Vietnamese Recipes & Cuisines (Rice & Noodles)

Hanoi Beef Noodle Soup Recipe

(Pho Bo)

This may well be considered Vietnam's national dish. The Vietnamese eat it at any time of the day, but it is especially popular as a breakfast food. What makes this soup so convenient is that you can cook it ahead of time, storing the stock in one container and the remaining ingredients in another. You need only recombine and reheat it before serving. A delicious pho recipe.

Ingredients : Serves 6 - 8



5 cm

3 liters

2 kg

1 kg

2 pcs

3 cm

1 teaspoon

1 tablespoon

450 g

60 ml

450 g


450 g



6 sprigs

70 g

Onions, unpeeled, halved, and studded with 8 whole cloves

Shallots, unpeeled

Fresh ginger, unpeeled

Cold Water


Beef Shank

Star anise

Stick  cinnamon

Whole peppercorns, crushed


Rice stick noodles (yields 7 cups)

Fish sauce

Beef sirloin or flank steak

Large onions, peeled and thinly sliced crossways

Bean sprouts, blanched

Limes or lemons, cut into 8 sections

Chilies, sliced crossways

Fresh coriander (cilantro), coarsely chopped

Fresh Thai basil leaves

Method :
  • Char the onions, shallots and ginger under the grill until fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes. Place into a large stockpot.

  • Add the water, oxtail, beef shank, star anise, cinnamon, peppercorns and salt to the stockpot. Bring the mixture to the boil over medium heat, skim the scum from the surface, and reduce the heat to low. Cook for 2 hours.

  • Meanwhile, soak the noodles in warm water for 30 minutes. Drain and set aside. In a large saucepan, bring water to cover to the boil and add the noodles. Drain immediately, rinse with cold water, and portion the noodles among 8 large soup bowls.

  • Remove the beef shank and oxtail form the stock, making sure these are tender. Thinly slice the sirloin or flank steak into strips 5 x 2 1/2 x 1/3 cm (1 x 2 x /8 in) and set aside. Season the soup with fish sauce and continue to cook over low heat. When the meat is cool enough to handle, slice the beef shank into uniform slices the same size as the sliced raw sirloin or flank steak. Discard the bones.

  • To serve, place a portion of noodles in a soup bowl and layer the cooked and raw beef on top of the noodles. Then place onion slices and bean sprouts on top of the meat. Ladle the hot broth over the ingredients. garnish with several slices chilies and fresh coriander. Repeat process for each serving. Pass the extra onions, bean sprouts, fresh chilies, lime sections and basil on a platter. Season with additional fish sauce, if needed.

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