Thursday, 3 December 2009

Recipe - Vietnamese style beef Pho from the slow cooker

This is another slow cooker recipe that I found in some newspaper magazine which has been freestyled and evolved through the years.

I'm sure this is very 'westernized' and don't bear much resemblance with the real deal. I'm afraid that I've never been to Vietnam so I don't have anything to measure it against, but I like it and the people who have tried it liked it too. That is good enough for me.

This dish works extra well right now since the weather outside is generally cold, wet and nasty. It's a proper winter warmer. Best of all, it takes very little preparation and it can be ready for when you get home from work.

I've probably bored you enough now, so time to head over to the recipe.

Ingredients (serves 4)
500g braising steak, cut into thin strips
1 - 2 red chilies, sliced
1/2 thumb sized fresh root ginger, grated
2 garlic cloves
1 tsp whole cloves
1.3 litres beef stock (as good quality as possible)
4 nests of thin egg noodles
100g bean sprouts
Spring onions, finely sliced
A handful of coriander, roughly chopped
A handful of mint, roughly chopped
Juice from a lime
1 tbsp Nam pla (fish sauce)

Chuck the beef strips into the slow cooker. Cover with the chilies, ginger, garlic, cloves and beef stock. Make sure that no beef is sticking up over the surface. Cook on low for 8 - 10 hours.

When the slow cooker is getting close to the end of the run, prepare the noodles. Once prepared, divide them up between 4 bowls. Pop some bean sprouts, spring onions, coriander and mint into each bowl.

Stir in the lime juice and Nam pla into the slow cooker. Divide beef into the bowls and finish off with some of the hot stock into each bowl.



  1. Looks delicious!
    Hey Mike when you take the pictures of your dishes.. do you use photoshop or something? cause everytime i try to take a pic of what i cook it looks so bad.. i mean, not bad but just like a simple picture, i can´t capture the textures. What do you do to give that look to your pictures?


  2. Mara,

    Many thanks! It does taste quite good, especially given the small amount of effort you have to put into it?

    Yeah, I use Adobe Lightroom. It got enough features without getting too complex.

    I don't really have any fancy equipment. I have a fairly entry level DSLR, a Canon EOS 400D (Rebel XTi in the States) and I always use the same lens.

    It is the so called 'nifty fifty'. A 50mm f1.8 that's dirt cheap but gives very sharp pictures.

    I got a entry level tripod and always use my IR remote to avoid shaky pictures.

    The only real added extra is my Lowel Ego Ligth, which I wrote about here.

    I shoot all pictures in RAW format instead of Jpeg. That takes more space but you get much more room for improvement when you edit them later.

    I normally take quite a lot of shots and then choose the one I like. Every time I reposition the camera/tripod I go through from f1.8 to f11, jumping two steps.

    That's about it. ;)

    Thanks for the compliment about the pictures as well!

    // Mike

  3. I am not a big fan of Chillies..But I really like the idea of this...

    I think I may well give it a go next week :-)

    Thanks for another great recipe :-)

    Got any interesting ways of cooking 'normal' veggies? Thinking about getting adventurous with them this Christmas.

  4. John,

    I'm really glad that you liked the recipe. Comments like this always makes me smile. ;)

    You can always omit the chilies, or just go for a smaller amount, but they do give the dish a little bit of colour and some bite.

    I haven't thought much about that yet, but I did however have a 'beta test' of a side dish the other day. Just a tester to see if it would be allowed onto a quite traditional Christmas table.

    What I did was to quickly parboil, about a minute since they were very small, some brussel sprouts. Just into the boiling water and then cool them down straight away - use a icebath if you can be bothered with the extra effort.

    Then you start frying some lardons and then add the sprouts. Season well and keep frying until the lardons are crispy and the sprouts gets a bit of colour.

    If the sprouts are larger, boil them for a little bit longer and you might even want to split them lengthways before you start frying them.

    It got the nod and will be on the table this Christmas ;)

    Just a different way of cooking the sprouts and also avoiding them getting all soft and mushy by overboiling them.

    Something worth trying?

    // Mike

  5. You'll go to heaven!!!!!!!!!
    Tack så mycket!!!! ;-) that was SUPER useful!!! now finally i got my first perfect picture of some cheesecake brownies that i made =)

  6. Mara,

    I strongly doubt that I'll make it to heaven. ;)

    However, I'm really happy that what I said helped you a bit on the way.

    Hopefully you'll get many more shots that you are happy with in future.

    // Mike

  7. Thanks Mike....

    Tried the Sprouts and Lardons, worked perfectly. Even I liked the Sprouts :-)

    Another job well done....thank you :-)

  8. I want to quote your post in my blog. It can?
    And you et an account on Twitter?

  9. Sure thing, please feel free.

    Yeah, I have a twitter account, the link is here:

  10. John,

    Glad to be able to help out! ;)

    Comments like this always makes me happy.

    I hope you've had a great Christmas and I wish you a Happy New Year.

    // Mike


Please leave a comment. Positive or negative - all comments are welcome and useful. I do enjoy hearing what you think of my posts, what is good and what needs improving so please post away.

// Mike