Hanoi pho features a savory beef broth with minimal use of garnishes and seasonings. It's really all about the broth and many pho enthusiasts consider it the original and purist form of pho. It takes time to make the broth but it's well worth it!
Get about six to seven pounds of beef bones, add them to your stock pot, add filtered water to cover (about 6-7 quarts) and bring the water to a boil. Skim off any scum that rises to the surface and reduce the heat to a gentle, slow simmer.
Cut the onion or shallots in half. Slice unpeeled ginger in half lengthwise. Char ginger and onion on a grill, gas stovetop or by broiling in the oven. Watch closely, turn on occasion and remove from the oven after about 10-15 minutes. Once charred, remove from the heat for a few minutes to let them cool. Remove the outer skin from the onion/shallots and peel the ginger. Remove any blackened pieces and add them to the beef broth.
Add dried shrimp, cinnamon, star anise, fennel seeds and cardamom pods. Cover and keep the broth gently simmering for four to six hours.
Take one fuji apple and peel and core it. Slice it up into chunks and add it to the broth.
Strain the broth and if using right away, season with 2 TBSPs fish sauce. Add up to 2 TBSPs more, to taste. If not using right away, cool and store the broth in the fridge and season with fish sauce upon reheating.
Thinly slice the raw beef and set aside.
Prepare rice noodles according to package directions.
Prepare the garnishes and seasonings. Chop herbs coarsely or simple place whole leaves in bowls for individual garnishes. Place fish sauce and/or garlic vinegar in small condiment bowls.
Place rice noodles in individual bowls, place raw beef (or other types of beef) on top and ladle over with hot broth. Add herbs and seasonings, to taste.