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Star Anise, a distinctive flavor in Vietnamese Beef Broth for Pho

Star Anise, a distinctive flavor in Vietnamese Beef Broth for Pho

Star Anise, a distinctive flavor in Vietnamese Beef Broth for Pho

Spring may be here but the cool temperatures in the mid-Atlantic parts still leave plenty of welcome for a hot bowl of soup.

Flavored Vietnamese beef broth which provides its base for the Pho soup is a distinctive one much enhanced through a single spice, Star Anise.

The traditional broth made using beef marrow or other types meaty beef bones can be similarly prepared at your home using ready-made broth or stock simmered with the designated spice, herb and vegetable ingredients.

There are two types of anise, one is a plant, an herb, grown popularly in the Mediterranean that also provides a similar licorice flavoring, but the spice, Star Anise, used in flavoring Beef Pho with the dark reddish-brown color and shape that resembles a star is a different species than the herb. The Star Anise spice is an evergreen shrub and it is grown natively in areas of Asia as China and Vietnam.

The Star Anise has two segments within it, the outside woody like coating called the husk supporting the pointed shapes that create the star, and the inside seeds within each point visible by turning the star over. Both parts, the husk and seed of this spice are edible and can be used whole as with the Beef Pho Broth, or ground, for a variety of uses such as the main ingredient in the Chinese 5 Spice Blend.

For some, the distinctive taste of the Star Anise is mysteriously disguised to them once combined with the other ingredients in the Beef Pho eaten from some places serving up really good Vietnamese Noodle Soups as the specialty.

While always fun to enjoy Pho at restaurants with friends, it is also very easy to prepare this similar broth for your family at home achieving a hot and delicious soup quickly by adding noodles, some sliced grilled beef and a variety of vegetables.

This winter, although officially now past has also assumed lingering colds and sniffles so broth-based soups such as this Beef Pho Style Broth may assist in comforting at least some of the symptoms that go along.

After straining your broth, you can ladle the steaming soup into individual bowls adding in the noodles, assorted vegetables, beef, and  topping the soup with fresh cilantro leaves, and Thai basil with lime wedges and hot sauce served on the side.

In all, if you are looking for an easy but sustaining meal with distinctive flavor, or looking to cure what ails you, this colorful, steaming, fresh broth in the style of Vietnamese Beef Pho may just be a Star dish for you. 

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  • Hi, I'm Peggy. Welcome to our Shared Table at Spiced Peach Blog!
    Subscribe here for my fresh, seasonal recipes with an international twist.