Pho, the Vietnamese recipe for beef noodle soup

Pho is a Vietnamese soup made with meat broth, rice noodles and many other flavourings. Here is the original recipe to prepare it!

Pho is a Vietnamese soup usually eaten for breakfast or during lunches on holidays. Being a typical dish, it is really difficult to codify the recipe: every family has its own technique for preparing it as well as its own blend of spices. In fact, however, Vietnamese pho is made up of three elements: the beef brothThe rice noodles and the vegetable side dish.

The preparation is divided into two phases: the first is the broth preparation which must cook for a long time so as to absorb all the flavors of the meat (usually beef, rarely chicken) and of the aromas (cinnamon, star anise, ginger, onion, black cardamom, coriander, fennel seeds and cloves).


How to make Vietnamese pho recipe

  1. First, toast them onions and it ginger in a grill pan, directly over the flame or in the oven with the grill mode. It will take about 10-15 minutes for them to blacken.
  2. Peel them and keep them aside.
  3. In a large pot put the bone and cover them with cold water.
  4. Bring to the boil for 3 minutes then drain and remove all the water.
  5. Cover them again with water (about 5 litres) and start the actual cooking.
  6. Add the onions, ginger, garlic, fish sauce and sugar.
  7. Cut the sirloin in halfdivide one half again into pieces and put it in the pot, cut the other half as thinly as possible with a knife to obtain slices of beef carpaccio.
  8. Gathered in a small cloth or gauze bag spicesclose it well and put it in the pot.
  9. Cook for 2 ore over low heat, so that it just bubbles.
  10. Filtrate then the broth before using it.
  11. Rehydrate them rice noodles as reported on the package (keep in mind that usually they shouldn’t be boiled but only covered with boiling water). Bring the water to a boil, add salt, turn off the heat and soak the noodles for 5 minutes before draining them.
  12. Distribute the spaghetti in the bowls and also lay the slices of carpaccio. They must be very thin.
  13. Cover with the broth and bring the bowls to the table separate dish bean sprouts, sliced ​​lime, fish sauce, Thai basil, chilli and coriander. Each diner will complete the Vietnamese soup according to their tastes.

What do you think of this dive into Vietnamese cuisine? We were really pleasantly surprised and can’t wait to prepare other recipes!


Pho, once dispensed into bowls, can no longer be stored. Separate ingredients, on the other hand, can be kept for quite a long time. Just keep the broth in the refrigerator to have hot soup available for a week.

How to serve Vietnamese pho

The soup, served in large bowls and consumed with the characteristic chopsticks, is assembled by the diners according to their own taste, adding not only the aromas just mentioned but also bean sprouts, fish sauce and lime. So let’s see how to prepare this delicious Vietnamese recipe.

Variations of pho

Pho, depending on the ingredients used, assumes different names. When the term “pho ga” is used, reference is made to the variant of pho with chicken, while “pho bò” is the one with beef, which can vary according to the cuts used. Here is a list of the most common cuts of beef used for pho bò:

  • ripe (noodle soup with well-cooked beef flank or brisket)
  • re (noodle soup with rare beef tenderloin)
  • re-minced (minced beef noodle soup)
  • encrusted (beef flank noodle soup)
  • bucket (beef brisket noodle soup)
  • close (beef tendon noodle soup)
  • book (beef tripe noodle soup)
  • beef (beef meatball noodle soup)
  • cay (noodle soup with beef in spicy sauce)

Origins of the pho recipe

Opinions about its origins vary: one of the most common theories states that pho was created in the beginning of the 20th century. According to one school of thought, this dish derives from Cantonese cuisine and the rice noodles were allegedly introduced to Vietnam by immigrants from the Chinese province of Guangdong. Another theory claims that the broth was born out of French influences, and more precisely the French colonization of Vietnam. If this theory is true, the original dish may have been the “pot au feu”which inspired the word “pho” thanks to its component “fire” (in French, “feu”).

Regardless of its origin, pho originated in the northern regions of Vietnam and is believed to have first been created in Nam Dinh city. However, today the inhabitants of the capital claim the authorship of the dish.

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