INGREDIENTS:For the broth:
1 large onion, peeled and quartered
15 shallots, peeled
3-4 ginger roots in one-piece, washed, unpeeled
1 pack of phở seasoning (Gia Vị Nấu Phở Bắc). (See note below)
5 star anises
Salt to taste
Sugar to taste (I use rock sugar but regular sugar is fine)
Fish sauce to taste
Emu Fan Filet for “tái” as meat
Rice noodles (buy the fresh pack, usually in the cooler section. It’s better than the dried pack)Accompaniments/garnish:
Beans sprouts (you can grow these at home if you’d like. Takes about 4-5 days. Let us know if you want to know how to grow them.)
Thai basil and cilantro (saw-leaf like herb) if in season
Green onions, chopped
1 small onion, peeled and paper-thinly sliced. (I use an Asian peeler to slice it to get it paper-thin. If you don't have one, just try to slice it as thin as you can)
1-2 limes, cut into wedges
Note: I used to use this pack to cook my phở. It has all the spices you need to make a pot of phở. It comes with a fabric pouch to hold all the spices.
- The key to making good pho is to have a clear broth. So clean your emu neck (or leg) bones very well. Pre-cook them as a cleaning process. Drain and rinse them well.
- In a large stockpot (16-quart size), add water to about 1/2 – 2/3 of the pot, allowing enough room to add your pre-cooked emu bones in later without overflowing. The more bones you use, the better your broth will be.
- Cook the water to boiling, then add your pre-cooked, clean emu bones. Bring to a boil. When you start seeing foam and impurities float to the top, skim it. Your goal is to skim that stuff to keep your broth clear. Never let your soup over-boil. Over-boiling makes the broth cloudy. Add more water if needed as the liquid evaporates during the boiling process. Keep the heat low and simmer the bones for at least 8 hours. Phở takes a whole day to cook, but that’s what makes it good. The longer you simmer the bones, the better your broth is.
- Meanwhile, wrap the ginger roots in heavy-duty aluminum foil. Seal them tightly. Do the same for the shallots. Char them on your grill or you can turn on your oven and broil them in the oven until they release a fragrant aroma. I usually do them in my oven at 375F. 45 minutes for ginger roots and 20 minutes for the shallots. You can put them in the oven at the same time, just take the shallots out early.
- For the star anise, you can toast them quickly in a skillet for a couple minutes until they kind of turn black and release a fragrant aroma. When the ginger is done, slice the roots into 1/4 inch slices and add the them to the stockpot along with the shallots and the star anise. Continue to simmer and skim the broth as needed. Season with salt and sugar to taste. I usually add some fish sauce in addition to the salt to season the broth. But if you don’t have it, salt and sugar are fine.
- After about 6 or 6.5 hours of simmering, add the spice pouch and onion quarters to the stockpot and continue to simmer. Then remove the pouch after 1 ½ – 2 hours so that the spices do not become overwhelming and make the broth bitter. Taste the broth again and see if it needs more salt, fish sauce, or sugar. This part is all up to your taste. When you season, if you think the broth tastes just right, it will be a bit bland after you add the noodles. If you think it tastes just slightly salty, it will be perfect once you add the noodles.
- When the broth is ready, remove and discard all of the bones and strain the broth using a strainer. You may want to also line the strainer with a cheesecloth because emu neck releases much more residue. This way, you will have a clearer and cleaner broth. Enjoy!