Vietnamese Beef Pho



 I am very excited to share this Vietnamese Beef Pho recipe from scratch! It is going to help me get through the winter months, even though I have heard winter is not too bad here in North Carolina! I love different cultures and I strive to make food that honors their traditions! I was so lucky to be in the kitchen with my friend and her mom from Vietnam while they prepared Beef Pho for me and my family. I have made it a couple times since then and have perfected it!




 The most important thing in Vietnamese Pho is the broth. All the flavor comes from the broth since the noodles and meat are not flavored. There is no other way to make this soup then from scratch! It is just as cheap to buy beef bones from an Asian Market. I spent about 4 dollars on bones to use to make the broth. When simmering the broth do not cover the pot, skim the top of the broth to remove the froth and discard into a bowl. The heat causes the grease to rise to the top and the broth will be cleaner if you remove it.



Roasting the onion, star anise, garlic and ginger enhances the flavors once simmering in the broth! When these are roasting in the oven your house will smell authentically like a Vietnamese restaurant! The Mister walks in and says ”it smells like Pho!” The Mister lived in Taiwan for 2 years and is very paticular about Asian food and flavors. This Beef Pho is on point and he approves. Pho is very popular right now and a lot of people pronnouce it with an O sound at the end but it is really pronnounced with an A sound.


While making this broth I felt like a witch stirring her brew! It is so fun to make and watch it come together into something so delicious and flavorful! The star anise smells similar to black licorice and gives the Beef Pho a rich, distinct flavor. They are little dried pods that can be found at any Asian Market. I have found them before at my local grocery stores in the international seasoning section but it isn’t common. The cinnamon stick also gives the broth that distinct Pho flavor!


Fill your bowl with rice noodles and all the goodies you want with your Pho. The rice noodles can be found at your local grocery store in the Aisan section but I like to buy them at an Asian market because there is so much more variety and sizes.


Some people don’t like the idea of raw beef in their bowl so there is another option. Put the desired amount of beef in a laddle and use a spoon to fill it with very warm broth. The beef will cook within 1 to 2 minutes.


The beef is sliced thinly againest the grain for this purpose, to be able to cook quickly! Though feel free to add the beef to your bowl and as soon as the broth is added, the meat will cook.


Fill your bowl with as much broth as you desire, squeeze some lime juice, and add some hoisin sauce for more flavor! Enjoy delicious traditional Beef Pho in the comfort of your own home year round!


We invited friends over for dinner when I was making this and it isn’t your traditional safe meal to make for friends. They hadn’t remembered if they had eaten Pho before so I was excited for them to try it! They loved it and went back for seconds so it makes me happy to be able to introduce friends to new dishes! There is nothing better than being able to repulicate a timeless affordable dish in the comfort of your own home!



Vietnamese Beef Pho

Serves 4-5
Prep time 8 minutes
Cook time 2 hours, 45 minutes
Total time 2 hours, 53 minutes
Dietary Gluten Free
Meal type Lunch, Main Dish, Soup, Starter
Misc Child Friendly, Gourmet, Pre-preparable, Serve Hot


  • 3-4lb beef bones or chicken neck bones (or both)
  • 1 1/2lb beef top sirloin (thinly sliced againest the grain)
  • 1 Large onion (cut in half length wise)
  • 3 Medium garlic (slightly crushed, press hand down on it)
  • 1 tablespoon ginger (peeled and sliced)
  • 4 pods star anise (dried)
  • 1 tablespoon powdered coriander
  • 1-2 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon salt salt
  • 1 bunch cilantro (removed from stem)
  • 1 bunch green onions (sliced)
  • bean sprouts
  • dried rice noodles (Pho tuoi - they come in different sizes)
  • 1 bunch basil and mint (mint is optional)
  • 2 Medium limes
  • 1-2 Small chiles (optional for heat cut into slices or minced with seeds removed)
  • hoisin sauce (has sugar in it)
  • handful of thinly sliced onions for garnish (optional)
  • 1-2 Small cinnamon sitcks
  • All items can be found at your local Asian Grocery Store


Step 1
Boil water in large pot and put beef bones and salt in it and simmer for 2 hours uncovered. A froth forms on top of water remove with a spoon and discard into a bowl next to pot (picture above to show you how).
note: it is grease rising to the top from the heat.
Step 2
After an hour preheat oven to 350 degrees and place onion, garlic, ginger, and star anise on baking sheet and roast until light golden brown. 20-30 minutes.
Step 3
After 2 hours put the baked onion, star anise, garlic, fish sauce, coriander, cinnamon stick and ginger in the broth. Bring to a boil and reduce heat and simmer for 45 minutes. Continue to remove froth from top of broth with spoon. Taste to see if it needs anything. Strain the broth into another pot and set aside on low and covered. Discard items in strainer.
Step 4
Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil and place dried rice noodles in boiling water for about 5 minutes or until cooked.
Step 5
Divide noodles into bowls along with cilantro, basil, sprouts, green onions, and chili if you want heat. You can put raw sirloin in as well or dip raw sirloin in simmering broth to cook for 1-2 minutes (picture above to show you how). Pour warm broth into bowl and allow beef to cook in broth since it is thinly sliced. Serve warm with lime and hoisin sauce.
Step 6
note: when cutting sirloin cut into strips then turn each strip on its side and cut very thinly against grain. This will allow the broth to cook the meat within a couple of minutes.

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