Vietnamese Beef Pho (Phở Bò)

Vietnamese beef rice noodles soup (Phở Bò)

Vietnamese Beef Pho (Phở Bò)

I fell in love with Pho when I visited Ho Chih Minh in February 2020. The Pho they served at the Pho24 in HCMC tasted so good I craved for it when the whole world was locked down shortly after due to COVID-19. So, I started sourcing for recipes to cook my own Pho at home. Below is a recipe I adopted from many other Pho recipes I have tried and tested. I hope you like this dish as much as I do. Serve it with fresh mint leaves and Thai basil for an even more authentic Vietnamese taste.

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Prep Time 50 mins Cook Time 70 mins Total Time 2 hrs Difficulty: Intermediate Servings: 4 Best Season: Suitable throughout the year


Spice Mix

Soup base

Noodle Bowl


Prepare the Soup stock

  1. Roast the spices
    1. Wash the spices briefly to remove surface dirt and pat dry with kitchen towel. DO NOT soak them in water.
    2. Wash and cut onion into halves. With one half of the onion cut lengthwise about 1/4 of the onion as thin as you can (refer to the photo above). Soak the onion in cold water and set aside. Quarter the rest of the onion.
    3. Wash the garlic and remove the hardened stem but do not remove the garlic skin.
    4. Spread out the spice mix, including onion and garlic, on a large baking tray. Toast the spice mix at 180C4 for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, turn over the ingredients and toast for a further 10-15 minutes or until the spices are giving off a clear aroma. Do not let the spices burn.
    5. Remove the spices from the tray but continue to roast the onion and garlic for a further 10-15 minutes until they are slightly browned and roasted.
  2. Prepare the beef stock
    1. Add the sugar to the beef stock and bring to boil under high heat. Place the toasted dry spices in a spice bag or spice strainer ball and add to the stock.
    2. Discard the charred onion and garlic skins. Use the edge of your knife to scrap off the charred skin of the ginger and smash the ginger with the flat side of a chopper or the butt of a broad chef/utility knife. DO NOT use a narrow or small knife to avoid hurting yourself.
    3. Add the fish sauce, roasted ginger, garlic and onion into the stock and bring to boil under medium high heat for 30 minutes.
    4. Add in the beef balls and cook until the balls float in the soup. This will take about 5-6 minutes. Remove the beef balls and set aside.
    5. Reduce to low heat and let the soup simmer for a further 30 minutes.

Assemble the noodle bowl and serve

  1. Assemble the bowl
    1. Prepare the Pho noodles. Bring to boil half a sauce pot of water with 2 teaspoons of salt and 1 tablespoon of cooking oil.
    2. When the water boils, cook the noodles in the boiling water for 1 minute (or as directed by the package instructions). Drain the noodles and run under cold water to cool it down. Drain the noodles in a colander and portion out the pho in serving bowls.
    3. Add sliced onion, bean sprouts, beef balls and beef slices on top of the noodles.
    4. Add the boiling soup stock over the assembled bowl.
    5. Serve hot with cut chilli, basil and mint leaves (remove stems).
Keywords: vietnam, beef, pho, soup
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