Vietnamese Pho Broth

Vietnamese Pho

My friend, Beth and I made Vietnamese pho this past weekend. We’re making it from scratch for her to bring back home as a gift to a family member for Christmas. The broth took about 4-5 hours to make but it was very much worth it! I would recommend using a large stock pot to making this so that you can get more broth out of the beef bones and other ingredients you use.

Preheat the oven to 375F, then cut a medium sized onion and 1/4 inch peeled ginger into halves. Add the onion and ginger into the oven and roast for 10 minutes or until they are a bit charred. Next, I toasted all the spices on a flat pan in medium heat for about 2 minutes. This process brings out the aromatic flavors of the spices.

Rinse off the beef bones in cold water for three times to remove all dirt.

Fill a stock pot with water up to 3/4 of the pot. Boil the water.    Add the cleaned bones to the boiling water.

Then I added the spices with the charred ginger and onion, plus 1 tbsp of good quality fish sauce.   Simmer for at least 4 hours. After two hours of simmering, taste to see if you need to add fish sauce (saltiness).  If you do, make sure to add it only 1/2 tbsp at a time, to make sure you do not add too much.  The longer you simmer, the more the flavors from the beef bones comes out, and the broth color becomes darker.

To serve, add cooked noodle, sliced beef, mint, thai basil, bean sprouts and jalapeno into a medium sized bowl. Pour hot pho broth and serve with a slice of lime.

Vietnamese Pho Soup

1 tbsp fennel seeds
1 tbsp coriander seeds
5 pieces of star anise
2 cardamom pods
1 tsp cloves
1 cinnamon stick
1 medium rock sugar
fish sauce to taste

2 lbs of beef bones, (pre-rinse in cold water 2-3 times)
4″ peeled ginger
1 medium onion


1. Preheat oven to 400F. Slice the ginger and onion to halves.
2. Roast the ginger and onion in the oven for 10 minutes or until they are charred.
3. On a flat pan, combine all spices together and toast it for 2 – 3 minutes in small to medium heat. Place the toasted spices in a sealed cheesecloth or spice ball.
4. Prepare a stock pot and add water up to 3/4 full. Bring water to a boil.
5. Once water is boiling, slowly add beef bones using tongs. Add the charred ginger and onion. Add the spices and 1 1/2 tbsp of fish sauce.
6. Lower the heat and simmer for 4 hours or longer.
7. Check the taste every one and a half hour to see if more fish sauce (saltiness) is needed. Always add only a tablespoon at a time to avoid making the soup too salty.
8. Serve with pho noodle, mint, thai basil, vegetables and lime.

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