Chef King's Beef and Vegan Pho
The Culinary Arts chef-instructor shares two versions of the Vietnamese soup.
Chef King Phojanakong swaps ingredients with home cook Gabrielle Chappel to prepare her vegan pho while she works with his beef pho recipe.
On the latest episode of Epicurious' YouTube series, Pro Chef vs. Home Chef, Chef King is challenged with a novice cook's vegan ingredient list. He roasts vegetables to fortify a flavorful vegetarian broth, sears bok choy in place of his usual beef, sweetens his stock with carrots and adds earthiness with oyster mushrooms. He harnesses the saltiness and nutrients of kombu seaweed as a substitute for fish sauce and "brings everything together" with salt.
"The beautiful thing about pho is it has a lot of elements going on in terms of flavor and taste and textures," he says.
Meanwhile Gabrielle works with Chef King's brisket, tripe and the highest grade of wagyu ribeye in the U.S. to prepare his signature beef pho recipe, which you can find below.
Whether you take on the vegan or beef versions demonstrated here, both chefs add star anise and cinnamon sticks to their stock for aromatics and use the essential rice noodles. Chef King says "fresh herbs and pho go together like peanut butter and jelly," adding basil and cilantro.
King Phojanakong's Beef Pho
Yields 2-3 servings
- 5 pounds beef bones: marrow, oxtail, shin and knuckle
- 2 onions, quartered
- 1 ginger, split in half
- 1 garlic, halved
- 2 tablespoons oil, canola
- 2 tablespoons salt, kosher
- 3 star anise, whole
- 3 cinnamon sticks, whole
- 1/4 cup black peppercorns, whole
- 2 tablespoons palm sugar
- 1 pound beef brisket
- 1 pound beef tripe, cleaned
- 10 ounces ribeye, boneless A5 wagyu
- Fish sauce, to taste
- 1 pound flat rice noodles, soaked
- 2 cups bean sprouts
- 1/2 onions, thinly sliced
- 2 scallions, thinly sliced
- 2 stems Thai basil leaves
- 1 jalapeno, thinly sliced
- 2 cilantro stem with leaves
- 2 lemon wedges
- 2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
- 1 tablespoon sambal chili paste
- Preheat oven to 425 F. Place beef bones, onions, ginger and garlic in a shallow roasting pan and season with oil and salt. Roast in the oven for approximately 45 minutes turning the bones halfway through the cooking until nicely browned. When the bones are nicely browned, remove them and the vegetables and place them in a stockpot.
- Place the roasting pan on the stovetop over medium-high heat and deglaze with water. Add the liquid and browned bits to the stockpot.
- While the bones are browning, combine the star anise, cinnamon sticks and peppercorns in a medium skillet over medium-high heat and toast, shaking the pan occasionally until the aromatics are toasted and fragrant, about 5 minutes. Add the toasted spices and palm sugar to the stockpot.
- Add the brisket and tripe to the stockpot.
- Fill the stockpot with cold water 2 inches over the top of the bones. Put the heat on high and bring the pot to a boil then reduce to a low simmer.
- Cook the brisket and tripe for approximately 2 hours or until tender. Remove both items from the pot and continue to cook the broth for at least another 2 hours. Meanwhile, season the ribeye and sear in a smoking hot pan 3 minutes per side, remove and hold. Strain the broth and season to taste with fish sauce.
- Thinly slice both cuts of meat and the tripe.
- Place the noodles in 2 bowls along with the sliced meats and tripe. Ladle the hot broth over the meat and noodles and garnish with the remaining toppings.