How to Make Vietnamese Beef Pho Noodle Soup

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Today we are going to make Vietnamese Beef Pho. It’s one of my favorite beef noodle soups of all time. Let’s get started!

Vietnamese Beef Pho Noodle Soup Recipe

Serve 4
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 6 to 10 hours

For the herbs and spices:
1 onion, peeled
1 shallot, peeled
1 thumb ginger
1 cinnamon stick
6 pods star anise
1 black cardamom pod
2 bay leaves
3 pieces cloves
2 teaspoons fennel seeds
2 teaspoons coriander seeds

For the broth:
4 pounds beef short rib bones, or marrow
1 1/2 pound beef brisket, or flank
8 quarts water, separated
½ cup fish sauce
1 piece rock sugar, or 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
Salt to taste

For the noodles and toppings:
1 1/2 packages fresh rice stick noodle (21 oz)
1/2 pound beef tripe
10 pieces beef ball, halved
1 pound ribeye steak, thinly sliced
½ onion, thinly sliced
3 stalks scallions, chopped
1 cup Thai basil, or sweet basil
1 cup cilantro leaves
2 cups bean sprouts
2 limes, wedged

For the sauce:
Sriracha sauce
Hoisin Sauce


To prepare the herbs and spices:

On a stove, place the peeled onion, shallot, and ginger on it. Over medium heat, char until they are lightly darkened. 20 seconds for ginger, 2 minutes for shallot, and 4 minutes for onion.

In a pan, transfer in the spices: cinnamon stick, star anise, black cardamom pod, bay leaves, cloves, fennel seeds, and coriander seeds. Over low heat, lightly toast until aromatic, 2 minutes. Turn off the heat.

Transfer the spices in a spice bag or tea bag. Set aside.

To prepare the broth and brisket:

In a large pot, place in the beef short rib bones and brisket. Add about 4 quarts of water in the pot.

Place it on a stove, over high heat, and bring to a boil. Cook for 5 minutes.

Discard the water. Rinse everything. (This will help to remove any impurity in the stock.)

Put the onion, shallot, ginger, and spice bag in the pot. Add another 4 quarts of water in the pot.

Over high heat, and bring to a boil. Immediately turn to low heat. Cook for 1 hour and 30 minutes. (Cooking over low heat will ensure that the broth is clear and not cloudy.) Constantly stain out the oil and impurity on the top.

Take out the brisket. Let it cool. Cover and place it in the fridge.

Also remove the onion, shallot, spice bag, and ginger at this point. (To cook the herbs further they may make the broth cloudy, and to cook the spices further, the broth might be too over powering. These are just personal preferences.)

You could continue to simmer the broth, over low heat, in the pot for additional 3 hours.

Or transfer the bones and the broth into a slow cooker. Cook over high heat for 5 hours or loaw heat for 9 hours.

After the brisket is cooled, slice it into thin slices.

Take out all the bones and any impurity from the slow cooker.

Pour the broth back into a pot, while stain with a strainer.

Over moderate heat, season the stock with fish sauce, rock sugar, and salt. Continue to cook the stock until the rock sugar is dissolved.

To cook the toppings and noodles and serve:

In a pot of water, bring water to a boil. Add sliced beef tripe, and cook for 2 minutes. Take them out and set aside. Add the beef balls, and cook for 3 minutes. Take them out and set aside.

In the same pot, bring water to a boil. Add in one portion of fresh rice stick noodle and a handful of bean sprouts. Cook for about 10 seconds. Take them out and drain all the water. (You could also rinse it in running water.) Place it in a preheated large bowl.

Place the sliced onion, brisket slices, raw rib eye, tripe, beef balls, and scallions over the noodles. Pour the hot broth over the noodles. (The hot broth should cook the raw meat in no time.) Garnish with cilantro. Serve with raw bean sprouts, Thai basil, lime, sriracha sauce, and hoisin sauce on the side.

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3 thoughts on “How to Make Vietnamese Beef Pho Noodle Soup”

  1. Pingback: 【美食天堂】越南牛肉河粉做法~太赞了! – 中國

  2. Could you tell me what Beef Tripe is and where I could buy it. Also when you say Beef Balls…do you mean minced beef? I’m looking forward to trying this recipe. Thank you in advance.

    1. Hi D.

      Thank you for your question! For the beef tripe, you can use book tripe. It’s also known as leaf or bible tripe, comes from the third stomach, the omasum. For the beef balls, they sell in packages, and it’s made of beef that has been finely pulverized. Have fun cooking! 🙂

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