Pho… Salad


I like Pho. I grew up on the national dish of Vietnam. If you’ve never had it, I feel sorry for you. It’s got a light but flavorful beef broth flavored with five spice, lemongrass, ginger, and garlic. When you order it you get a side plate of lime wedges, thai basil, cilantro, jalepeno, and bean sprouts. If you’re at a proper Pho selling establishment, you’ll quickly receive a big bowl filled with broth and rice noodles topped with raw thinly sliced beef. The heat from the broth cooks the raw beef perfectly. I always order Pho with the beef raw and on the side to ensure that the kitchen dosen’t pre-blanch the meat for the american pallete. If your Pho shop won’t serve you this way, find another pho shop.


The problem with Pho is that I live in Houston. Summer is nearing, the temperature was over 90 degrees today. So a big hot bowl of piping hot soup… not exactly seasonal. So I decided to see if I could transform this classic soup into a salad.


The result was perfect. All of the flavor of Pho, without the warming broth… here’s how I did it.



1 carton of beef broth (cause I wasn’t going to simmer one for hours).

1 Stalk of lemongrass, bruised.

3 cloves of garlic, smashed.

1 half sweet onion.

4 green onions.

1 (thumb sized) piece of fresh ginger, smashed.

2 Cloves.

2 Star Anise.

1 Tspn Fennel Seed.

1 Tblspn Sechwan Peppercorn.

1/2 Tspn (Vietnamese) Cinnamon.

^Pressure cook that shit, 20 minutes, slow release.



2 cups of seasoned broth (above) strained. Reduce to about 1/3 of a cup.


After broth is reduced, add:

1 tspn fish sauce.

2 tspn Siracha Sauce.

2 tspn Hosin Sauce.

2 tblspn grapeseed oil.

1/16th tspn xanthan gum (two tiny pinches, to hold immulsion).

whisk together.


Cook a small strip steak 54 Celsius in your circulator using the sear-sous vide-sear method. My steak was pretty thin so I opted for the blow torch as my searing device.


Fill a large pot with water and the remaining seasoned beef stock. bring to a rapid boil and cook 1/4 package of Banh Pho (Fettuccini sized rice noodles). Once the noodles are al dente, drain and rinse the noodles. Toss the noodles in the dressing with:1 cup bean sprouts, Mint, Thai Basil, Cilantro, and green onions to taste.


I also made a Pho-spiced vodka to drink with the salad. I used the iSi pressure infusion technique with Tito’s Vodka, Lemongrass, Cilanro, Thai Basil, Ginger, Jalepeno, Clove, Star Anise, Fennel, Sechwan peppercorn, and gralic. I served this in a stemless snifter- straight up room temp. It was awesome, the heat and herbal flavors of pho, a slight vodka bite. I think it would also be VERY good with ice and tonic water.


Dress the plate.



One thought on “Pho… Salad

  1. Job well done mate…the balance between raw and cooked was amazing and more importantly ….you got the spice right on the salad……..very few chefs get that right but you had it spot on!

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