Bowl of Vietnamese Pho Soup with Fresh Herbs and Noodles

Vietnamese Pho Recipe – Authentic and Nutritious Pho Soup

Vietnamese Pho is a beloved dish known for its rich, aromatic broth and tender noodles. This recipe will guide you through creating an authentic bowl of Pho that captures the essence of Vietnamese cuisine. Pho is not just a soup; it’s a cultural symbol and a wholesome meal. Whether you’re craving a comforting bowl or looking to explore Vietnamese flavors, this recipe is your gateway to a delicious culinary experience.

Yield: 4

Vietnamese Pho Recipe - Authentic and Nutritious Pho Soup

Bowl of Vietnamese Pho Soup with Fresh Herbs and Noodles

🍜 Craving a bowl of authentic Vietnamese Pho? Look no further! Try this easy recipe for a taste of Vietnam at home. 😋

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 30 minutes


  • 2 lbs (900g) beef bones
  • 1 onion, peeled and halved
  • 2-inch (5cm) piece of ginger, sliced
  • 3 star anise pods
  • 5 cloves
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 cardamom pod
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 8 cups (2 liters) water
  • 1 lb (450g) rice noodles
  • 1 lb (450g) beef sirloin, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup bean sprouts
  • Fresh herbs (Thai basil, cilantro, mint)
  • Lime wedges
  • Hoisin sauce and Sriracha for serving


  1. Roast beef bones, onion, and ginger in the oven at 400°F (200°C) for 30 minutes.
  2. Toast star anise, cloves, cinnamon, cardamom, coriander seeds, and fennel seeds in a dry pan until fragrant.
  3. In a large pot, add roasted bones, spices, and water. Bring to a boil and skim any impurities that rise to the surface. Simmer for 2 hours.
  4. Cook rice noodles according to package instructions. Drain and set aside.
  5. Thinly slice the beef sirloin.
  6. Strain the broth and discard solids.
  7. Divide cooked noodles and beef slices among bowls. Pour hot broth over noodles and beef, allowing the heat to cook the beef.
  8. Serve with bean sprouts, fresh herbs, lime wedges, and condiments.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 350Total Fat: 5gCholesterol: 45mgSodium: 800mgCarbohydrates: 55gFiber: 2gSugar: 3gProtein: 24g

Cultural Background and Significance

Pho is a Vietnamese street food staple, often enjoyed for breakfast. It originated in Hanoi and has since become a global sensation. This dish reflects the fusion of Vietnamese flavors, influenced by French colonialism, and is deeply rooted in Vietnamese culture. Pho restaurants are a cornerstone of Vietnamese culinary tradition and serve as community hubs.

Health Benefits of Vietnamese Pho

  • Low in fat and calories.
  • Rich in protein, aiding muscle repair and growth.
  • Contains essential vitamins and minerals from fresh herbs and spices.
  • Can be made gluten-free with rice noodles, suitable for those with gluten sensitivities.
  • The ginger and herbs in Pho have anti-inflammatory properties.

Tips for a Perfect Cook

  • Quality Ingredients
    Use fresh herbs and high-quality beef bones for the best flavor.
  • Roasting Bones
    Don’t skip roasting the bones; it enhances the broth’s depth.
  • Skimming
    Be patient while skimming impurities to achieve a clear broth.
  • Noodle Timing
    Cook the noodles just before serving to prevent overcooking.
  • Customize
    Offer condiments and herbs on the side so diners can personalize their Pho.

Variations and Modifications

  • Vegetarian Pho
    Use vegetable broth and tofu or mushrooms instead of beef.
  • Chicken Pho (Pho Ga)
    Replace beef with chicken and adjust cooking time.
  • Seafood Pho
    Add shrimp, squid, or fish for a seafood twist.
  • Vegan Pho
    Use vegetable broth, tofu, and omit fish sauce.
  • Spicy Pho
    Add extra Sriracha or chili peppers for heat.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

  • Overcooking Noodles
    Cook noodles separately to prevent them from getting mushy.
  • Skipping Roasting
    Roasting the bones enhances flavor; don’t skip this step.
  • Not Skimming
    Skim impurities during cooking to ensure a clear broth.
  • Overcrowding the Pot
    Use a large pot to allow ingredients to simmer evenly.
  • Overseasoning
    Be cautious with salt; condiments can add saltiness.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What does “Pho” mean?

    Pho is a Vietnamese soup characterized by its flavorful broth, noodles, and choice of meat. The word “Pho” is pronounced like “fuh.”

  • Is Pho gluten-free?

    Pho can be made gluten-free by using rice noodles and ensuring the broth is free of wheat-based ingredients.

  • Can I make vegetarian Pho?

    Absolutely! You can use vegetable broth and tofu or mushrooms as a meat substitute.

  • What are the essential herbs in Pho?

    Thai basil, cilantro, and mint are commonly used herbs in Pho.

  • Can I freeze leftover Pho broth?

    Yes, you can freeze leftover broth for future use. Just make sure to cool it down first.

  • What’s the difference between Pho Ga and Pho Bo?

    Pho Ga is made with chicken, while Pho Bo is made with beef. The broth and seasonings may vary.

  • Is Pho spicy?

    Pho is typically not very spicy, but you can add Sriracha or chili peppers for heat.

  • What’s the significance of lime wedges in Pho?

    Lime wedges add a fresh, citrusy flavor to balance the richness of the broth.

  • Can I make Pho with store-bought broth?

    While homemade broth is preferred, you can use high-quality store-bought broth as a shortcut.

  • What is the best way to store leftover Pho?

    Store leftover Pho in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.


Indulge in the world of Vietnamese cuisine with this authentic Pho recipe. Whether you savor it for breakfast or dinner, the aromatic broth, tender noodles, and fresh herbs will transport you to the bustling streets of Vietnam. Embrace this culinary journey today, and remember to follow @HalfTheGuilt101 for more delectable recipes. Half the guilt, all the flavor!

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