Every once in a while I get a sudden craving for pho. I don't know how it hits me, but I just think about that pho smell and then I want some. I'm not about to spend 6 hours simmering some broth though, so I needed a shortcut. I remembered that Budget Bytes has a "faux pho" recipe, and it has decent reviews, so I decided to give it a try.
Her recipe uses chicken, and it just doesn't feel right to have chicken pho. I wanted beef. So I used beef broth instead of chicken broth and sliced beef instead of cooked chicken. I had a container of beef Better than Bouillon that expired earlier this year that I wanted to use up, and I bought the cheapest piece of beef I could find at Aldi, which was an "eye of round".
The soup is really simple. It's just broth and five spice. And so I mixed my beef broth with five spice and took a sip. It...felt like it was lacking something. I wasn't really sure what, but I ended up throwing in some bullhead barbecue sauce (hot pot sauce) and a little bit of hoisin, and, well, it didn't really taste like pho, but I guess it wasn't bad.
I ended up squeezing a lime slice into my bowl, and that made it taste a lot better. Still didn't really taste like pho, but it was some good noodle soup. Later that day, after I got back from a walk, I remember stepping into my living room and thinking "hey it vaguely smells like pho in here!"
I had some leftover broth and fixin's so I made more the next day, but I just went completely hot pot on it, and added cooked broccoli as well.
I really like noodle soup, and I want to give pho a try again. Maybe I'll actually use a recipe from an Asian person next time.