang-tulang kering, tulang som-som dan bahagian-bahagian dalam daging lembut direnehkan menjadi sup. Bezanya cuma terletak pada rempah ratus dan cara membuatnya. Mi Sup Vietnam memerlukan sup ini ditapis/saring setelah direbus, ini bagi membuang kerak-kerak hitam dan lemak-lemak pada sup. Mi Sup yang best mestilah jernih, dagingnya empuk dan lembut dan hiasanya yang menarik. Tiga perkara itu adalah element utama yang dititik beratkan.

Untuk menghiaskan mi ini dalam mangkuk pun ada teknik-tekniknya. Semuanya telah saya terperincikan di atas.

Biasanya mi ni dihidang bersama hiris daging yang dipotong nipis-nipis, tetapi untuk resipi ini saya masukkan bebola daging, ialah anak-anak kan suka bebola daging. Cara membuat bebola daging untuk tujuaan mi ini juga telah saya huraikan. Saya juga telah menghuraikan beberapa tips dari pakar masakan bagi anda menghasilkan Mi Sup Bebola Daging Vietnam dengan ummppphh...... SELAMAT MENCUBA.


Next Post - Papprika Fried Chicken / Ayam Goreng Papprika


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