Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Pho - Vietnamese Beef Soup with Rice Noodles

A nice and tasty dish best served when it is freezing. I often crave this at least once a week no matter where I am, or what I am doing. This meant I just had to learn how to make it, so with some researching and speaking to my aunty it turned out to be quite easy, although quite time consuming and best made a day before serving.
A quick fact, this dish is Vietnam's most famous which is ironic because the country is blistering hot!


  • 5kgs of beef bones (I used Ox tails and shoulder bones)
  • 1x piece of tripe (optional, but I like to keep it authentic)
  • 250 grams of tendon (optional, but I like to keep it authentic)
  • 1kgs of Beef Balls
  • 1kg flank (make sure it has nice fatty bits in it)
  • 2x Pho satchels (contains: star anise, cinnamon, coriander seeds, other shit)
  • 2x roasted onions
  • 1x whole ginger root, squashed
  • 1/2 cup of fish sauce
  • 2x table spoons of sugar

 (To Serve)

  • Rice Noodles, preferably fresh, not the dried shit you find in your supermarket, FRESH people!
  • Hoisin Sauce, a fermented bean sauce used as a dipping sauce
  • Hot Sriracha Chilli Sauce, a really hot chilli sauce, fantastic mixed with the hoisin
  • Slice beef scotch fillet
  • Fresh bean sprouts
  • Thinly sliced onions
  • Chopped Corriander
  • Chopped Shallots, scallions as you Americaaaannns call them :)
  • Asian basil
  • Asian sawtooth basil
  • Lemon or Lime

Soup: Launch all the bones, onions, ginger, pho satchels into around 8 litres of water and bring to a hard boil for around 15 minutes. Scoop off the layer of fat, then reduce heat and simmer for at least 5 hours to maximise taste. After the simmer period, scoop off the fat once again. Now add in the 1kg flank (whole), beef balls, tripe, and tendon, cook for around 45 minutes with the heat on medium. Once done, remove the tripe, tendon, flank making sure the tripe and tendon are soft. Begin to flavour the soup with fish sauce, and sugar. You will find out that the soup itself it quite tasty after adding the fish sauce, add sugar to balance out the flavour. You might find that adding some salt to it as well will make it taste better along with the fish sauce.

Once the soup is complete, and you're ready to serve. Slice up the flank, around 5mm thick, chop up the tendon into nice bite size chunks, and as for the tripe into strips.

To serve, layer the bowl first with rice noodles (makes sure you nuke them so they're hot), layered with bean sprouts, thinly sliced onions, shallots, basil, sawtooth basil, then the tendons, beef balls, flank and lastly the raw thinly sliced scotch fillet. Bring the soup to a boil and pour on top, this will cook the raw beef. Serve with some lemon squeezed over and with the hoisin and the hot chilli dipping sauce.


Serves: 10+
Time: ~ 6+ hours
Cost: $60


  1. Yum... gotta try this one day.

  2. Sounds tasty! I love Pho! Thanks for the recipe <3