Using Herbs and Spices

Vietnamese Recipes & Cuisines (Rice & Noodles)

Beef Pho Recipe

(Rice Noodles Soup)

Ingredients : Serves 6


1 kg

340 g

5 1/4 pints










225 g

225 g

455 g

2 tablespoon



125 g

50 g

50 g




Shin beef bones

Lean stewing beef


Onion, unpeeled and halved

Ginger, unpeeled and halved

Cinnamon stick


Coriander seeds

Star anise

Carrots, unpeeled, cut into chunks



Thick steak in one piece

Rice noodles

Flat, thick dried noodles

Nuoc Cham (fish sauce)

Brown onion, thinly sliced

Green onions (scallions), finely chopped


Coriander (cilantro) leaves, torn into sprigs

Mint leaves, chopped

Red chili pepper, seeded and sliced into rings

Limes cut into wedges

Method :
  • Pour the water into a large pot. Add the shin bones and beef. Bring to the boil and skim the surface. Turn heat to medium-low, partially cover and simmer for two hours. skimming often, before add in remaining broth ingredients. Simmer another 90 minutes and remove from heat. Leave to cool.

  • Strain the broth through a fine sieve and discard bones, carrots, onion and spices. Skim fat from broth. Cut the beef finely across the grain to paper thinness. Reserve.

  • Soak rice noodles in warm water about 20 minutes until soft, drain and reserve.

  • Return broth pot to heat. Boil with Nuoc Cham then reduce heat to very low. Fill a separate big pot three-quarters full of water and boil, add noodles and rinsed bean sprouts.

  • Continue cooking until noodles are tender but not mushy. Bean sprouts should retain some crispness.

  • Serve boiling broth first then drain noodles into 6 bowls, top equally with beef, raw onion rings, chopped green onions (scallions), and thin raw steak slices, which will par-cook in the bowls.

  • Garnish with coriander and mint leaves.


The beef will be easiest to slice if semi-frozen from the freezer. Diners help themselves to chili rings and lime wedges. This recipe can also be adapted for chicken which takes less time to cook.

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