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Easy Flank Steak Pho

This quick and easy Flank Steak Pho, inspired by the aromatic and traditional flavors of Vietnamese beef pho, is a nutritious one-pot meal the whole family will love. Make your own pho bar loaded with traditional fresh and flavorful toppings to choose from.

a bowl of flank steak pho with bowls of toppings to choose from

This post is a collaboration with Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner, on behalf of the Beef Checkoff. I received compensation, but all opinions are my own.

Traditional pho is made with beef bones and fattier cuts like chuck and brisket. This beef pho is easy to recreate at home with flank steak. Combined with simple aromatics, flank steak makes a fantastic homemade beef pho.

This recipe was inspired by my trip to Aspen for Live Well 2016. I was smitten at the first spoonful of authentic Vietnamese Pho. A simple and unpretentious dish with such an elegant and complex flavor & texture profile. I’m not sure why it never occurred to me before that I should make beef pho myself.

Inspired by the set-up at Live Well, I served this homemade flank steak pho alongside a pho bar stocked with an assortment of traditional toppings, like bean sprouts, shredded carrots, jalapenos, cilantro, etc.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • Flank steak is budget-friendly. Preparing it this way is a great way to tenderize an otherwise tougher cut of meat.
  • It’s quick. Make DIY pho in about an hour.
  • This adaptation of Vietnamese pho does a great job of developing the rich flavors of traditional recipes.
  • It serves 6 -perfect for big families and dinner parties.
close up of a bowl of flank steak pho with fresh jalapenos and lime

Ingredients You’ll Need For Beef Pho

  • Flank Steak: This is an excellent cut of meat because it’s a great source of lean protein.
  • Onion: deepens the savory flavors.
  • Ginger Root: adds a layer of warm and spicy flavor.
  • Beef Stock: Use a quality beef stock here as the broth is half of the dish! If you happen to spot boxed beef pho broth, that works great too. You may need to adjust the aromatics.
  • Water: to expand the stock into a thinner broth consistency.
  • EVOO: You’ll need a bit of oil to cook the garlic and lemongrass. You can also use avocado oil here.
  • Garlic & Lemongrass: add bold flavor making the broth taste distinctively like pho.
  • Soy Sauce: Richens the flavor and deepens the color. You can also use coconut aminos here.
  • Fish Sauce: adds a layer of salty, sweet and umami flavor.
  • Brown Sugar: Adding sugar to an already salt and savory dish is a great flavor enhancer. Sugar rounds our all of the flavors.
  • Star Anise Pods, Cinnamon and Cloves: This trio of aromatic spices adds warming, comforting flavor.
  • Green Tobasco: for a bit of tangy heat!
  • Rice Noodles: are used in traditional pho. They have a glassy, pleasantly chewy texture when cooked just right.

Ingredients For Pho Topping Bar

The best part of serving your pho with a pho bar is that everyone can build their own bowl, and it’s fun to customize your own meal! 🙂 The list below are non-negotiables when it comes to making a fully stocked DIY pho bar to share with your friends and family.

  • Cilantro
  • Fresh Basil
  • Lime Wedges
  • Sliced Jalapenos
  • Bean Sprouts
  • Shredded Carrots
  • Sliced Radish
  • Sliced Cucumber
  • Hoisin Sauce
  • Sriracha
  • Plum Sauce

How To Make Flank Steak Pho

Step 1: Slice flank steak. 30 minutes to an hour ahead of time, place the flank steak in the freezer to chill. Once chilled, carefully since into very thin strips.

Step 2: Roast onion and garlic. Meanwhile, preheat your broiler and roast the onion and ginger in a small roasting pan, turning a few times until charred on all sides (about 20 to 25 minutes). Let cool and then peel off the charred surface.

Step 3: Saute aromatics. In a dutch oven, heat oil over medium heat until hot but not smoking. Add garlic and lemongrass and cook until soft and fragrant (about 5 minutes).

Step 4: Make broth. Add the roasted onion and ginger, stock, soy sauce, fish sauce, sugar, star anise, clove, hot sauce and cinnamon to the pot and bring the liquid to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer covered for 20 minutes.

Step 5: Strain. Strain and discard the solid ingredients from the liquid, reserving the broth. Return the broth to the stove over low heat.

Step 6: Add beef. Add the sliced beef to the hot broth no longer than a minute before serving. The hot broth will cook the thinly sliced flank quickly.

Step 7: Pour over noodles. Divide the noodles evenly between 6 deep soup bowls and ladle the beef and broth over the top.

Step 8: Build a pho bar with an assortment of traditional pho toppings and let everyone garnish with their favorites. Enjoy!

a bowl of flanks steak pho with a slice of lime

Recipe Tips

  • Flank steak can NOT be used interchangeably with skirt steak. Skirt steak does not work well in pho.
  • The secret to tender flank pho meat is slicing the meat as thinly as possible across the grain. Don’t skip chilling the cut of beef before slicing. It makes it SO much easier to slice.
  • If you prefer your steak on the rarer side, add raw slices of flank to your bowl with the noodles and then spoon over the hot broth.
  • Cook and store the noodles separately from the pho broth. Otherwise, the noodles will absorb the broth and get mushy.

Variations

  • Using different cuts of beef – cuts like London broil, sirloin, eye of round and tenderloin are best in quick cooking pho.
  • Low carb pho – Swap rice noodles for zucchini or shirataki noodles for a lower-carb and Keto-friendly version.

Storing & Freezing

Storing: Storing pho broth once combined with the noodles is tricky. The longer it’s stored in the fridge, the soggier the noodles will become, so I don’t recommend storing leftovers longer than a day—microwave for 4 to 5 minutes or warm over medium heat to reheat.

Freezing: You can freeze the broth before adding the flank steak and noodles. Let the pho broth cool to room temperature and freeze in resealable bags for 2 to 3 months.

Recipe FAQ

What cut of beef is best for pho?

Inexpensive fattier cuts of meat like brisket, and chuck roast are best for pho when it has time to simmer. The fatty pieces deepen the flavor of the broth. Pricier cuts of meat tend to have less fat and don’t bring as much beefy flavor to the broth. Flank steak, sirloin, and eye of round are great for quick cooking pho.

Is Vietnamese pho healthy?

Pho is a great addition to a well-balanced diet depending on the ingredients. This beef pho is rich in minerals and nutrients and an excellent protein and complex carbs source.

Is pho gluten-free?

As long as the broth is flavored with gluten-free ingredients, yes! The rice noodles, meat and veggies are inherently gluten-free.

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Easy Beef Pho Bowl

Easy Flank Steak Pho

Make your own DIY beef pho bowls with this simple and delicious flank steak pho recipe!  Tender flank steak is the star of this nutritious one-dish meal.
5 from 2 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Course, Soup
Cuisine: Asian
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 25 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 475kcal
Author: Amee

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 lbs flank steak
  • 1 large onion halved
  • 2-3 inch piece fresh ginger root
  • 64 oz beef stock 2 (32 oz) cartons
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic pressed
  • 1 stalk of lemongrass trimmed and minced
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce or coconut aminos
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 star anise pods
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 whole cloves
  • 1 tsp green Tabasco
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro chopped
  • 12 oz rice noodles cooked according to package directions
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded carrots
  • 3-4 limes cut into wedges
  • 2-3 jalapeños sliced
  • *optional- 2 cups bean sprouts
  • *optional- hoisin sauce for drizzling

Instructions

  • Put flank steak in the freezer for 30 mins-1 hour to make it easier to slice.
  • While flank is freezing, place the onion and ginger on a small roasting pan and broil for 20-25 minutes, turning occasionally until charred on all sides
  • Allow onion and ginger to cool, then peel off outer charred layer.
  • After meat is chilled, slice into very thin strips
  • Heat oil in a dutch oven on medium heat.
  • Cook garlic and lemongrass until soft, about 5 minutes
  • Add onion, ginger, stock, water, soy sauce, fish sauce, sugar, star anise, cloves, tabasco and cinnamon and bring to a boil
  • Reduce heat to a simmer and cook, covered for 20 minutes.
  • Strain and discard the solid ingredients, reserving the broth.
  • Return the broth to low heat and add the sliced beef to the pot.
  • The pho is ready when the meat is no longer pink (the heat from the broth cooks the meat very quickly)
  • Divide the noodles, evenly between 6 bowls, ladle the pho on top and add your favorite toppings for garnish.

Notes

  • Flank steak can NOT be used interchangeably with skirt steak. Skirt steak does not work well in pho.
  • The secret to tender flank pho meat is slicing the meat as thinly as possible across the grain. Don’t skip chilling the cut of beef before slicing. It makes it SO much easier to slice.
  • If you prefer your steak on the rarer side, add raw slices of flank to your bowl with the noodles and then spoon over the hot broth.
  • Cook and store the noodles separately from the pho broth. Otherwise, the noodles will absorb the broth and get mushy.

Nutrition

Calories: 475kcal | Carbohydrates: 64g | Protein: 34g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 68mg | Sodium: 1379mg | Potassium: 1197mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 5593IU | Vitamin C: 20mg | Calcium: 97mg | Iron: 4mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @ameecooks or tag #ameecooks!
Amee Livingston
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