Vietnamese Pho


Ok, if there is one thing I am addicted to right now, it's Vietnamese beef pho. This aromatic, bone broth soup has become super-popular in Western cultures because of its suggested health benefits. Me personally, pho bo is my go-to, cheap mid-week meal when I can't be bothered cooking.

Whereas Chinese food leaves you feeling average afterward because of its heaviness and grease, I love the fact that you can be completely pho-bloated yet two hours later, you're light as a feather. 

This is not the meal to cook if you are in a hurry as a delicious pho is dependant on a patiently, slow-cooked base where the bones and spices have plenty of time to infuse the broth. So with a good few hours to spare while working, I decided to give my own pho bo a shot! Delicious!!


  • 1kg beef bones;
  • 400g beef fillet steak, very thinly sliced;
  • 4L cold water;
  • 2 brown onions, chopped;
  • Large piece ginger, peeled, sliced;
  • *Solid handful or more of 'pho beef spices';
  • 3 cinnamon sticks;
  • 1 tablespoon black peppercorns;
  • A splash of fish sauce;
  • A splash of lime juice;
  • 100g thick rice noodles or whatever noodles you prefer;
  • Big handful of bean sprouts;
  • Big handful of shallots, thinly sliced diagonally;
  • 2 small birdseye chillies, thinly sliced;
  • Bunch of mint leaves;
  • Bunch of coriander leaves;

*You can add spices separately if you can find a mix packet - coriander seed, fennel seed, star anise, cassia and cardamon


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  1. Place beef bones, ginger, onion, water and spice mix in large pot over high heat and bring to the boil.
  2. Reduce to low heat and simmer for 3-4 hours. 
  3. Remove from heat and strain bones and spice remnants then discard.
  4. Bring remaining soup back to a simmer on high heat then add lime juice, fish sauce and some pepper to taste.
  5. Place noodles into a side bowl and pour boiling water over to soften and soak.
  6. Divide cooked noodles into serving bowls and top with raw sliced beef.
  7. Cover with hot soup and sprinkle with shallots and fresh chilli. 
  8. Serve with mint, coriander, bean sprouts and hoisin sauce on a side plate then devour.
Jason Stuart