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Pho (Traditional Vietnamese Noodle Soup)

  • 8 servings
  • Mins
    Prep Time
  • Mins
    Cook Time

Because of pho's large mix of ingredients, it seems that no two batches taste exactly alike. Many of the herbs and spices in pho can be adjusted in quantity or left out entirely, depending on preference. This recipe, adapted from Saigon R in Englewood, NJ requires a very large pot — at least 12 quarts — to make the broth. For best results, start the broth a day ahead.


For the broth:
10 pounds beef bones
2 pounds stewing beef, such as chuck, rump or brisket
2 yellow onions roasted and peeled
2 knobs ginger, about 8 ounces total, roasted and peeled
10 to 12 dried cloves
8 to 10 star anise pods
2 cinnamon sticks
Cardamom pods or fennel seeds (optional)
Fish sauce, to taste
Sugar (preferably yellow rock sugar), to taste
Salt, to taste
For serving:
½ pound bean sprouts, blanched, plus raw sprouts for garnish
2 pounds dried of fresh banh pho noodles, soaked 25 to 20 minutes in hot water
1 pound eye round or sirloin, sliced to about 1/16-inch thickness against the grain (see note)
Scallions, sliced into thin rings, to taste
1 red onion, thinly sliced
cup cilantro or Thai basil, plus more for garnish (optional)
Jalapeño, thinly sliced (optional)
Fresh cilantro (optional)
Lime wedges (optional)
Thai red chili sauce (optional)
Thai plum sauce (optional)

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