Vietnamese Beef Noodle Soup AKA PHO - Keto / Low Carb & Easy Version
Today in part one of the Pho series, I would like to show you how to make an easy low carb / Keto version of this beautiful noodle soup. In part two, I would like to show you the more lengthy and traditional version using bones to make a beautiful and aromatic soup.
For those who are interested Pho is pronounced "Fuh" not "Foe."
Step one is making the broth. For those of you who have never been lucky enough to try this soup, the broth is infused with a deep rich beef flavor and the exotic flavors of black cardamom pods, cinnamon, star anise as well as other spices. Today I want to show you an easy version so that you can have this dish anytime you want and so you can explore new flavors.
EASY PHO RECIPE ( broth portion )
Easy Pho Seasoning / Spice Blend
15g Star Anise
3 - 4 inch sticks of cinnamon
10 black cardamom pods
2 Tablespoons fennel seeds
2 Tablespoons coriander seeds
1 teaspoon black peppercorns or mixed peppercorns
1-2 Tbsp. coconut oil
Remaining Ingredients ( for the broth ):
3 - 49.5 ounce cans of chicken broth
2 - 32 ounce cans of beef broth
2 Tablespoons minced ginger
2 Tablespoons minced garlic
4 ounces, fish sauce ( I strongly recommend Red Boat it is by far the best )
1-2 teaspoons sweetener of your choice, I used monk fruit
This recipe makes a huge batch of pho broth which is perfect for me, because I have a large family and I love to freeze batches of this broth so that I can pull it out of the freezer anytime and have pho readily available to me. If you freeze the broth then all you have to do is prep the toppings and your good to go. Below I will list potential toppings which you can pick and choose from and add according to your taste. If you do not need such a large amount of pho stock at one time, feel free to half this recipe.
In a large stock pot, melt coconut oil on medium heat. Take your Pho seasoning/spice blend ingredients and toast them in the oil for a minute or two until the aroma blooms and comes alive.
Once that beautiful aroma wafts up and reaches you ( you will know what I mean when it hits you ), add in both broths, ginger, garlic, fish sauce, and sweetener.
Allow the broth to simmer on low to medium low for at least two hours. If your heat gets too high and too much of your broth reduces down, go ahead and add more chicken broth.
All About Toppings:
The list of potential toppings is fairly large. You can choose any type of protein you want or multiple types of protein.
bean sprouts ( blanched )
baby bok choy ( blanched )
extra fish sauce
fresh lime juice or lime wedges
Hoisin sauce ( Hoisin sauce is not keto friendly it is full of sugar )
Sliced chilies - Thai chilies are very hot and if you would like a more mild chili choose red jalapeño.
Thai basil ( fresh / chiffonade )
mint ( fresh / chiffonade )
green onions or white onion, thinly sliced
noodles, rice noodles are traditional but for low carb dieters
When blanching your baby Bok Choy, there are two ways that you can accomplish this. You can separate each leaf and cut down the middle of the thick white part or you can take each baby Bok Choy and cut it into fourths the long way or horizontally. Doing it this way allows the vegetable to cook more evenly. Whatever vegetable you choose, heat up a large pot of water with several teaspoons of salt. Blanch your vegetable for a minute and immediately pull it out. It will continue to cook as it cools down. If you accidentally blanch the vegetables for too long, then you can stop the cooking process by shocking the vegetables in ice water.
For all my asian dishes, this is my current favorite low carb noodle or pasta. If you have one that you like and would recommend please message me. There are six total carbs for the entire bag of noodles. I found half a bag was more than enough for me. If you do not want to or can't use anything with soy in it, there are many alternatives or you can make the soup without noodles. My favorite part is the broth and meat so I would be happy either way.
This company also makes a thinner noodle that I like and would probably use for a ramen recipe.
You can make this as simple or elaborate as you want. For a daily simple meal make the broth ahead of time and freeze it. This way all you have to do is heat up only what you need and add the toppings of your choice. If you find that you love this dish as much as I do, you can make an elaborate family style ( hot pot ) buffet style meal.
Above is my hot pot. I like to make a huge spread for my family. The nice thing about a hot pot with two separate areas allows you to have two batches going at one time, which helps prevent the over cooking of your meat and veggies.
If you're using shaved beef, you can add the raw beef to your bowl and pour boiling hot broth over the beef to cook it to a rare or medium rare degree. If your using a thicker cut of beef or any other type of protein you will want to either pre-cook the protein and then allow it to reheat by covering with the hot broth, or cook it in the broth at the table hot pot style.