In celebration of National Noodle Month, Fat Noodle’s Executive Chef and culinary extraordinaire Luke Nguyen shares his favourite recipe for Angus Beef Sirloin and Brisket Fat Pho. Plus, Luke talks about the tips and tricks that’ll help you nail Pho at home – including all the must-have toppings (think fresh herbs and chilli), and why it’s actually okay to slurp your bowl of broth.
“Pho was the first dish I ever cooked and it holds a special place in my heart. I’ve tasted Pho from all over Vietnam, and flavours vary from region to region. Pho from Hanoi has more subtle flavours, with a very light broth. Whereas Pho from Saigon has a much darker broth with prominent star anise, clove and cinnamon notes.
I’ve taken the best of both worlds to create our unique signature Fat Pho at Fat Noodle. It has an incredibly aromatic broth, which is slowly simmered for 24 hours to draw out all the wonderful natural flavours of the premium ingredients, herbs and spices that we use. The deeply flavoured broth is then poured over fresh silky rice noodles and topped with finely-sliced Angus Beef making it the most delicious and decadent Pho in town.
For those looking to recreate the dish at home, my first key tip would be to be sure to always clean the bones for your stock well. Scrub them under cold water and then blanch them in boiling water before adding them to your stock pot. This will ensure a nice clean clear broth.
As a young chef I was always taught to add MSG to give it that extra umami boost. However, our Fat Pho at Fat Noodle has always been MSG free, which means it takes more time to get the flavours right but it’s worth it in the end. Sourcing good quality beef shin bones and oxtail to give your pho stock that wonderful deep flavour, means there’s no need to add any artificial additives. And, if you prefer your broth lighter, just take your spice pouch out of the stock pot after 4-5 hrs.
When it comes to topping, there is no wrong or right to what should be served with your Pho, as it comes down to what you prefer. I like to add bean sprouts, Asian basil, saw tooth coriander, fresh chilli and hoisin sauce. Others like to add a squeeze of lemon, sriracha, fish sauce and rice paddy herb. Or just throw in all of the above!
And yes…you can definitely loudly slurp when eating your steaming bowl of Pho – life’s meant to be enjoyed!”
Luke has shared his recipe for Angus Beef Sirloin and Brisket Fat Pho, found on the menu at Fat Noodle at The Star Sydney and Treasury Brisbane.
Angus Beef Sirloin & Brisket Fat Pho
Courtesy of Executive Chef of The Star Sydney’s Fat Noodle, Luke Nguyen
- 1kg (4 lb 8 oz) oxtail (ask your butcher to chop it into 3cm pieces)
- 1kg beef bones
- 4 tablespoons salt
- 1 unpeeled garlic bulb
- 4 large unpeeled onions
- 150g unpeeled ginger
- 2kg beef brisket
- 185ml (3/4 cup) fish sauce
- 80g rock sugar
- 1.6kg fresh rice noodles (you will need about 200 g per person)
- 400g trimmed sirloin, thinly sliced
- 4 spring onions (scallions), sliced
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Coriander (cilantro) sprigs
- 1 cup of bean sprouts
- 1 bunch Asian basil
- 2 bird’s eye chillies, sliced
- 1 lime, cut into wedges
For the spice pouch
- ½ tablespoon coriander seeds
- ½ tablespoon Sichuan pepper
- ½ tablespoon cumin
- ½ tablespoon fennel seeds
- 8 whole cloves
- 5 whole star anise
- 2 cassia bark or cinnamon, about 10 cm (4 inch) in length
- 1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
- 40 cm (16 inch) square piece muslin cloth
- In a large pot, submerge the oxtail in cold water, add 3 tablespoons of the salt and soak for 1 hour, then drain.
- To make the spice pouch, dry roast each ingredient separately in a frying pan over medium heat until fragrant. Cool, then coarsely grind using a mortar and pestle or small spice grinder. Add the ground spices to the muslin square and tie up tightly in a knot. Set aside.
- Heat a barbecue grill or chargrill pan over medium-high heat and grill the unpeeled garlic, onions and ginger evenly for 15 minutes in total until all sides are blackened. Now peel the blackened skins and discard them, and then roughly chop. By doing this, the garlic, onion and ginger becomes sweet and fragrant, releasing more flavour into the stock.
- Put the oxtail, beef bones, brisket and 6 litres of cold water in a stockpot and bring to the boil. While the stock is boiling, constantly skim any impurities off the surface for 15 minutes (this will ensure a clean, clear broth), then reduce the heat to a low simmer. Add the fish sauce, remaining 1 tablespoon of salt, rock sugar, garlic, onions and ginger.
- Cover and simmer for 2 hours. Remove the beef brisket, cover, allow to cool, then refrigerate.
- Simmer the broth for a further 4 hours, then add the spice pouch and simmer for another 2 hours.
- Meanwhile, slice the beef brisket into thin pieces. Blanch each portion of noodles in boiling water for 20 seconds. Drain, then transfer to a serving bowl. Place three or four slices of brisket on top of the noodles, followed by three or four pieces of raw sirloin. Pour over the hot stock to cover the noodles and beef.
- Garnish with one tablespoon of spring onion, a pinch of black pepper and a coriander sprig to each bowl. At the table, add chilli, bean sprouts, basil and a squeeze of lime.