8 cups stock (4 beef and 4 chicken is optimal)
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 teaspoons brown sugar
6 whole cloves (about 1/2 teaspoon ground clove)
3 star anise (or 1 teaspoon fennel seed)
1 (3-inch) cinnamon stick, broken
1 (3-inch) piece peeled fresh ginger, halved
3 garlic cloves
4 ounces uncooked wide rice stick noodles (banh pho)
1 medium onion, peeled and halved
1.5 lbs sirloin, eye of round, or flank steak sliced very thin against the grain (or 3 cups shredded cooked chicken/turkey)
1 carrot, thinly sliced
2 cups fresh bean sprouts
1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions (about 3)
1/4 cup thinly sliced fresh Thai basil
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup fresh cilantro sprigs
1/2 cup fresh mint sprigs
6 lime wedges
1 jalapeño/chili pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
Hoisin sauce (optional)
Sriracha (or other hot chile sauce; optional)
Combine first 9 ingredients in a large stockpot over medium-high heat; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 30 minutes covered. Strain broth through a sieve into a large bowl; discard solids. Return broth to pan; keep warm.
Cook noodles according to package directions, omitting salt and fat.
Heat a grill or cast iron pan over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add onion; cook 8 minutes or until charred on each side. Remove from heat; cool slightly. Slice onion thinly; add to broth.
Add meat and next 6 ingredients (through salt) to pan; bring to a boil. Cook 2 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Place about 1/2 cup noodles in each of 6 bowls. Ladle about 1 1/3 cups broth mixture over each serving. Serve with cilantro, mint, lime wedges, and jalapeño. Serve with hoisin and Sriracha, if desired.
Other optional vegetables: bok choy, daikon, shitake, bamboo shoots, red bell pepper, red onion, broccoli