Vietnamese Pho (Beef)


VN:F [1.9.9_1125]
(10 Ratings)

Preparation time
1 hour

Cooking time
4 hours


For more photos and recipes, please visit my blog at Danang Cuisine.

Vietnamese Pho (Beef), 4.3 out of 5 based on 10 ratings


  • 2-7 lbs beef marrow and knuckle bones
  • 1 lb beef (outside flank, brisket or cross rib roast)
  • 2 onion
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 thumb sized pieces of fresh ginger
  • 3 star anise
  • 2 sticks cinnamon
  • 2-3 black cardamom
  • 2 lbs dried (4 lbs fresh) banh pho noodles (flat rice noodles)
  • optional: 2/3 lb raw beef, thinly sliced

  • Garnish:
  • 1 yellow onion, sliced paper-thin
  • 4 spring onion leaves, chopped
  • Asian/Thai basil
  • sawtooth herbs (ngo gai/mexican coriander)
  • lime wedges
  • bean sprout


1.  Boil beef bones in a large pot of water for 5-10 minutes. Dump out the whole pot and rinse the bones well under running water.

2.  Place beef, beef bones, 1 peeled onion, salt, and sugar in clean pot with 5 liters of water. Bring to a boil and simmer on medium-low heat uncovered. Occasionally skim off the scum and the fat.

3.  Slice ginger into 1/4 inch (1/2 cm) thick and cut an onion into halves. Slightly char ginger, onion, star anise, cinnamon, and cardamom on both sides on an open stove. Scrape of the black char and peel the onion. Place star anise, cinnamon, and cardamom in a spice bag. Add ginger, onion, and bag into stock pot.

4.  Depending on the cut of the beef, it might take 1-2 hours to cook. When the meat is cooked, transfer to a bowl of cold water for 10 minutes to prevent the beef from drying up or turning dark in color. Drain the beef and slice thinly into bite size pieces. Remove onions from pot.

5.  Continue to cook the broth for a few more hours if you have time. Traditional pho can be cooked overnight. If you cook the stock for more than 3 hours, add the charred onion and ginger only during the last hour. Season broth to your taste with salt, fish sauce, sugar, and seasoning powder.

6.  Soak 1 onion, sliced thinly, in cold water for 30 minutes. Blanch bean sprouts in hot water for 10 seconds.

7.  Soak rice noodle in water for 30 minutes to soften. Blanch a handful in a sieve for 10-20 seconds. Remove the noodles when they are soft but still a bit chewy. Drain the noodles completely of excess water. Serve immediately. To serve, add noodles to bowl and top with beef (raw beef optional) chopped onion and spring onion. Ladle soup into bowl. Serve with a side of hoison sauce, sriracha, and garnishes. For more photos and recipes, please visit my blog at Danang Cuisine.

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