1 large onion
1 3-inch piece of ginger, halved
1 The Spice Hunter Cinnamon Sticks
2 pods The Spice Hunter Star Anise
2 whole The Spice Hunter Cloves
1 tsp. The Spice Hunter Coriander
3 cups beef broth
1½ tsp. soy sauce
2 tsp. fish sauce
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
¼ sirloin steak
4 oz. dried rice noodles
1 chili pepper
½ cup bean sprouts
½ cup cilantro or mint
Hot sauce, Sriracha, or hoisin sauce
Peel and cut onion and ginger into chunks. Sauté onions and ginger over medium high heat. Dry-roast the cinnamon, star anise, cloves, and coriander in a large saucepan over medium-low heat for 1 minute, until fragrant. Stir often so the spices are evenly heated.
Add the broth, soy sauce, fish sauce, carrots, onion, and ginger to the spices. Bring the broth to a boil and then reduce to medium-low heat. Cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes.
While the broth is simmering, cover beef with plastic wrap and freeze for 15 minutes. The beef should be firm but not frozen. Slice the beef into very thin slices, no thicker than ¼ inch. Make sure to slice against the grain. Keep the beef covered and refrigerated until ready to serve.
Bring a second pan of water to a boil and cook the rice noodles according to package instructions. Strain the noodles and divide evenly among serving bowls to prevent sticking.
When the broth is finished, strain over a bowl to save the broth and remove the solids. Discard the solids and pour the broth back into the pan to keep warm, but below a simmer.
Add thin slices of beef to the noodle bowls, making sure to arrange the slices so that they will cook evenly when broth is poured over.
Ladle the broth into each bowl, and serve the pho with sliced scallions and chili peppers, quartered lime, bean sprouts, and chopped herbs.