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+ servings
3 from 3 votes
vietnamese pho soup
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
3 hrs 20 mins
Total Time
3 hrs 40 mins

Phở is an incredibly fragrant traditional Vietnamese rice noodle soup consisting of herbs, broth and beef or chicken.

Course: Soup
Cuisine: Asian, Vietnamese
Servings: 6 people
Author: Betty Davies
For the broth
  • 1 lb short ribs with bone
  • 4 slices ox tail
  • 2 marrow bones
  • 3 scallions , cut in halves
  • 1 whole star anise
  • 1 whole nutmeg
  • 1 stick cinnamon
  • 5 whole cloves
  • 5 pods cardamom
  • ½ lb daikon , julienned
For the toppings
  • 8 oz. rice noodles (ideally bánh phở)
  • Soybean sprouts
  • 10 scallions
  • ½ bunch mint
  • ½ bunch cilantro
  • ½ bunch Thai basil
  • 2 lb round (sirloin, or shank)
  • 3 limes
  • 2 hot peppers
  1. Heat a frying pan and roast the spices (star anise, nutmeg, cinnamon, clove, cardamom) for a few minutes to develop their aroma.
  2. Place these spices in a tea ball or cheesecloth (tied with kitchen twine).
  3. In a large pot, place the scallions, the ribs, the marrow bones, the ox tail slices and the spice tea ball.
  4. Add the julienned daikon.
  5. Cover with water and bring to a boil. Then, lower the heat. Cover to three quarters (do not close the lid completely) and simmer for 3 hours. If necessary, skim the fat as it is cooking.
  6. At the end of cooking, filter the broth. Thinly slice the ribs and the ox tail and set aside.
  7. Cook the rice vermicelli in a large volume of boiling salted water for 4 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water and set aside.
  8. Thinly slice the round (sirloin or beef shank) and set aside.
  9. Rinse and drain the soybean sprouts. Rinse, dry and then roughly chop the herbs (mint, cilantro, Thai basil).
  10. In individual bowls, place the ingredients in this order:

    - rice noodles

    - daikon

    - slices of round (sirloin or shank)

    - slices of short ribs

    - slices of ox tail

    - soybean sprouts

    - herbs and thinly sliced scallions

  11. Pour the hot broth into each bowl and serve immediately after adding the juice of half a lime and thinly sliced hot pepper (optional) in each bowl.
  12. Mix the food for about thirty seconds using chopsticks and enjoy.
Recipe Notes

Tip: place the meat in the freezer for 30 minutes before slicing it. The meat is firmer, and it becomes easier to thinly slice.