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PREP: 15 Minutes COOK: 45 Minutes

Serves 3-4

Difficulty: Intermediate

This Vietnamese pho-inspired soup dish by Mark Cockcroft is refreshing, fragrant, and perfect for any time of the year.  Made with venison bone broth and meatballs for an added twist that will have you filling up your bowl for seconds.

  • 1 lb (1 pack) Maui Nui ground venison
  • 3 packs (48oz) Maui Nui venison bone broth, or low sodium beef broth
  • 12 oz rice noodles (thin or thick), prepared according to package instructions
  • 1 large yellow onion, peeled and cut in half
  • 3” knob of ginger, cut in half lengthwise
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp grated ginger
  • 2 scallions, minced
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 4 whole star anise
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 2 (3 inch) cinnamon sticks
  • 4 cloves
  • 2 green cardamom pods
  • ½ tsp ground white pepper
  • 1 Tbsp yellow rock or brown sugar
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • Fish sauce
  • 2 baby bok choy, chopped
  • Sliced jalapeño or serrano chile
  • Bean sprouts
  • Cilantro, Thai basil, and or mint
  • Lime wedges
  • Vegetable oil
Step 1:

Preheat the broiler and set a rack about 6” from the element. Place the onion and ginger, cut side up on a baking sheet, and brush lightly with oil. Broil until nicely charred, about 6-8 minutes.

Step 2:

In a large stockpot over medium heat add the star anise, fennel, cinnamon, cloves, and cardamom. Toast, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Carefully add the broth, charred onions, ginger, and sugar. Raise the heat and bring it just to a boil. Lower heat, cover, and simmer gently for 30 minutes. Add fish sauce to taste.

Step 3:
While the broth is simmering place the ground venison, garlic, grated ginger, scallions, pepper, coriander, and egg in a large bowl. Mix until all ingredients are thoroughly incorporated. Using your hands (it helps to have a little bowl of water to dip your fingers in to keep the meat from sticking), roll out the mixture into golf ball-sized meatballs and place on the same sheet pan used before.
Step 4:

Preheat the broiler and cook the meatballs until just lightly browned all over, turning occasionally about 4-8 minutes (the meatballs will finish cooking in the broth).

Step 5:

Strain out the broth and return to the pot; bring back to a simmer and add the meatballs and bok choy; cook for a few minutes.

Step 6:

Assemble the bowls with the prepared rice noodles. Ladle the broth over the noodles, dividing up the meatballs and bok choy. Let each diner customize their bowls with the chile, bean sprouts, herbs, and a squeeze of lime. Keep the fish sauce at hand for a final seasoning as well.

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