Phở Bò Recipe- Vietnamese Traditional Beef Noodles Soup

Pho Bo recipe (Vietnamese Beef Pho Noodle Soup) is the national dish of Vietnam it is a meal that most Vietnamese cherish in their hearts. Learn how to cook beef pho and serve it as a true Vietnamese and also tips for cooking that you won’t discover anywhere else.

The beef Pho broth recipe that is in this article tends to be the Northern style (since the country of origin is Hanoi) with suggestions on how to alter it to make it more Southern-style. There are also directions for serving the noodle soup in different styles.

My Pho Bo recipe

What exactly is Pho Bo

Pho*” refers to rice noodles ” bo” is a reference to beef. The bowl that you eat of beef Pho comprises soft, slippery noodles served in the thick, meaty but aromatic broth and slices of beef of your preference. This is one of the most well-known Vietnamese noodles soup that is without doubts.

There are those who believe that pho bo originated in Hanoi and others believe that it was created in Nam Dinh, another Northern Vietnamese city that is a few hours from the capital. Whatever the case the origins of the dish, it was developed within North Vietnam. North in Vietnam and then spread to the South later.

The country of Vietnam, pho bo is popular as a breakfast. Many people consume it for an instant lunch or late-night dinner. It’s great any time of day.

Learn to cook Beef Pho at Home

Beef Pho Noodles in various varieties Soup

When discussing the various kinds of beef soups like pho soups, people typically consider two methods of classification: by kind of beef toppings, and also by region.

Beef By Type Toppings

When you visit a Pho restaurant in Vietnam You will be offered various meat toppings, and each of them has a distinct name. A few of the most well-known ones include:

  • Pho Chin Pho chin is a beef-based noodle soup that is cooked to perfection with tender meat. It could be flank, brisket or shank as an example. It is also known as Pho Nam. In English it could be referred to as well-done beef pho such as beef brisket pho, or the beef flank of pho.
  • Pho Tai Pho tai is a soup made of beef containing thin slices of raw meat , quickly poached into the broth. The English equivalent refers to the rare form of beef Pho.
  • Pho Tai Lan beef noodle soup made with cut slices of beef that have been seared, which are extremely aromatic.
  • Pho bo soup vang: beef stew pho noodles soup which has a distinct flavor than the above soups, yet is extremely delicious and hearty. Find the recipe for my beef stew recipe here.

In addition, they can mix meat toppings into your bowl of Pho however they like. Apart from the choices above there is also the option of adding steak meatballs (mostly found in the South) and tendons, or tripes. Below is a picture of Pho tai Chi (or pho tai nam) which is made up of rare and well-cooked beef.

In addition to being not only the national food of Vietnam, pho bo is also an important area that is of interest to Vietnamese literature since an extended period of time. There are two well-known Vietnamese authors, Thach Lam (1910-1942) and Nguyen Tuan (1910-1987) Both have praised the fact that the authentic and tasty Pho soup is one that has well-cooked beef. Also, it’s my absolute favorite type of soup. Pho is a popular soup, however it’s really about your personal preference. For instance, my dad for instance likes the rare meat pho.

By Region

Here’s the larger debate about which is better, Northern pho or Southern Pho? As I’ve explained in my numerous posts, Northern and Southern cuisines share a lot of similarities, yet they are distinct. The majority of people from the North can attest to the taste of Northern Pho and is not always familiar with Southern Pho tastes and the reverse is true.

It’s also an issue of personal preference, and there are some key distinctions.

  • Northern Pho A savory broth with a very slight sweetness. This broth has a clear color and has an golden hue. Pho is served without hoisin sauce or a vegetable platter, as is the case it is in South. Rice noodles are generally bigger and the bowl typically includes a good amount of the scallion.
  • Southern Pho Sweet broth with a darker shade. Pho comes with hoisin sauce as well as an assortment of vegetable platters made up of beans, sprouts of beans, Thai basil and saw-tooth leaves. The rice noodles aren’t as large and there’s not enough scallion per bowl like with Northern Pho.

What is our favorite? Our top choice will always be Pho bo Hanoi.

What is the reason for this recipe?

My personal favorite is beef brisket pho noodles and served with crispy dough sticks

The meat Pho recipe recipe made with beef is authentic using only the best fresh, natural ingredients. It’s the result of several conversations and experiments between us, the native Vietnameses who were raised eating Pho regularly for the last 20 years in the North and also with our Saigonese chef-friend. The authentic tastes are embedded in our culture and this recipe offers some tips and tricks that you won’t discover elsewhere.

We also had a few years in the US which is why we attempted the pho across different regions in the US. I believe it’s not difficult to make Pho at home the recipe for this is easy to follow. It’s just a matter of patience, and the end result is superior to what you’ll find in the majority of eateries.

See more Chicken Pho

Master Beef Pho Broth

The rich and complex broth of the pho soup made of noodles is the result of slow and slowly boiling beef bones meat, aromatics, along with spices.

Beef Bones and Meat

I would suggest making use of bone marrow to get a rich taste. Oxtail is a possibility and we’ve used it in the past. However, oxtails do not contain many bones, which means the broth isn’t as deep even although it’s beefy, and that’s the reason why you should include some bones from beef. Other options include neck bones and knuckle bones.

Even if you use bones, I believe it’s still essential to add a substantial boneless piece of beef such as Brisket as well as shank to the broth. These will help make your broth meaty and filling. Additionally they can be used as meat toppings to your Pho bowls, as they are an amalgamation of fat and meat creating a delicious texture. Make use of kitchen twine to tie up the meat in the cooking process to maintain its shape.


Ginger and onions that have been charred are a great way to add a layer of richness in the soup. In the event that you’ve got shallots available, grill them and add them for more depth. Charring aromatics can be done using grill pans like I show in my video or even broil them in the oven. It may take up to 10 minutes to complete this task and you should be patient.


The Beef Pho spice mix comprises of cinnamon/cassia bark (que) and Star anise (dai hoi/hoa hoi) as well as black cardamom seed (thao qua) and clove (dinh huong) and coriander seeds (hat ngo) and fennel seed (tieu hoi). To toast them, heat them up in a pan for a couple of minutes until they become they are fragrant, then put them in the bag of spices for simple removal. According to me, the most essential spices to have are star anise, cinnamon and clove, as well as the Black Cardamom pod.

Other Ingredients

Other ingredients you’ll require to enhance the flavor of the broth include salt as well as fish sauce and the rock sugar. As I’m a Northerner Vietnamese I believe that beef Pho requires a little bit in rock sugar, to balance out the flavor. Chicken Pho broth doesn’t require sugar, but it does need.

My Pho broth recipe is Northern-style (Phở miền Bắc). However, you can alter the quantity of fish sauce and rock sugar to make it more Southern-style if you wish.

What are the Do’s and Don’ts that Make an enormous Difference


Making Pho in your home doesn’t require any rocket science. It’s actually simple and simple, however there are lots of tiny details that affect the outcome. So, make sure to adhere to the recipe as carefully as you possibly can. Below are some essential tips to remember:

  • Do simmer slowly and gently with a lid slightly off for a clear , complex broth. I would suggest simmering bones from beef for at minimum 6 hours. You should cook for 8 hours or longer in case you are able to since we can see a difference that increases by 8 hours.
  • Don’t cook your onions too long or they’ll turn slimy. 2 hours toward close to the time of serving ought to suffice.
  • Make sure to add the spices in the beginning. Within 6-8 hours, the kitchen will smell fragrant however, there’s not much within the soup. Additionally, simmering the spices for an excessive duration will reveal its bitterness. Also, make sure to include the spices in the final 1.5 to 2 hours of cooking.
  • Remove any fat that is a bit too much but don’t flush the entire amount. It is necessary to have some fats in our broth as certain compounds which make food taste good are fat-soluble. This also provides you with richness and a smooth , silky mouthfeel.
  • Do not add fish sauce while the broth is cooking because it can change to bitter. Make sure to wait until just before serving to add a touch of rock sugar and the sauce of fish.
  • Personally I’m not a big advocate of MSG. If you do like using it, make sure you don’t add it to the broth while it is simmering. You can add a tiny amount of it to the serving bowl prior to pouring in the boiling broth.
  • If you prefer cooked, rare, or well-done beef, cut thinly across the grain.

How to serve and Eat Beef Pho similar to Vietnam

We haven’t yet discussed the pho or rice noodles themselves. It is recommended to choose the flat and wide noodles. In Vietnam the majority of people use the freshest rice noodles. You can also use dried rice noodles, which are more prevalent in the outside of Vietnam. On the left: dried rice noodles. On the right: fresh rice noodles

Bánh Phở – Rice Noodles

Beef Pho can be served alongside various condiments in both the North and South of Vietnam. Here is a list of what is commonly consumed in the various regions, and you are free to pick and decide what you like.

Serving Pho made of beef in Northern-style and the following ingredients:

  • thin onions cut into slices
  • Shredded white scallion portion as well as a large amount of thinly cut green scallion portion and cilantro
  • doughstick fried ( quay) Cut into a short sections and dip them into the broth. Personally, I believe that a pho meal is not complete without these.
  • poached eggs poach eggs in a separate pan and serve it in separate bowls with the broth from pho or directly into your Pho bowl. Don’t break the egg . consume it all in one go when you can.
  • Garlic slices cooked in vinegar can balance the richness of the soup. In truth, I’m not a huge lover of vinegar but it’s an old-fashioned food item.
  • lime wedges, and birds eye chili

Serving Pho made of beef Southern-style, served with the following ingredients:

  • thinly cut chopped scallions, cilantro and scallions
  • hoisin sauce, and Sriracha
  • A vegetable platter that includes beans, bean sprouts Thai basil, saw-tooth leaves and Thai basil
  • lime wedges, and birds eye chili

There are many recipe for pho online, but most aren’t authentic, or the cooking instructions aren’t correct. Additionally, there aren’t many recipes that are Northern-style Pho. I hope that you make my recipe and you will love it like we do. It’s the taste we were accustomed to in Hanoi However, you can modify the recipe to suit your taste. Find a full details of the ingredients and directions on the recipe card below.

See more other Vietnamese beef noodles soup: Bún Bò Huế


Pho Bo (Vietnamese Beef Pho Noodle Soup) is the national dish of Vietnam it is a food that is something that many Vietnamese cherish in their hearts. Learn how to cook beef pho and serve it with the authenticity of a Vietnamese.
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 6 hrs
Total Time 6 hrs 29 mins
Course Breakfast, Main Course, pho
Cuisine vietnamese
Servings 6
Calories 387 kcal


To make the Broth

  • 3 lbs of beef bones
  • 1 1 lb shank of beef
  • 1.25 lbs of beef Brisket
  • 14 1/2 cups of water (about 3.75 Quarts)
  • 1 teaspoon salt (and additional salt for seasoning)

To make the Spice Blend

  • 1 large piece of bark from cassia or 3 or 4 cinnamon sticks (about 0.2-0.25 oz)
  • 7 cloves
  • 6 star anise
  • 2 teaspoons of fennel seeds
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 1 1/2 -2 black cardamom pods in the form of crushed open

To enhance the Aromatics

  • 2 large thumb-sized pieces ginger. Cut in half lengthwise, and then two pieces (about 2.5 2 oz)
  • Two medium-sized yellow onions skin-on, cut into halves (about 12 8 oz)
  • 4 to 5 shallots

For Seasonal Wear

  • 1 teaspoon rock sugar
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce (to taste)

For the Bowls

  • 1.5-2 lbs cooked rice noodles
  • thinly cut pieces of steak thinly sliced steak, like tenderloin or sirloin (optional to choose if you wish to serve a unique beef Pho)
  • One medium-sized yellow onion thinly cut in half-moons (try to get them to be paper-thin)
  • white scallion portion and part of the white scallion,
  • cilantro, thinly cut
  • Green scallion portion, thinly cut
  • freshly cracked black pepper


Make the Broth

  • Par boil beef bones in plenty of water to boil for 10 minutes before transferring into a bowl of cold water. Rinse the bones. Make a stock pot using 3.75 4 quarts of water to an unbeatable simmer. Add the bones along alongside 1 teaspoon of salt, and two slices of ginger (about 2 inches long).Let the mixture get to a point of boiling and remove any foams. Then reduce to an ice-cold simmer. Cover with the lid and cook gently over 6 to 8 hours.
  • While the bones are simmering while cooking, use kitchen twine to tie up the shank and beef brisket. Boil the meat under boiling for about two minutes. Rinse them and add them into the stock pot. Set the heat to an even simmer. Skim off any foams. Cover the lid by securing it.
  • Cook the beef shank and brisket until the meat is tender enough to suit your taste. Brisket of beef can require 2.5-3 hours, while shanks of beef can require 1-1.5 hours. Once they're cooked take them out of the broth and place them in the bowl of iced water. When they are cool, you can refrigerate them in the event that the broth isn't finished at this point.
  • About 2.5 hours prior to completing cooking the broth, cook onions ginger, shallots, and garlic (all with skin on) on the grill pan or on the stove. It could take between 10 and 15 minutes, and you'll see burned marks on the skin of the onions. The onions will be more tender and soft with juices bubbling. Remove the skin and charcoal-colored part of the onions as well as ginger and shallots.
  • In a pan over medium-low to medium heat, cook the spices for a couple of minutes until they are fragrant. Be cautious not to burn the spices (especially those with cloves). Include them in an herb bag.
  • Remove any excess fat from the broth (note that you should leave some of the fat). Put the spice bag onions, ginger, and shallot into the stock pot , and cook the broth for around 2 hours prior to serving. then take them out.
  • Before serving, spice the broth with salt (I usually add an additional teaspoon salt) as well as rock sugar and fish sauce according to your preference. Also , check how much water has evaporated and add liquid to your broth, if required. Each bowl requires 1 1/2-2 cup (360-480ml) in broth based on the size (medium and large).

Make Beef Pho Bowls

  • Slice the beef brisket finely, rubbing against the grain.
  • Serve rice noodles in bowls for serving. Add cooked beef slices fresh beef pieces (optional) thinly sliced onions, thinly cut cilantro, scallions and freshly cracked black pepper.
  • Bring the broth back up to an unbeatable boil. Add the white pieces of scallions to cook for a few seconds. Then immediately pour the soup into bowls of pho. Serve it immediately with any an accompaniment that you like. Check out the list of accompaniments in the notes below.


You are able to serve Pho with beef  With your preferred accompaniments with the accompaniments of your choice: with your choice of accompaniments: (quay) with lime wedges and bird’s-eye chili, poached eggs, syrup, hoisin, vegetable dish with sprouts of beans Thai saw-tooth and basil. Every region of Vietnam uses different condiments and you can learn more about it in the article. The shank and brisket from beef can be cooked at any moment while simmering the bones. Be sure to allow enough time for simmering together with the bones as the bones require 6-8 hours to cook, while the brisket takes 2 to 3 hours, and shank requires about an hour.
The bones may be simmered for up to 8-12 hours to enhance the flavor. The ginger, onions shallot, shallot, and spice mix should be added in the final 2 hours of simmering broth. If you can’t locate beef shanks or oxtails, you can substitute the oxtails in place. Oxtails need to simmering for slightly longer, approximately 3-4 hours or until the meat is soft. This recipe can serve six people. It can be expanded to feed 7-8 by adding a little water as well as fish sauce and rock sugar. Be sure to taste the drink prior to adding water to ensure that you don’t dilute the flavor excessively My Pho This recipe is more Northern-style cooking, however you can include more fish sauce and rock sugar, and cook the spices for a while to achieve a more Southern-style, if you wish. If you’d like to serve the soup with a rare beef toppings along with cooked beef, I would suggest 2 oz of beef slices raw per serving. For making ahead of the day prior to storing and storing the pho: There are two options:
  • Stop after about 2.5 hour of cooking to cook your bones (after Step 4 of section Prepare the Broth section). The broth should be refrigerated. The next day, scrape off fat that has hardened (note that you should leave some of the fat) and continue cooking as in the step 5.
  • Stop following Step 7 in the Prepare the Broth section. Keep the broth in the refrigerator. Next day cook the broth over the stove, using a small piece of ginger as well as a small quantity of spices (like the small pieces of cinnamon, star anise or the clove) for 20-30 mins if you are noticing that the spice aroma isn’t as strong as it was the previous day.
To to freeze: The broth can be the broth in the form of a Ziploc bag. The meat that has been cooked can be frozen as a whole and when you are ready to consume it, allow it cool and then slice.

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