Faux Pho Bo ala Aida Mollenkamp

 I really wish we can just subscribe to our favorite TV channels, and not in bundle pack. Why? Because I only switch channels between Food Network and Cooking Channel. The rest..not so much, unless my favorite TV show is on. I tend to be a couch potato when it comes to food channel and thanks to hubs for letting me be like one once in a while. One of my favorite shows was Ask Aida. I love her calm and fun personality and how everything looks so easy when she’s on the screen.

When I heard she has her own book, Keys To The Kitchen, I knew instantly I had to get one because it covers all I need to know in the kitchen. It is essential for a rookie like me. So, last week, I got a chance to try one of her recipes from this book, Cheat Sheet Beef Pho. This recipe is so perfect for these cold rainy days, which I expect more lately so I have an excuse to enjoy this. You won’t believe how simple and delicious it is.

Cheat Sheet Beef Pho ( Faux Pho Bo)


Pho Broth

  • 2 tbs canola, grapeseed, or peanut oil
  • 2 yellow onions, halved
  • One 3-in piece fresh ginger, halved
  • 4qt beef stock or low-sodium broth
  • One 3-in cinnamon stick
  • 3 star anise pieces
  • 3 whole cloves
  • 1/3 cup fish sauce
  • 3 tbs packed light brown sugar
  • 1 tbs kosher salt


  • One 12-oz package banh pho (flat rice noodles)
  • 1lb flank steak, London broil, sirloin, or eye of round, sliced as thin as possible
  • 2-3 Thai chiles, trimmed and thinly sliced
  • 2-3 handfuls bean sprouts
  • 1 bunch fresh Thai basil
  • 1 bunch fresh mint
  • 1 white onion, sliced paper thin
  • Chili-garlic hot sauce (such as Sriracha) or hoisin sauce (or both), for serving
  • 2 limes, cut into wedges, for serving


  1. For the broth: Heat the oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. When the oil shimmers, add the onion and ginger and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned and caramelized, about 10 minutes.
  2. Add all the remaining broth ingredients and bring to a boil.
  3. Decrease the heat to low, partially cover, and simmer until the broth is infused with flavors, at least 30 minutes, for a very light flavor, and up to 3 hours for a richer flavor.
  4. Taste the broth, and add more fish sauce, salt, or sugar, as needed. Strain the broth and set aside until ready to use.
  5. For the pho: Return the broth to the pot and place over medium-high heat. When the broth simmers, add the rice noodles and cook according to package directions or until tender.
  6. Meanwhile, place the remaining ingredients on a serving platter. When ready to eat, fill soup bowls with the noodles and top with raw meat slices.
  7. Ladle broth into each bowl, serve, and let guests garnish the pho to their liking.

 Click here to know more about Aida Mollenkamp.



  1. Linda – So great to meet you the other night. Thanks for coming out to Square Meals!

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