Low-carb Vietnamese pho

Low-carb Vietnamese pho

Vietnamese pho traditionally features rice noodles, which aren’t low carb. When Dr. Jeffry Gerber asked if I could make a low carb version, I focused on replacing the rice noodles with something that had a similar texture and mild taste. In this case, thinly sliced cabbage served as a perfect substitute.

Low-carb Vietnamese pho

Vietnamese pho traditionally features rice noodles, which aren’t low carb. When Dr. Jeffry Gerber asked if I could make a low carb version, I focused on replacing the rice noodles with something that had a similar texture and mild taste. In this case, thinly sliced cabbage served as a perfect substitute.
USMetric
4 servingservings

Ingredients

Broth
  • 4 lbs 1.8 kg beef bone (marrow and joints such as beef knuckles cut in half by butcher, oxtail, short ribs)beef bones (marrow and joints such as beef knuckles cut in half by butcher, oxtail, short ribs) and pig's feet
  • 2 (8 oz.) 2 (220 g) yellow onion, quarteredyellow onions, quartered
  • 2 oz. (923 tbsp) 55 g (140 ml) fresh ginger
  • 3 3 cinnamon stickcinnamon sticks
  • 4 4 whole star anise
  • 5 5 whole cloves
  • 1 tbsp 1 tbsp salt
  • ¼ cup 60 ml fish sauce
  • 8 cups 1.9 liters water
For the finished pho
  • 1 (½ oz.) 1 (15 g) scallion, finely choppedscallions, finely chopped
  • 1 cup 240 ml finely slivered green cabbage
  • ½ cup 120 ml bean sprouts
  • 1 1 limelimes
  • 1 lb 450 g beef, tenderloin filet
  • 3 oz. 85 g coconut aminos
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Instructions

Instructions are for 4 servings. Please modify as needed.

  1. Broil the onion and ginger until charred, about 4 to 5 minutes on each side. Peel the ginger and rinse to remove the charred skin.
  2. Place the cinnamon, star anise, and cloves in a dry stockpot. Heat on medium-low until fragrant, about 1 to 2 minutes.
  3. Add the bones, pig's feet, onion, ginger, salt, fish sauce, and water. Bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat. Simmer for at least 2 to 3 hours.
  4. While the broth is simmering, prepare the ingredients for the pho. Slice the cabbage into thin slivers to resemble rice noodles and divide among four serving bowls.
  5. Slice the beef into thin slices no more than ¼" (0.5cm) thick and less than 2" (5 cm) long and set.
  6. Divide the sliced beef evenly among the serving bowls by placing the beef in a single layer on top of the cabbage.
  7. Thinly slice the scallions and place them in a serving dish.
  8. Place the bean sprouts in a second serving dish.
  9. Cut the lime into wedges and set on a serving dish with the scallions and bean sprouts alongside the coconut aminos.
  10. Strain the broth, discarding all of the solids. Return the strained broth to a rolling boil. Ladle the boiling broth over the bowls that have been prepared with cabbage and beef.
  11. Top with scallions, bean sprouts, coconut aminos, lime, and additional fish sauce as desired.

Recommended special equipment

Stockpot

Video

Kristie cooking keto with Dr. Jeffry Gerber

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7 comments

  1. Luz
    A great video: cabbage noodles are a good way to deal with carbs, and beef fillet would be quick to cook. I'd probably char the onion and ginger in smaller peeled pieces, but this will be a good recipe to tweak for personal taste.
  2. Laura
    Wonderful recipe. I added thinly sliced jalapenos, mushrooms, and radishes to mine.
  3. Dawn
    Thanks for the recipe! I was in a rush and used a box of chicken and a box of beef broth instead of making the bone broth. With that still ending up good, I'm sure this soup is even better making it the proper way. Will try again :)
  4. Mike
    Shirataki noodles could be added as a noodle replacement. Though I would probably still leave the cabbage in too, I like lots of veggies in my Pho.
  5. Ryan C.
    Using a somewhat fattier cut of beef will add a bit of depth of flavor, as well as additional good fat grams to the dish.

    I also agree with Mike, shirataki noodles are a great addition too (just make sure that you've rinsed & dry them thoroughly).

    Sometimes I will make a seperate broth with 5x the amount of bullion cubes & let the shirataki noodles steep in it for 30-60 min to let them absorb the beef flavor before I add them to the pho.

  6. Ryan C.
    I also like to have a bottle of sriracha on hand as well!
  7. Gwenn
    When I go to a vietnamese restaurant, I ask for a plate of steamed bean sprouts on the side and use them as substitute noodles in my bowl of pho. This a normal thing to serve when ordering pho. Another thing to ask for is a bowl of the fat skimmed from the broth : this a delicious clear yellow fat, full of bone marrow flavor that will bring this soup to another dimension ! Sometimes the waiter would be hesitating as they are used to westerners being scared of fat, but when they understand you're serious about it, they will be very happy to bring it to your table.

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