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top view of bowl of pho with crunchy flank

Crunchy Flank: How to Cook it and More

Crunchy flank is flank that still has a silver layer intact, and is commonly seen in a Vietnamese noodle soup call Pho. It is not one of the main ones you would find at a Pho restaurant (see the common Pho meats here), but some very authentic places might serve it, call "ve don".

Today, we are going to be sharing everything you need to know about this delicious piece of meat. This way, you will be aware of what you are ordering the next time you want that scrumptious bowl of pho. 


What is Crunchy Flank? 

Crunchy flank is a cut of flank that is untrimmed. That means it has a silver layer, which is a membrane, on one side of the meat. There is also some fat alongside that membrane. 

This is the same type of meat as flank, which comes from the underside of cows. The meat comes from the area near the hind legs. If you love beef, be sure to familiarize yourself with all the different cuts by seeing our complete guide to beef cuts.



Crunchy flank is also called ve don in Vietnam. If you see that on a menu when ordering pho, you will instantly know it is crunchy flank. 

When the crunchy flank is cooked properly, it will have a crispy and slightly chewy texture. Of course, the taste will always be amazing and quite flavorful. 

It is best to cut this meat against the grain. This will give you the flavor and chewiness you desire when making pho. If you're cutting your own flank meat, be sure to use the correct cutting board. We recommend a large walnut wood cutting board for any large portions of beef.

 flank highlighted in red in cow beef chart

How to Cook Crunchy Flank

You will cook this flank just like you would cook other flank meat used in pho. Place the meat in a large pot and cover with broth. Simmer the meat for approximately 45 minutes until it is tender. You will not want the meat to fall apart, so do not let it simmer too long. 

Plunge the meat into an ice bath to stop the cooking process. Remove the flank and pat it dry. 

The membrane on the flank will be chewy and crunchy like it should be. 


Serving Crunchy Flank

Slice the meat against the grain like we mentioned above. The slices should be thin, so you can really capture the crunchiness of the membrane. You should be sure to use a very sharp chef's knife to get even slices without cutting yourself.

Place those meat slices over the pho noodles in a bowl. Garnish with your favorite pho vegetables. Then, pour hot broth over everything and eat!

 close up of crunchy flank on top of a finished bowl of pho

Final Thoughts

Crunchy flank really enhances the flavor and texture of pho. If you have never included crunchy flank in your pho order before, try it the next time you order. You will be surprised at how the flavor of the pho changes ever so slightly. Plus, with the enhanced texture, you really get a bite of deliciousness every time. 



View our reversible walnut cutting boards - there are many shapes and sizes to choose from. Find your perfect board for your next steak, bbq, stew, or smoked meat!


wooden cutting boards

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