Dive Into An Easy Vietnamese Pho Soup Recipe Along With Yummiest Taste

Dive into Vietnam’s heart with every spoonful. Vietnamese Pho Soup tells a tale of tradition. Fragrant broth. Silky noodles. Tender meat. Fresh herbs. Each ingredient unfolds a chapter of Vietnamese culture. 

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Vietnamese Pho Soup Recipe

This recipe invites you to embark on a culinary adventure. Experience the harmony of flavors. Relish the depth and richness. It’s more than just a dish; it’s a story in a bowl.

The streets of Hanoi, the warmth of Saigon—they all whisper in its steam. Prepare to be transported. Your passport? A ladle and passion. Join us and discover the magic of Pho Soup.

What Is Vietnamese Pho Soup Recipe?

Vietnamese Pho Soup is a comforting noodle broth, traditionally made with beef or chicken. Begin with a fragrant stock of charred onion, ginger, star anise, cloves, and cinnamon. Simmer for hours—strain to clarity. 

Pour over thin rice noodles and sliced meat—often beef or chicken. Final touches include fresh bean sprouts, basil, lime, and jalapeños.

THoisin and sriracha sauce complete the experience. Warm, aromatic, and deeply flavorful, Pho is Vietnam in a bowl.

History Of Vietnamese Pho Soup Recipe 

Vietnamese Pho emerged in the early 20th century in northern Vietnam, near Hanoi. Its origins intertwine with French and Chinese culinary influences during colonial periods. 

The word “phở” likely evolved from “feu” (French for “fire”), hinting at the French pot-au-feu. Migrating southward after the 1954 partition, Pho adopted regional variations. 

Southern versions became richer, adorned with more herbs and garnishes. Today, this soulful noodle soup symbolizes Vietnam’s history and culinary evolution on the global stage.

Interesting Facts About The Vietnamese Pho Soup Recipe

  • Origin Ties: Some believe Pho’s name originates from the French dish “pot-au-feu.”
  • Daytime Delight: In Vietnam, Pho is traditionally a breakfast dish.
  • Regional Varieties: Northern and Southern Vietnam offer different Pho styles; the North sticks to basics, while the South loves garnishes.
  • Meat Choices: Pho started mainly with beef but has since incorporated chicken, known as “Pho Ga.”
  • Global Influence: Pho’s popularity surged after the Vietnam War when Vietnamese refugees introduced it worldwide.

What Makes The Vietnamese Pho Soup Recipe Special?

  • Deep Broth: Hours-long simmering releases bone marrow flavors, creating a rich, aromatic base.
  • Fresh Ingredients: Uses a medley of crisp herbs, bean sprouts, and lime, ensuring a refreshing bite.
  • Versatility: Suits varied tastes with beef, chicken, or even vegetarian options.
  • Spices: Star anise, cloves, and cinnamon add unique layers of warmth and fragrance.
  • Cultural Blend: Integrates French and Chinese influences, reflecting Vietnam’s diverse history.
Vietnamese Pho Soup Recipe

Ingredient List 

Onion1, halved
Ginger2-inch piece, sliced
Cinnamon sticks2
Star anise3
Beef broth8 cups
Beef sirloin1 lb, thinly sliced
Rice noodles8 oz
Bean sprouts2 cups
Green onions4, thinly sliced
Cilantro1/4 cup, chopped
Lime1, cut into wedges
Sriracha and hoisin sauceFor serving
Sugar2 tbsp

Ingredient Tips 

  • Onion: Charring the halved onion adds depth to the broth.
  • Ginger: Fresh, young ginger gives a milder, sweeter flavor.
  • Cinnamon: Opt for Ceylon cinnamon sticks for a more authentic touch.
  • Star Anise: Store in a cool, dark place to preserve its pungent aroma.
  • Cloves: Use whole cloves; ground versions can make the broth murky.
  • Beef Broth: Homemade is best, but a quality store-bought version works in a pinch.

Can You Vary Vietnamese Pho Soup Recipe With Other Ingredients? 

  • Keto: Substitute rice noodles with zucchini noodles (zoodles) or shirataki noodles. Opt for bone broth to boost fat content.
  • Paleo: Use spiralized sweet potato or zucchini instead of rice noodles. Ensure the beef broth is free from additives.
  • Gluten-Free: Confirm that the broth is gluten-free or make it from scratch. Opt for tamari or gluten-free soy sauce as a condiment.
  • Whole30: Skip sugar, rice noodles, and commercial sauces. Use spiralized vegetables as noodle substitutes and compliant broth.
  • Vegetarian: Substitute beef with tofu or mushrooms and use a vegetable broth.
  • Vegan: As with vegetarian, but also ensure any added sauces like hoisin are vegan-friendly.
Ingredients of soup

Recipe Directions 

  • Char onion and ginger until blackened over an open flame or broiler.
  • Toast cinnamon, star anise, and cloves in a pot.
  • Add charred onion, ginger, beef broth, and sugar. Boil, then simmer for 30 minutes.
  • Cook rice noodles; prepare garnishes.
  • Assemble noodles in bowls, top with beef and garnishes. Pour hot broth. Serve with lime, Sriracha, and hoisin.
Making of soup

Variations, Add-Ons, And Toppings

  • Meat Choices: Beyond beef sirloin, consider using brisket, tendon, tripe, or meatballs. Chicken, shrimp, or fish can also diversify the flavors.
  • Vegetarian & Vegan: Swap meat with tofu, tempeh, or a variety of mushrooms like shiitake or oyster.
  • Herbs: Enhance freshness with Thai basil, mint, or sawtooth coriander.
  • Spices: Add cardamom or coriander seeds to the broth for a deeper flavor profile.
  • Heat Elements: Fresh chili slices, chili oil, or even pickled chilies can up the spice game.
  • Sauces: Beyond hoisin and Sriracha, consider adding fish sauce or soy sauce for a salty punch.

Scaling The Recipe 

  • Ingredient Proportions: Keep ingredient ratios consistent. If you double the beef broth, double the spices, meat, and noodles too.
  • Cookware Size: Ensure the pot or cooking vessel can accommodate the increased volume. Conversely, if scaling down, use a smaller pot to maintain broth depth for proper simmering.
  • Simmering Time: Extend simmering time slightly to extract maximum flavor while scaling up. However, double the time only if you double the ingredients.
  • Taste Test: As you scale, always taste the broth. Adjust seasoning as necessary.
  • Serving Size: Use the number of servings as a reference. For 8 servings, double a 4-serving recipe.
  • Storage: When scaling up, have storage containers ready for leftovers. If scaling down, reduce storage space.

What Is Used For Garnishing?

  • Herbs: Fresh cilantro, Thai basil, and mint add aromatic freshness.
  • Onions: Thinly sliced green onions or red onions provide a sharp, tangy crunch.
  • Lime: Lime wedges, when squeezed, introduce a zesty acidity to balance the rich broth.
  • Sprouts: Bean sprouts offer a refreshing, crunchy texture.
  • Chilies: Freshly sliced bird’s eye chilies or jalapeños bring heat to those who crave spice.
  • Sauces: A dab of Sriracha or a drizzle of hoisin sauce can amplify flavors.
Vietnamese Pho Soup Recipe

Can I Make Vietnamese Pho Soup In A Slow Cooker Or Instant Pot?

  • Slow Cooker: Ideal for drawing out flavors over extended hours. After charring the onion and ginger, place them with spices, beef, and broth in the slow cooker. Cook on low for 6-8 hours or high for 3-4 hours. Before serving, cook rice noodles separately and assemble.
  • Instant Pot: A quick method for deep flavors. Use the sauté mode for toasting spices and for any charring. Add the broth, beef, and other ingredients, then pressure cook on high for about 20 minutes. Let it release naturally. Meanwhile, prepare rice noodles and garnishes. Combine when ready to serve.

Can I Use Store Bought Broth, Or Should I Make My Own?

Store-Bought Broth

  • It’s convenient, saving time and effort. Good quality, organic, or artisanal broths can offer decent flavor.
  • Some commercial broths may contain preservatives, MSG, or high sodium levels. The depth of flavor might be less rich compared to homemade.

Homemade Broth

  • You have full control over the ingredients, ensuring no additives or preservatives. The flavor tends to be richer, fresher, and more authentic.
  • It’s time-consuming and requires more effort and planning.

Can I Use Different Types Of Meat/Fish/Pasta/Vegetables For The Soup?

  • Meat/Fish: Beyond traditional beef, consider chicken, pork, shrimp, or even fish fillets. Ensure they’re thinly sliced or suitably portioned to cook quickly in the broth.
  • Pasta: While rice noodles are classic, you can experiment with udon, soba, or even spaghetti for a fusion twist. Zucchini noodles or “zoodles” are an excellent choice for a low-carb version.
  • Vegetables: Add diversity with bok choy, mushrooms (shiitake, oyster, button), or sliced bell peppers.
  • Tofu/Veg Protein: Firm tofu, tempeh, or seitan can replace meat for vegetarian or vegan versions.
Vietnamese Pho Soup Recipe

Success Tips-Tips And Tricks For Making The Recipe 

Prepping Tips

  • Char Deeply: Properly charring the onion and ginger extracts maximum flavor.
  • Meat Slicing: Partially freeze beef for easier, thinner slicing.
  • Fresh Spices: Opt for whole spices rather than ground ones for authentic flavor and clarity.

Cooking Time Tips

  • Simmer Slowly: Gentle simmering prevents cloudiness and achieves a clearer broth.
  • Skim Regularly: Remove impurities and excess fat from the surface while simmering for a purer taste.
  • Noodle Watch: Cook rice noodles just until tender; overcooking makes them mushy.
Healthy recipe of soup

Nutritional Values 

Pho isn’t just a taste sensation; it’s a nutritional powerhouse. Packed with proteins from the meat and essential vitamins from its combination of herbs and spices, this Vietnamese delicacy provides a well-balanced meal.

What Are Total Calories In The Soup?

A standard bowl might range between 300 and 500 calories. For precise calorie counting, using a nutritional calculator or app with exact ingredient amounts is recommended.

Dietary Restrictions For The Vietnamese Pho Soup Recipe

  • Gluten: Traditional rice noodles are gluten-free, but always check the packaging. Some broths or sauces (like hoisin) might contain gluten.
  • Meat: Traditional Pho uses beef, making it unsuitable for vegetarians or vegans. However, it can be adapted using vegetable broth and tofu or mushrooms.
  • Low-Carb/Keto: Rice noodles are high in carbohydrates. For a keto version, replace noodles with zucchini noodles or shirataki noodles.
  • Paleo: Ensure the broth is free from additives. Replace traditional rice noodles with spiralized veggies.
  • Allergies: Some might be allergic to ingredients like star anise or fish sauce.

Health Benefits Of The Vietnamese Pho Soup Recipe

  • Bone Broth: Traditionally simmered for hours, the broth can contain minerals like calcium and phosphorus.
  • Herbs and Spices: Ingredients like ginger, cinnamon, and star anise have anti-inflammatory properties and can aid digestion.
  • Lean Protein: Beef sirloin provides essential amino acids, aiding muscle repair and growth.
  • Rice Noodles: Being gluten-free, they’re an alternative for those with gluten sensitivities.
  • Vegetables: Bean sprouts, onions, and cilantro provide essential vitamins and fiber.

Nutrition Table 

Nutrition table

How Can I Make Vietnamese Pho Soup Lower In Sodium?

  • Homemade Broth: Use homemade beef or chicken broth instead of store-bought. This allows control over the salt content.
  • Reduce or Skip Added Salt: If the recipe calls for added salt, reduce the amount or skip it altogether. Rely on natural flavors.
  • Low-Sodium Soy Sauce: If using soy sauce, opt for the low-sodium variant.
  • Limit Sauces: Both hoisin and Sriracha sauces can add sodium. Serve them on the side so diners can control the amount.
  • Natural Flavor Enhancers: Use herbs, lime, and spices to amplify flavors without adding salt.

How Can I Make Vietnamese Pho Soup Lower In Sugar? 

  • Skip Added Sugar: Many recipes include sugar to balance the broth. You can reduce or omit it.
  • Natural Sweeteners: Consider adding a small piece of apple or pear to the broth for natural sweetness during simmering, then remove before serving.
  • Monitor Sauces: Some condiments, like hoisin sauce, have sugar. Use them sparingly, or look for low-sugar alternatives.
  • Low-Sugar Broth: If using store-bought broth, check for added sugars and opt for a low-sugar version.
  • Taste Balance: Enhance other flavors (like herbs and spices) to achieve a balanced taste without relying on sugar.
Vietnamese Pho Soup Recipe

How To Serve Vietnamese Pho Soup In The Best Way?

  • Deep Bowls: Use deep, wide bowls to accommodate noodles, meat, and ample broth.
  • Layered Assembly: Start with noodles at the bottom, then add sliced meat, ensuring it gets cooked when broth is poured.
  • Hot Broth: Ensure the broth is boiling hot when ladling over; this is especially important for cooking raw beef slices.
  • Garnish Station: Set up a side platter with bean sprouts, basil, lime wedges, chilies, and sauces, allowing guests to customize.
  • Fresh Herbs: Sprinkle fresh cilantro and green onions just before serving.

Perfect Side Dishes To Complement The Vietnamese Pho Soup

  • Gỏi Cuốn (Summer Rolls): Fresh rice paper rolls filled with shrimp, herbs, pork, rice vermicelli, and other ingredients. Accompanied by a tangy peanut or hoisin dipping sauce.
  • Chả Giò (Spring Rolls): Crispy deep-fried rolls stuffed with ground meat, shrimp, and vegetables. Perfect for added crunch.
  • Bánh Xèo: A savory Vietnamese pancake made with rice flour and turmeric, stuffed with shrimp, pork, and bean sprouts.
  • Bánh Mì: The iconic Vietnamese sandwich, combining meats and pickled veggies in a French baguette. A delightful contrast in flavors.
  • Green Mango Salad: Fresh mango slices mixed with herbs, chili, and lime dressing.
Vietnamese Pho Soup Recipe

How Long Can We Store The Soup?

  • Separation: Store the broth and ingredients (noodles, meat, vegetables) separately to maintain texture and prevent sogginess.
  • Refrigeration: In an airtight container, the broth can last 3-4 days in the refrigerator. Noodles and meat should be consumed within 1-2 days for best quality.
  • Freezing: Broth freezes well for up to 3 months. Cool the broth completely before transferring it to freezer-safe bags or containers. Avoid freezing cooked noodles, as they may become mushy upon reheating.
  • Reheating: Always reheat the broth to a boiling point to ensure safety. Reassemble with other ingredients just before serving.

Can I Make Soup In Advance? 

  • Broth: Making broth a day ahead allows flavors to meld better. Stored in the refrigerator, fats solidify on the surface, making it easier to skim and clarify.
  • Meat: Slice the beef and store it separately in airtight containers. Thin slices of raw beef can be added directly to hot soup upon serving.
  • Noodles: Cook noodles closer to serving time to maintain their texture. If done in advance, rinse in cold water, then drizzle with a bit of oil to prevent sticking.
  • Garnishes: Prepare and store in separate containers.

What Can We Do With Leftovers?

  • Reinvent as Stir-Fry: Use leftover noodles, meat, and veggies in a quick stir-fry. Add a dash of soy sauce or oyster sauce for flavor.
  • Broth Risotto: Give the traditional risotto a twist using Pho broth for added depth.
  • Salad Base: Toss cold sliced meat, noodles, and veggies with a tangy dressing for a refreshing noodle salad.
  • Sandwich Filling: Thinly sliced beef works well in sandwiches or wraps. Add pickled veggies for crunch.
  • Omelette or Frittata: Incorporate leftover veggies and meat into an egg dish for breakfast or brunch.
Healthy soup

Special Tools And Equipment Needed 

  • Stock Pot: A large pot is essential for simmering the broth, ensuring all ingredients fit comfortably.
  • Strainer: Helps in removing solids after simmering the broth, ensuring clarity.
  • Tongs or Grill Basket: Useful for charring onions and ginger over an open flame.
  • Pho Ladle: A large, flat-bottomed ladle helps evenly serve broth and solids.
  • Sharp Knife: For thinly slicing beef ensure it cooks quickly when hot broth is poured over it.
  • Rice Noodle Basket or Spider Strainer: For dipping rice noodles into boiling water.
  • Mortar and Pestle: Ideal for lightly crushing spices to release their full aroma.
  • Bowls: Deep and wide bowls designed explicitly for Pho ensure a harmonious distribution of noodles, meat, and broth.

Frequently Asked Questions 

Can I Use Chicken Instead Of Beef For Pho?

Certainly. Chicken, particularly bone-in pieces, can offer a rich flavor. When substituting, you may also consider a chicken broth instead of beef broth for a cohesive taste. This variation is known as Pho Ga in Vietnamese cuisine.

How Essential Are The Spices Like Star Anise And Cloves To The Recipe?

The inclusion of spices such as star anise, cloves, and cinnamon are foundational to Pho’s unique flavor profile. However, if one or more of these spices are not to your preference, they can be adjusted or omitted, though the traditional taste may be altered.

Is There A Vegetarian Version Of Pho?

Absolutely. Vegetarian Pho, or Pho Chay, typically uses a vegetable-based broth and can be loaded with tofu, mushrooms, and an array of vegetables. Traditional beef or chicken can simply be replaced with these plant-based alternatives.

What Type Of Beef Is Best For Pho?

For Pho, it’s customary to use thinly sliced sirloin or eye of round. These cuts ensure the beef cooks quickly when hot broth is poured over them. However, other cuts like brisket or flank can also be used depending on personal preference.

Dive Into An Easy Vietnamese Pho Soup Recipe Along With Yummiest Taste

Dive Into An Easy Vietnamese Pho Soup Recipe Along With Yummiest Taste

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Recipe by Hanna Barnes Course: Soup Recipes


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Vietnamese Pho is a fragrant and flavorful soup, distinguished by its rich broth, tender meat, and silky rice noodles, all garnished with fresh herbs. This traditional dish is a delightful symphony of taste and texture, representing the essence of Vietnamese cuisine.


  • Onion

  • Ginger

  • Cinnamon sticks

  • Star anise

  • Cloves

  • Beef broth

  • Beef sirloin

  • Rice noodles

  • Bean sprouts

  • Green onions

  • Cilantro

  • Lime

  • Sriracha and hoisin sauce

  • Sugar

Step-By-Step Directions

  • Preparation Steps
    Char the Ingredients: Use an open flame or your oven’s broiler setting to char the onion and ginger. They should look slightly blackened. This step infuses a delightful smoky aroma into the broth.
  • Cooking
    Toasting Spices: In a sizable pot, heat it up to medium. Place the cinnamon sticks, star anise, and cloves inside. Toast them gently until you sense a fragrant aroma wafting.
    Broth Preparation: Add the charred onion and ginger to the aromatic spices in the pot. Pour the beef broth over these ingredients. Now, stir in the 2 tbsp of sugar.
    Simmering: Bring the contents of the pot to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat and let it simmer gently for a minimum of 30 minutes. This duration allows the flavors to intermingle and intensify.
  • Blending & Final Touches
    Rice Noodles: While your broth is doing its magic, it’s noodle time! Follow the instructions on your rice noodle package to cook them to perfection.
    Garnish Preparation: Have your beef sirloin thinly sliced and ready. Similarly, prepare the bean sprouts, green onions, and cilantro.
  • Serving
    Assembling the Pho: Grab 4 bowls. Begin by portioning out the cooked rice noodles into each. Layer on the beef slices, bean sprouts, and fresh garnishes (green onions and cilantro).
    The Grand Finale: Gently ladle the simmered, hot broth over the contents of each bowl. It should beautifully cook the beef slices.
  • Accompaniments: Offer lime wedges, Sriracha, and hoisin sauce on the side, allowing each person to customize their Pho experience.


  • Authentic Pho often requires a long simmering time for the broth to develop its full flavor.
  • Fresh herbs are key – they elevate the dish, offering both taste and aroma.
  • Adjust the spiciness according to your preference with chili slices or sauces.
  • While beef is common, variations like chicken (Pho Ga) or vegetarian options exist.
  • Using flat rice noodles is traditional, but noodle width can vary.
Hanna Barnes

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