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Vietnamese Beef Rice Noodle Soup (Pho Bo) Recipe

Updated on March 20, 2015
Pho Bo with beef tripe and beef balls
Pho Bo with beef tripe and beef balls | Source

Rice noodle topped with beef slices swim in the heady broth, served with fresh raw salad and spicy condiments. Pho bo is national dish of Vietnam. This popular noodle soup is made of rice noodle and beef. Traditionally, pho bo is eaten at breakfast time but nowadays its available throughout the day. It can be served at lunch, dinner or snack between meals.

It's possible to make Vietnamese beef rice noodle at home. What you need is good beef broth. If you have pressure cooker, it will help to make very rich broth in just about 30 - 45 minutes. One of the keys to a great broth is good beef soup bones that contain marrow or oxtail. I love to prepare the broth a day before which allows time to develop flavors. Place the broth in the fridge overnight and in the morning you can lift off the solidified fat. This way, you get a very rich and flavorful broth, even a healthier one. Reheat the broth, then adjust salt, sugar, or fish sauce if necessary.


What You Need

Serves 4 - 6


1 lbs lean beef

1 lbs dry rice noodles (pho)


6 lbs beef bones

6 quarts of water

2 onion

1 piece of ginger (about 3 inches)

7 star anise

2 cinnamon stick

8 whole cloves

3 tsp sugar

2 tsp salt

1/8 cup fish sauce


4 spring onions, thinly sliced

12 cilantro sprigs, thinly chopped

1 onion, thinly sliced

1 1/2 cup bean sprouts

10 sprigs basil

lime wedges

red hot chili pepper, thinly sliced


fish sauce

hot chili sauce

hoisin sauce

How to Fix

  • Broil ginger and onion until they are fragrant and burned. Peel the skin. Then use back of the cleaver to smash the ginger.
  • Wash and rinse beef bones. Put beef bones in a large stock pot and add water. Bring to a boil then immediately discard the "first-boiling" water. Add another 6 quarts of fresh water and bring to a boil. Skim off any floating foam. Add ginger, onion, star anise, cloves, cinnamon stick, fish sauce, salt and sugar. Lower the heat to medium-low. Simmer the broth for about 90 minutes to 2 hours.
  • Cut the raw beef into very thin strips. Set aside.
  • Place dried rice noodle in water for 10 minutes then drain. In a small pot, put 2 quarts of water and bring it to boil. Throw the noodles in. Cook about 5 - 7 minutes or until they are tender. Transfer the noodles to colander and rinse them under cold running water. Drain.
  • Return the stock to a boil then simmer for 30 minutes. Removes the beef bones from stock. Skim any fat.
  • Divide and arrange the noodles among 4 - 6 individual bowls. Then add sliced raw beef, onion, spring onions and cilantro on top. Pour hot boiling stock to cover rice noodles. Serve hot.
  • Serve with vegetable garnish and condiments.

Vietnamese Pho Bo


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    • thenoodleguy415 profile image

      The Noodle Guy 4 years ago from San Francisco

      Have you tried this site?

      Great ideas for recipes especially if interested in Vietnamese Pho Recipes

    • jojokaya profile image

      jojokaya 5 years ago from USA

      @Anglnwu: I agree with you, making pho is little bit too much work. Thanks for your visit.

    • anglnwu profile image

      anglnwu 5 years ago

      I'm planning on writing a hub about pho and stumble upon this--great information. I tried making pho at home but find it too much work. I had some success with chicken pho but these days, I just go to the local vietnamese restaurant. Rated up.