Vietnamese pho, also known as pho soup, is a comforting and flavorful dish that’s become incredibly popular in the American restaurant scene in recent years. This easy pho soup recipe has all the wonderful flavors of the original with the ease and simplicity to make it at home.
To make a Vietnamese beef pho recipe like this, you’ll want to use thin beef slices using a piece of sirloin steak or round eye steak. You can either cut the beef yourself or ask your butcher to cut the beef. You also have the option of swapping out the beef in favor of creating a chicken pho soup recipe.
Aside from the meat, other pho soup ingredients include pho broth, which makes up the pho soup base. The pho broth is made up of beef broth and a myriad of spices, including cinnamon, cloves, and ginger, to name a few.
This quick broth is combined with pho noodles (a.k.a. dried rice noodles) and a handful of other ingredients like chili pepper, fresh herbs, and bean sprouts. While the preparation of these ingredients is a multi-step process, this pho soup recipe is easy enough to follow.
You can also make this tasty Vietnamese soup ahead of time by making the broth earlier in the week and either refrigerate the broth up to one week or freeze it up to three months. Whenever you’re ready to serve the pho, you will just have to heat the broth and assemble everything together.
Cook time: 40 minutes
Prep time: 25 minutes
- For the quick broth:
- 2 large onions peeled and cut into quarters
- 1 piece fresh ginger peeled and sliced into quarters vertically
- 2 whole cinnamon sticks 3-inch long sticks
- 2 whole star anise
- 3 whole cloves
- 2 tsp whole coriander seeds
- 6 cups low-sodium beef broth
- 1 tbsp soy sauce substitute tamari if making gluten-free
- 1 tbsp fish sauce
- 3 carrots peeled and roughly chopped
- To serve:
- 1/2 pound sirloin steak very thinly sliced
- 8 oz. dried rice noodles bahn pho 1/16-, 1/8-, or 1/-4" wide
- 3 scallions sliced
- 1 chili pepper Thai bird, serrano, or jalapeño, sliced
- 1-2 limes cut into wedges
- 1 cup bean sprouts
- 1 cup fresh herbs cilantro, basil, Thai basil, mint, or a mix, chopped
- hot sauce Sriracha, or hoisin sauce, to serve
- Place the onions and ginger on a baking sheet under the broiler for about 5 minutes on each side, just until the onions and ginger begin showing bits of char on their surfaces. Afterward, rinse the onion and ginger under cool water to remove any excess char. Temporarily set aside.
- To a medium saucepan, add the cinnamon, star anise, cloves, and coriander seeds. Toast the spices over medium-low heat for a minute or two, just until they become very fragrant. Make sure to stir the spices to prevent them from burning.
- To the pan, add the beef broth, soy sauce, fish sauce, chopped carrots, and the roasted onions and ginger. Cover the pan with a lid, then bring the mixture to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat and allow the broth to simmer for about 30 minutes.
- Add a second saucepan to the stove and fill the saucepan with water. Turn on the heat to high to bring the water to a boil. Once boiling, add the rice noodles and cook according to the package instructions, anywhere from 1 to 4 minutes. Drain the noodles, then run them under cool water. Divide the noodles among your serving bowls because they will stick together soon after they've cooked.
- Once the broth has finished cooking, strain the spices and solids from the broth and return the broth back over to low heat. There should be steam rising from the broth, but it shouldn't be simmering.
- To the serving bowls, add a few slices of raw beef, arranging the beef in a single even layer. Ladle the broth over the beef, filling each bowl with as much broth as you want. You will notice the beef turning an opaque color under the heat of the broth.
- Place all of the pho toppings on a plate at the table so that everyone can add whatever toppings they desire to their pho soup.
Recipe adapted from thekitchn.com