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How to Make Pho – An Authentic Pho (Recipe Guide)

How to Make Pho – An Authentic Pho (Recipe Guide)

Our full recipe guide on how to make Pho is the most popular dish in Vietnam.

Pho is a classic Vietnamese noodle soup featuring a clear broth, rice noodles, herbs, and typically beef or chicken. Pho is beloved for its light but flavorful broth and the freshness of its garnishes. Here’s how to make an authentic Beef Pho.

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How to Make Pho

Pho Recipe Ingredients

How to Make Pho – An Authentic Pho (Recipe Guide)

For the Broth:
3 lbs beef bones (preferably a mix of marrow bones and knuckles)
1 lb beef brisket or chuck
1 onion, unpeeled and halved
1 piece of ginger (about 4 inches), unpeeled
5 star anise
3 cloves
1 cinnamon stick
1 black cardamom pod (optional)
1 tablespoon coriander seeds
1 tablespoon salt
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 tablespoon sugar
For the Bowls:

400g flat rice noodles (banh pho)
300g beef sirloin or tenderloin, thinly sliced
Green onions, chopped
Cilantro, chopped
Onion, thinly sliced
Garnishes: Bean sprouts, Basil (preferably Thai basil), Lime wedges, Jalapeño or bird’s eye chili, sliced
Hoisin sauce
Sriracha sauce

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Step By Step How to Make Pho

How to Make Pho – An Authentic Pho (Recipe Guide)

Step 1 – Prepare the Broth

Char the onion and ginger under a broiler or over an open flame until blackened. This adds depth to the broth’s flavor. Boil the beef bones in a large pot of water for about 10 minutes to clean them. Drain, rinse the bones and the pot, and then refill the pot with about 4 liters of clean water.

Add the cleaned bones, brisket (or chuck), charred onion, and ginger back to the pot. Bring to a boil and then lower to a simmer. Skim any scum that rises to the top.
Toast the star anise, cloves, cinnamon, black cardamom, and coriander seeds in a dry pan until fragrant and add these to the broth, ideally in a spice bag.

Simmer the broth for at least 3-4 hours, adding more water if needed to keep ingredients submerged. After about 2 hours, remove the brisket, slice it, and set aside. Season the broth with salt, fish sauce, and sugar. Once the broth is rich and flavorful, strain it to remove solids, keeping only the clear broth.

How to Make Pho – An Authentic Pho (Recipe Guide)

Step 2 – Prepare the Rice Noodles

Cook the rice noodles in warm water until soft, then boil them briefly (1-2 minutes) until just tender. Drain and rinse to stop the cooking process.

Step 3 – Assemble the Bowls

Place a portion of cooked noodles in each bowl. Add cooked brisket slices and raw sirloin (the hot broth will cook it). Pour the boiling broth over the noodles and meat, ensuring the raw beef gets cooked in the heat of the broth. Top with chopped green onions, cilantro, and raw onion slices.

Step 4 – Serve with Garnishes

Serve the pho with plates of bean sprouts, basil leaves, lime wedges, sliced chilies, hoisin sauce, and Sriracha. Each diner can customize their bowl as desired.

How to Make Pho – An Authentic Pho (Recipe Guide)

Tips To Make Pho

The key to great pho is the broth; take your time to develop deep flavors. Use good quality beef for the slices added to the bowls for the best texture. Serve everything as fresh as possible for the best experience.
Pho is as much about the preparation as it is about enjoying the meal, often serving as a comforting dish for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

How Many Calories Has A Pho

The broth is generally light, especially if fat is skimmed off. A serving might contain around 50-100 calories. A typical serving of cooked rice noodles (about 1 cup) can add around 200 calories.

The amount and cut of beef can vary, but generally, a serving (about 3 ounces or 85 grams of cooked meat) can range from 150 to 250 calories depending on how lean the meat is. Herbs and Vegetables: Ingredients like onions, green onions, basil, and bean sprouts add minimal calories, typically not more than 30-50 calories combined. One tablespoon of Hoisin sauce adds about 35-50 calories, and one tablespoon of Sriracha adds about 15-20 calories.

A standard bowl of beef pho typically ranges from 430 to 600 calories. If more fatty cuts of meat are used or additional noodles and sauces are added, the calorie count can increase.

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