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Home > Recipes > Soups and Appetizers > Faux Pho (Vietnamese soup), +Inspired by Barb
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Posted: Feb. 4 2007, 12:10 ET

Barb offered some general advice about making "Pho" in another topic and I gave it a shot Saturday night.  It was really good.  


3.5 ounces lean beef, veal, or chicken, grilled, then thin sliced into soup sized pieces
1 cup approved chicken broth*
1/2 cup approved beef broth*
1 Tbsp tomato paste
1/4 tsp ground ginger
2 oz. sliced mushrooms
2 oz. shredded cabbage
4 oz. bean sprouts (I used canned)
1/2 tsp cilantro
1 oz. diced fresh jalapeno (flesh only)
approved hot sauce to taste

* See the food list for approved choices.  I used the "Swanson reduced sodium beef broth" and the "Campbell's 25% less sodium chicken broth".

Started with a piece of 3.5 steak, grilled with no seasoning on it.  Then I sliced it really thin and made it into thin 3/4" by 3/4" squares (roughly).

Spray a pot or something (what I used is really neither -- it is actually sort of bowl shaped like a wok -- made by Emeril -- very handy) with some Pam.

** All of the cooking below is done covered. If you don't cover it, you probably will have sauce, not soup when you're done.  :) **

Set the stovetop to medium heat and saute the jalapenos, mushrooms, and cabbage for a little bit on medium heat while you measure and mix the broth and seasoning in the next step.

While that is cooking, measure out the chicken and beef broth, and add the ginger, cilantro, and tomato past to the broth mixture, and get it well mixed.

Add broth mixture to pot, continuing with medium heat.

Cook that way for about 5 minutes and then add the bean sprouts, your sliced meat, and whatever hot sauce you want (approved hot sauce only of course).  Note: if you're using fresh bean sprouts you might want to add them earlier -- I was using canned, so they were already ready-to-eat texture/consistency.

Cook a few more minutes to heat the bean sprouts through, then dump into a big bowl and eat.

Yield: 1 Protein, 1 1/8 Vegetable, 2 Miscellaneous:Seasoning*

* Includes 1 Tbsp. of tomato paste - limit 1 Tbsp. per day

When I made this I noticed I was out of lime juice (I would have sworn I had some), so next time I'm going to add that, and try some of the following as well:

Notes for next time:
Add some lime juice
Saute some garlic and a little minced onion with the jalapenos
Add artificial sweetener equivalent to 1/4 tsp. of sugar
Add 1/2 tsp. basil

Posted: Feb. 4 2007, 14:50 ET

Hey Brian, your Pho sounds delicious.

However authentic Pho, and I do understand that this is a variation, is made very differently.  I'm going to toss in some tips on making it more authentic for those of you who wish to try this.

First off, here's a photo of authentic Pho....

When making Pho, you use strips of thinly sliced raw beef and you also use fresh bean sprouts and raw onion slices.  Also, there are never mushrooms in Pho, although hey, if you want to toss them in there, go for it.

First off, you boil the broth, adding the spices, tomato paste, and the cabbage 'noodles'.  Keep at a simmering boil until the 'noodles' are soft.  

While that's cooking, put some raw onion in the bottom of your rather large bowl, throw in your fresh bean sprouts, layer your raw beef on top of that.

Next, take your boiling broth/cooked cabbage/spices mixture and pour it over top of the meat and bean sprouts.  The boiling broth will cook up your beef slices for you, soften the onion slightly and even though the bean sprouts will soften slightly as well, they'll still be crunchy and have an amazing texture.

Don't forget to add more hot sauce if you wish, garnish with fresh cilantro, tackle it with chopsticks and enjoy each and every wonderful mouthful.  

There you go.......

Just a couple of hints from someone who used to 'live' on Pho, literally, before she started this diet!  :D

Posted: Feb. 4 2007, 17:06 ET

Thanks!  That sounds really good too.  It also sounds Dr. B legal.  Do you still make it?

Posted: Feb. 4 2007, 18:12 ET

To be honest with you, I've avoided Pho since starting the diet.  However, after your suggestion or Barb's, to use shredded cabbage as a substitute for the rice noodles, I may just have to give it a shot.

Making Pho is a long process, boiling bones etc to make the broth, but I just wanted to throw in my 2 cents to make your wonderful dish a little more like the 'real' thing.

I'll let you know how I like your version with a little bit of mine tossed in there for good measure.  :D

Posted: Jan. 15 2009, 16:38 ET

just tried this pho recipe. it was delicious!! i will definately make it again!!!

Posted: Apr. 16 2009, 22:06 ET

THis is amazing! Two nights in a row and I cannot get enough, however I am using chicken instead of beef!

Posted: Nov. 16 2013, 22:30 ET

Fabulous soup!!!! :D  :thumbs:

Posted: Nov. 16 2013, 22:35 ET

Fabulous soup!!!! :D  :thumbs: