Homemade Vietnamese Pho Soup – Beef Pho Recipe

Making your own fabulous bowl of Vietnamese pho soup at home is not hard, all you need is a straightforward recipe, a few secrets and a nice big stockpot.

You’ve had Pho before, right? If not, it’s a wonderfully delicate Vietnamese noodle soup, made from beef bones, ginger, onions and lots of aromatic spices. It’s nothing short of soup perfection. The way all the spices and flavors from star anise, cardamom, fennel seeds and cinnamon come together is incredible and the best part? You can customize; it’s encouraged that you add any and all the condiments you desire to make it your own.

We make this at least once a month, always making sure there is leftover broth to freeze for another day. While it takes a bit of time, most of that is hands-off, so let’s get going towards amazing pho at home, shall we?

Pho Soup Recipe  with Video

Pho-Inspired Grilled Chicken Wings RecipeWe love all the flavors of pho so much that we’ve even made Pho-Inspired Grilled Chicken Wings marinaded in ginger, garlic, lime and fish sauce.

Seven Secrets to an Amazing Pho Recipe

Best Bones for Making Our Pho Recipe

You can’t make an awesome soup without awesome beef bones, right? So, look for knuckle and leg bones that contain marrow. We buy beef knuckles from a local Asian market and find them to be pretty inexpensive.

Pho is Best When You Parboil and Rinse the Bones

When you simmer bones they release “scum” or impurities. If you don’t get rid of this, you’ll be stuck with a cloudy broth. Not good. We like our Pho to be as clear and clean as possible, so we add an extra step. Add the bones to a large stockpot, cover with cold water then bring to a boil. Boil for a few minutes then throw the water and bones into a strainer. Discard the water then rinse the bones to get rid of all the impurities. Also, make sure you give the pot a rinse, too — there will be scum on the bottom and sides of the pot.

Charr The Onion and Ginger

To create that distinctive and deep flavor of great Pho, slide onion and a sizable piece of ginger under the broiler. Broil until well charred. That’s going to give you nice depth and color.

Don’t Forget the Spices – Toast Them

Even though we’re simmering the broth with spices for a few hours, we still like to give all the spices a quick toast before adding to the pot. To do this, throw them into a dry pan over medium heat, stay close and shake the pan a couple of times to make sure they toast. You’ll know when they’re ready when you start to smell them. It only takes 2-3 minutes.

Pho Recipe with Video

Yellow Rock Sugar

Don’t just use regular white sugar from your pantry. We know that buying yellow rock sugar seems pretty particular and we’re all left with the problem of what to do with it after making this pho recipe, but here’s the deal: using plan old sugar sadly produces a sweet, flat broth, whereas the rock sugar rounds things out and brings everything together. Plus, you’ll need that leftover rock sugar for the next time you make Pho soup!

Use Fish Sauce When Making Pho

Buy some. You really can’t make pho soup (or other Vietnamese recipes) without it. Our fish sauce sits within arm’s reach of our stove. We use it in everything and absolutely will not make pho without it. We’ve come to trust the Three Crabs brand of fish sauce, which you can buy online or in Asian markets. Andrea Nguyen of Viet World Kitchen suggests that when shopping for fish sauce, look for glass bottles, not plastic and allow price to guide you. Go for the mid-high priced fish sauce (which will run you $4 to $5).

The Best Noodles and Condiments for Pho Soup

You can buy fresh noodles at Asian markets, which is a nice treat, but dried rice noodles work perfectly as well. Even if you use fresh or dried, never cook the noodles in the broth. If you do this, the broth will become cloudy. So, cook them in another pot (they only take a few minutes) and add the cooked noodles to your bowl just before adding hot broth. As for condiments, we’re partial to Thai basil (you can substitute regular basil if you need too), fresh mint, crispy bean sprouts, a teeny tiny splash of fish sauce and some Asian chili sauce. Some like to add hoisin sauce, but we rarely do — it can take over the delicate deep flavor of the broth.

Oh, and while it’s not a “secret” make sure you have some freezer space to store some of that extra broth for the best make-ahead meal, ever!

Pho Soup Recipe with VideoDid you enjoy our Pho Recipe? If so, we bet you’ll love these:

4.7 from 28 reviews
Homemade Vietnamese Pho Soup - Beef Pho Recipe
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Making your own fabulous bowl of Vietnamese pho soup at home is not hard, all you need is a straightforward recipe, a few secrets and a nice big stockpot. We realize our recipe may look daunting, but this is quite simple to do and there is a lot of inactive time while you wait for the broth (we’ve just been extra tedious to share everything we know).

Our recipe will yield 3 1/2 to 4 quarts of broth.
Yield: 6 servings
You Will Need
FOR Pho Broth
  • 5 to 6 pounds of beef knuckles or leg bones
  • 6 quarts cold water
  • 2 medium onions, quartered
  • 4-inch piece of fresh ginger, halved lengthwise
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
  • 1 tablespoon fennel seeds
  • 6 star anise
  • 6 whole cloves
  • 1 black cardamom pod (see note below)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons salt
  • 1/4 cup fish sauce, (We prefer Three Crabs Brand)
  • 1-inch piece yellow rock sugar (see note below)
FOR Assembly of Pho Soup Bowls
  • 1 to 2 pounds small (1/8-inch wide) dried or fresh “banh pho” noodles (see note)
  • 1/2 pound raw eye of round, sirloin or tri-tip steak, thinly sliced across the grain (see note)
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced onions (see note)
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro leaves
OPTIONAL Garnishes Served Alongside Pho
  • Sprigs of fresh mint and/or Asian/Thai basil
  • Bean sprouts
  • Thinly sliced red chilies (such as Thai bird)
  • lime wedges
  • Fish sauce
  • Hoisin sauce
FOR Pho Broth
  1. Parboil Bones: Add beef bones to a large pot that will hold at least 10 quarts. Then, cover bones with cold water. Place pot onto high heat and bring to a boil. Boil for 3 to 5 minutes. During this time, impurities and foam (or scum) will be released and rise to the top.
  2. Drain bones, discarding the water. Then, rinse bones with warm water and scrub stockpot to remove any residue that has stuck to the sides. Add the bones back to the stockpot and cover with 6 quarts of cold water.
  3. Char Onion and Ginger: Move an oven rack to a high position then turn broiler to high. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
  4. Place quartered onions and halved ginger onto baking sheet then broil for 10 to 15 minutes, turning onions and ginger occasionally so that they become charred or browned on all sides.
  5. Toast Spices: Add cinnamon sticks, cardamom seeds, fennel seeds, star anise, cloves and the black cardamom pod to a dry frying pan. Place onto low heat and cook, stirring occasionally until fragrant. About 5 minutes.
  6. Place toasted spices into a cotton muslin bag/herb sachet or cheesecloth then tie with butchers twine to seal.
  7. Simmer Broth: Bring stockpot with parboiled bones and water to a boil then lower to a gentle simmer. Add charred onion and ginger as well as the bag or sachet of toasted spices.
  8. Next, add 1 1/2 tablespoons of salt, a 1/4 cup of fish sauce and the rock sugar.
  9. Continue to simmer broth for 3 hours. If at any time foam or scum rises to the surface, use a spoon to remove it.
  10. Strain Broth: Use tongs or a wide mesh spoon to remove bones, onion and ginger from broth then strain broth through a fine mesh strainer.
  11. Skim Fat: The broth will have a layer of fat at the the top. There are two ways to remove this. First, if you plan to enjoy the broth now, skim the fat from the top of the broth using a spoon. If you do not mind waiting, you can also pour broth into containers then refrigerate overnight. As the broth cools, the fat will solidify, making it very easy to remove.
  1. Heat Broth: Bring the broth to a gentle simmer over medium heat.
  2. Soak or Rinse Noodles: If you are using dried noodles, add noodles to a bowl then cover with hot water and soak for 15 to 20 minutes until soft and opaque. If you are using fresh, add to a colander then rinse with cold water.
  3. Cook Noodles: Bring a medium saucepan filled with water to a boil. Place noodles into boiling water and cook for about 10 seconds or until they collapse. Drain noodles then divide between bowls. (We like to fill each bowl by 1/3 with noodles).
  4. Fill Bowls: Now, arrange slices of raw meat into bowl. Then top with hot broth. Finish broth with onion slices and cilantro.
  5. Serve bowls with a plate of optional garnishes listed above.Vietnamese Pho Soup Recipe Step 3
Notes and Tips
Black Cardamom Pod: Oddly enough, black cardamom is a member of the ginger family. It is quite powerful - providing a smoky aroma. You can buy black cardamom at Asian markets, however, if you have difficulty finding it, you may leave it out of the recipe.

Yellow Rock Sugar: This is also known as “lump sugar” and is sold at Asian markets. Look for it sold in a box. You will most likely need to break the rock sugar into smaller chunks. You can use a hammer or rolling pin to do this.

Noodles: You can usually find fresh noodles at Asian markets. If you cannot, simply use dried “banh pho” noodles. Follow directions on package for cooking. For the fresh noodles, you will most likely need to immerse the noodles into boiling water for a few seconds. For dried, you will need to soak the noodles in hot water for 15 to 20 minutes or until softened and opaque. Check the package for specific directions.

Raw Beef: Either ask your butcher to thinly slice the meat or if slicing at home, place beef into the freezer for 15 minutes to harden a little. Then, carefully thinly slice the beef across the grain into 1/16-inch thick slices.

Onions: Raw onion can be overpowering. So, thinly slice the onions then submerge them in some water. Set aside for 15 to 20 minutes then drain and rinse. This will tone down the “raw” flavor of the onion.

Recipe adapted and inspired by Andrea Nguyen of Viet World Kitchen and Jaden Hair of Steamy Kitchen.

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187 comments… Leave a Comment

  • Dorothee July 31, 2015, 7:58 am


    I made this recipe today and I thought it was delicious!
    I didn’t use the star anise and the cardamom because I am not a big fan and I didn’t use the sugar you use, just normal one! It was very nice! Just a little bit salty but I think it comes from the fish sauce!
    Thank you for this recipe!
    I thought it was better than a lot of pho soup I had at the restaurant! :)

  • Jocelyn June 12, 2015, 3:52 pm

    I made this yesterday and it was really good! I did run into a few problems… I don’t know what I did wrong but it ended up turning out fine.

    I had to double this recipe and also doubled the simmer amount for a more intense broth. In the first hour of simmering the smell of the broth was very nice, but the longer the broth simmered, the more the smell faded.

    I tasted the broth 3 hours after simmering and was still very plain. I added 1/2 c more of fish sauce, 2 pho spice bags, and let it sit for another 3. And then magic! The broth came out tasty!

  • Yvonne Saito June 8, 2015, 10:40 pm

    I had a recipes that used 8 cups of beef broth. I used everything else except the cardamom. I used medium rice noodles. It was all delicious.

  • Jen April 26, 2015, 4:03 pm

    Thanks a million to Adam and Joanne for taking your time to post this. I tried this yesterday and my family loved it very much. My kids said the broth tastes better than the restaurants. I am so happy that I can finally made PHO. My mom always says Pho is very hard to make. Now, that’s not true anymore. There are so many Pho restaurants in our area, Southern Cal, but homemade Pho is the best. Also, thank you for the clear instructions!!! Love it!!!

    • Joanne April 27, 2015, 3:42 pm

      So happy we could help!

  • Tera January 24, 2015, 1:27 pm

    Just made this with stock we had. Seriously amazing! Thank you so much for sharing this!

  • Lexa November 13, 2014, 5:26 pm

    This looks delicious!!!! I want to make it this weekend. Do you know approximately how much broth it makes. I really don’t need leftovers. Thanks

  • Vanda September 28, 2014, 5:48 pm

    My grocery store only had star anise seeds. Will that work and do would you know how much I would use? Thanks

    • Joanne October 3, 2014, 11:21 am

      Hi Vanda, Anise seeds and star anise pods are actually different – the seeds come from the parsley family. Here’s a link to an article explaining the difference.

      If you have an Asian market or international grocery near you, we recommend looking there. They should have the pods and usually sell them for much less money than more traditional grocery stores.

  • Kim September 14, 2014, 4:22 pm

    I had my first bowl of Pho last week, and have been dying to make some at home. I was all set to make a “faux Pho” today for dinner… but after reading your recipe and instructions, and then going through all of the comments, I have decided to put it off until I get ALL of the proper ingredients and have sufficient time to simmer the broth.

    Will check back in after I’ve made it! Thanks very much for a wonderful tutorial!

  • Peter Pham September 1, 2014, 5:17 pm

    I made it and it was not very good. It’s so-so to eat, but it could be better. The broth is bland.

    Why do you choose 3 hours of cooking, not more or less?
    Look forward to seeing your answer.

    • Joanne October 23, 2014, 12:09 pm

      Hi Peter, Sorry you didn’t enjoy it. 3 hours has been enough time for us for a flavorful broth. You can always simmer longer for a richer broth, though.

  • Vinny August 28, 2014, 7:52 pm

    Should we simmer the soup for – let’s say 5 hours instead of 3 hours you instruct and would it make better broth?

    • Joanne October 23, 2014, 12:18 pm

      Try it — It could be fun tasting the broth at 3 hours, 4 hours or more to see what you like best. It’s your soup, after all.

      • Chef Nathalie September 13, 2015, 6:53 pm

        A simmering time of 8 hours is required to make beef stock. I don’t see how this would be any different. Although I would certainly hold off on the addition of the fish sauce until the later stages to avoid over salting.

        You could also roast your bones (after the first clarification boil) along with your onions and ginger for
        deeper flavor.

        Finally, palm sugar to taste would be a nice alternative to rock sugar.

        Good recipe.

        • Joanne September 16, 2015, 2:20 pm

          Hi Nathalie, 3 hours really does make for excellent Pho — the timing is pretty consistent across other Pho recipes. You can always simmer longer, though! Thanks for the tip about palm sugar.

  • helen August 2, 2014, 12:34 am

    Hi, I have a question. Do I leave the lid on or off whilst simmering?

    • Joanne August 7, 2014, 12:38 pm

      Off and make sure you keep the broth at a low simmer.

  • Rob July 8, 2014, 12:51 am

    Hi, I havent made this yet, but am certainly going to. I just wanted to comment on your clear instructions and presentation.

  • Jessiey May 23, 2014, 8:20 am

    I just came back from VIETNAM !!! and I am soooo super craving for their beef noodle …
    I ate that almost every morning once I woke up there. LOLZ… it was super delicious for sure . I still cant forget the taste.. it feels the taste still melting in my mouth .. 😀

    I cant wait to try this.. thank you for sharing your recipe.. however, I couldn’t mange to get three crab brand but I found red boat brand of fish sauce. will it actually ruin the taste ?

    • Joanne June 20, 2014, 2:18 pm

      You are so lucky, we would love to travel to Vietnam! We hope our recipe meets your expectations :)

  • Bill May 15, 2014, 12:36 am

    You mind if i use this recipe for a school project?

  • tinylove May 14, 2014, 6:32 am

    I am alergic to fish and recently became vegetarian… I have always loved pho though (without the fish sauce) and wanted to see if there was a way I could still enjoy this delicious nourishing dish.. upon finding your recipe, I converted it to vego by using ‘beef style stock’ as the stock base and then just left out the raw beef at the end. It turned out wonderfully. Thanks for all of the tips and herb secrets

    • Joanne May 16, 2014, 11:26 am

      We’re so glad you were able to convert the recipe to something you could eat!

  • Abbey May 12, 2014, 8:10 pm

    This recipe has shown me how EASY it really is to make pho (and not because it’s not awesome or delicious or exquisite – cause it is!), that I can do it myself with wonderful results. We had a place close in my town that had the best… this makes it so I don’t have to drive a 1/2 hour away to have decent Pho! :) THANK YOU for posting this! :)

    • Joanne May 16, 2014, 11:40 am

      You are very welcome :)

  • CT April 24, 2014, 1:49 am

    Wow! This is fabulous! Great recipe! Great video!
    Thanks for sharing this!

  • Alung April 23, 2014, 3:13 pm

    The recipie is so easy to follow. Am cooking it right now. Smells good and hopefully it will taste good. I Will update on the finished product.

  • Jeff April 4, 2014, 10:19 am


    Love the recipe and website. Question, I made a double version of the recipe with every ingredient on the list. I got home late, finished every part of the recipe so I had in its simmering stage at around 10 Pm and set a 3 hour timer. I woke up today at 6 am for work realizing, O no!! I let it simmer all night. I looked inside and the broth lever was about 2 quarts lower than it was before, so it looked like just meat in a pot. I quickly added the water back in and let it simmer for 10 more mins and made sure to stir everything. I drained and cleaned all the broth and stuck it in the fridge, going to head back to later to skm the fat. So my question is? Did leaving on simmer for 8 hours ruin the recipe, and my method for compensating for the missing water ruin it as well?

    Any help would be great!!

    San Jose, CA

    • Joanne April 4, 2014, 11:26 am

      Hi Jeff, Simmering Pho broth longer than the 3 hours we suggest is completely fine. It will actually lead to a richer broth. The only problem with that (which you found out) is that there will be less broth in the end. In general, we don’t like to add water at the end of the simmering process since it will only dilute the flavor you gained. If we were planning to simmer longer than 3 hours, we would have increased the water a little in the beginning. In your case, though, it seems that was the only option since you were left with so little broth.

      We’re hoping the broth works out for you in the end — there would have been a lot of flavor in that pot! Fingers crossed :)

  • nathalie March 31, 2014, 12:21 am

    Hi, what can I use to substitute the yellow rock sugar. I know you said white sugar is a big no so brown or nothing?

    • Joanne April 3, 2014, 10:50 am

      White sugar will work in a pinch, but if it were us, we’d skip it completely.

      • Luc November 4, 2015, 6:03 pm

        I used honey about 2 tablespoon of it.

  • hey March 17, 2014, 8:46 pm

    where’s the tripe??? It’s like the best part man!

    • Adam March 18, 2014, 4:19 pm

      You could always add it yourself :)

  • Carol March 17, 2014, 7:15 pm

    I really appreciate the explanations in your Pho recipe. It has helped me understand why things need to be done in a certain way.
    Can’t wait to cook it.
    I am going to go shopping now!

    • Adam March 18, 2014, 4:21 pm

      Exciting! Hope you enjoy the Pho.

  • Angel March 15, 2014, 1:29 pm

    I always eat pho. But finally I’m going to be making pho for me and my hubby. Lol

    • Joanne March 17, 2014, 3:02 pm

      Isn’t it wonderful!? Hope you enjoy our Pho .. it’s a little bit of work, but so worth it in the end.

  • Robin March 14, 2014, 4:36 am

    Thanks for the tip on making a clear broth. I always had trouble with that, and it never occurred to me to parboil the bones. I would have thought that I’ll lose too much flavor that way.

    I made pho (ok, faux pho) soup with friends in January, and it came out really yummy already. I can’t wait to use what I just learned here to make it even better and more authentic.

    • Joanne March 17, 2014, 3:09 pm

      Hi Robin, par-boiling is an odd concept, but since we’re only boiling for a short period of time no flavor is lost. Plus, it makes for better broth in the end.

  • nora March 5, 2014, 3:06 pm

    Whenmaking vietamese pho soup, I found onemade with beef. Do you have a recipe using chicken instead of the beef?

    • Joanne March 17, 2014, 4:59 pm

      We don’t — although, we do plan to add one soon.

  • Rick Koenders March 1, 2014, 3:44 pm

    Outstanding. The subtle spicing, the richness were amazing. Loved the video. Clear, simple. 5 stars.

  • Chelsea February 12, 2014, 7:05 pm

    I tried making this not too long ago with great results. I’m a college student with a small kitchen, so I had to cut some corners, but I was still very pleased with the final results. Broiling the ginger and onions in the oven before adding the to the broth brought a very nice flavor overall, and I wouldn’t have thought to do that on my own. I didn’t use star anise or coriander in my version since I didn’t have any, but it still turned out fine. Instead of yellow sugar I used rock sugar which I hoped would work similarly.

    My boyfriend and I LOVED the end product and ate it with peppers, mushrooms, noodles, and some tofu along with the beef. I’ll absolutely be making this again!

  • Gina February 9, 2014, 8:16 pm

    Awesome stuff!!! Just put it through the sieve and looking forward to dinner tomorrow. Thanks!

  • Sarah February 6, 2014, 8:04 pm

    Can the knuckle bones be used to make more than one batch of broth?

    • Joanne February 26, 2014, 12:47 pm

      Hi Sarah — that’s a great question. It is definitely possible to make broth with bones that have already been used to make a separate broth. You could try it (we have never done it).

  • Sarah February 6, 2014, 6:16 pm

    I am SO excited to make pho with this recipe this weekend! Can you tell me if the beef knuckle bones can be used for more than just the 8 qt recipe here? Like if we made a second batch would the bones still be good? Or if we double it in a gigantic stock pot do we need twice as many bones? Thanks!

    • Joanne February 26, 2014, 12:49 pm

      Hi Sarah — I replied to your second comment as well. We have never tried using them twice, but know it is possible to do it for other broths and stocks. Hope you love the pho!

  • Wei February 1, 2014, 10:44 pm

    And do you think I can add more water after the some liquid is boiled out, in order to keep a certain amount of liquid? Will the water added lighten the broth? Any advice?

    • Joanne February 2, 2014, 12:52 pm

      Hi Wei, Added water will dilute the broth. We don’t recommend it.

  • Wei January 30, 2014, 5:52 pm

    hi, I just have a problem. When I was making this recipe by using mainly leg bones(with marrow in), during the first hour, it smells exactly like how a bowl of fragrant pho should smell like, but after around 2.5 hours, the smell is gone and it became plane. I do not know why and plus, mine turns out to be not that tasty? Is it what the pho broth should be like? I followed every single step accurately but I guys it might because the charred onions ‘s flavor is gone after several hours braising?

    Any advice or comments are appreciated

    • Joanne January 31, 2014, 11:27 am

      Hi Wei, We’re really not sure what happened. The broth should increase in flavor and intensity around 2 1/2 hours. You could continue to cook a little longer (some even go as long as 5 or 6 hours). Hope that helps!

      • Wei January 31, 2014, 2:21 pm

        Hi Joanne:
        I spent some time to think about which step I did wrong. I recogonized that I might turned my electric stovetop a bit higher than simmer? I do not know whether it’s because my near-to-boil cooking heat kills all the charred onion flavor,. Do you think keeping a very very low simmer is the key or not?

        Thanks again for submitting the best tutorial pho video.

        • Joanne February 1, 2014, 11:35 am

          The broth should be cooking at a low simmer, not rapidly boiling.

      • Wei January 31, 2014, 2:24 pm

        And also, I did not use a cheesecloth to pack all my spices, I just throw them in after being toasted. I don’t think it’s gonna make a big difference, right?

        • Joanne February 1, 2014, 11:34 am

          No, that won’t make much difference.

          • Wei February 1, 2014, 3:08 pm

            Hi Joanne, thanks for all replying, but another question, did you put the lid on or keep the pot open while simmering?


          • Joanne February 2, 2014, 12:55 pm

            The lid should be off during simmering.

  • Timbo January 28, 2014, 9:58 pm

    If I wanted to double the recipe would I double everything…we have a big family to feed.


    • Joanne January 30, 2014, 12:24 pm

      Yep, just double it. You will need a pretty big pot, though (or use two).

  • Geno January 27, 2014, 4:37 pm

    First off, congrats to you both, Adam and Joanne, for creating what seems to be the most popular Pho internet tutorial recipe out there. Your clarity, thoroughness, and delicious final product are certainly to be credited for recipe’s popularity! I have used this recipe countless times and every time, I end up with perfection.
    For the heavy-duty Pho fanatics: you are most likely going to regret it if you don’t increase the batch size of this recipe by 50% or 100%. I serve Pho in my house frequently and the single batch wasn’t enough. I use a large sauce pot and double the recipe with no problems.
    For the folks having issues with intensity of flavor: I usually bring the broth to a boil and reduce it slightly to just above a simmer (low/medium boil) for the first hour or so. Then I reduce it to a simmer for 5-6 hours. The initial higher temperature seems to reduce the wateriness of the final product and concentrates the flavor nicely.

    • Joanne January 30, 2014, 12:38 pm

      Thanks for your thoughts and advice Geno!

  • Andrea January 22, 2014, 10:32 am

    Hi! I loved the video. I am making this recipe this Friday and I am having trouble finding the Rock Sugar where I live. I have read in other recipes that you can substitute it for white sugar however the broth might not be that clear. How much of a difference on flavor this would make? Also not everybody use the cheese cloth. Can I just pour the spices in the pot?
    Thank you! I am so excited to make this.

    • Joanne January 22, 2014, 11:49 am

      Hi Andrea, We’ve never tried using white sugar instead of rock sugar, but according to others online you should be okay using it. As for the cheesecloth, you can just throw everything into the pot, just keep in mind you will need a fine mesh strainer in the end so the you can strain them out.

  • Tweet January 20, 2014, 8:55 pm

    Well Im super excited to try this recipe. My favorite place in town for Pho has closed and Im left with this empty hole in my heart that can only be filled with Pho! Question, my Pho is usually served with siracha and a brown sweet sauce in a little container. Any idea what this brown sauce is?? Also the noodles are usually on the side. I like to get my broth just how I like it, with cilantro bean sprouts, siracha and onions. Once it’s to my liking I add the noodles and eat up! Thanks so much for posting this recipe.

    • Joanne January 21, 2014, 9:15 pm

      Pho is often served with Sriracha (hot sauce) and Hoisin sauce. You can buy both at most grocery stores.

  • LeslieRoden January 16, 2014, 7:29 pm

    Ok, so I never leave comments, ever! But this Pho is the best! My husband and I use to eat Pho all of the time when we lived in San Diego. We have moved to Austin, where we had bad Pho…then we moved to Charleston, where there was no Pho. One place opened up, but it’s 45 mins away and it tastes just awful. So since we’re craving Pho, I tried making it. The first time I used a different recipe and it was ok, barely. Beggars can’t be choosers esp if they have to cook it to get it. However, this time…I came across this amazing recipe and we are both suffering from noodle belly as we speak. Actually my husband us on the couch cuddling with the dog. I’m still in Pho Heaven and wanted to immediately say THANK YOU for sharing this recipe with the world. Without it we would pho be lost! Delicious. Amazing. Complex. Savoy. Absolute Yumminess. The only change I made was using chicken breast instead of steak meat. This is pho!

    • Joanne January 17, 2014, 10:25 am

      Yay! Thanks for your comment :)

  • Aide January 16, 2014, 3:11 pm

    Am trying this receipt today and so far it’s been easy and should be ready in 1 1/2 hrs.

    • Joanne January 17, 2014, 10:26 am

      Hope you love it!

  • Suejette January 15, 2014, 12:42 pm

    I made this yesterday and it was beyond delicious. I’ve made a couple other pho recipes, but this one, hand’s down, is my favorite and most authentic. For those that felt it was bland or didn’t taste quite right, I strongly advise not deviating from the recipe one iota. The black cardamom is a must as are all of the other ingredients. I found everything that I didn’t already have (including the beef leg bones) at an Asian market. You may have to purchase somewhat large quantities, but it’s all pretty inexpensive. I simmered my broth for 7.5 hours (lid off) and it reduced by almost half. The longer it cooked, the better it got.
    I did not put sliced beef in when assembling, but I did “build” my soup with rice noodles, baby bok choy, sliced mushrooms, sugar snap peas, small pieces of broccoli, bean sprouts, green onions, deseeded jalapeno, mint, Thai basil, and cilantro.
    Thank you so much for an EXCELLENT recipe. I just passed it along to my sister and can’t wait to hear of her results.

    • Joanne January 15, 2014, 2:57 pm

      So glad you loved it and thank you so much for passing it along :)

  • Leonard January 13, 2014, 10:46 pm

    So my wife and I have made this recipe at least a dozen times. Every time, the broth tastes like fragrant water. Definitely not the clear, succulent broth we are trying to emulate from the restaurants. What are we missing?

    • Joanne January 15, 2014, 3:29 pm

      Were you able to find beef knuckles? You could also try using Ox tails (more expensive, but richer in flavor). Another idea is to simmer for a longer period of time. You can go up to 8 hours if you like.

  • M Nguyen January 12, 2014, 4:35 am

    This looks like my mom’s recipe so it is definitely authentic!

  • joej January 10, 2014, 11:17 am

    First thanks so much. I made the recipe and it was delicious!!! My wife’s favorite thing and she loved it. You must have a real joy of cooking and helping others!

    If I was to roast the bones first, would I still want to parboil them for a few minutes? Or just rinse off after the roast?

    Thanks again you turned an intimidating goal into a success~!

    • Joanne January 15, 2014, 3:24 pm

      Great question! We were stumped so we looked around the web a little. It seems people who roast the bones first skip parboiling completely. If you do this, you will most likely find yourself skimming the top of the broth more often as it simmers. Here’s a helpful article from Serious Eats. They actually tested both ways (par-boiling and roasting). It seems they preferred par boiling to roasting, but did conclude roasting gave a beefier broth.


  • Stuart Godfrey December 29, 2013, 2:56 pm

    I’m very excited to make this for our annual New Years Day (hair of the dog) party. We try to make a couple of great, fresh soups full of healthy ingredients to start off the year well, then invite our friends to ‘come as they are’. It’s a great tradition.

    As i’ve never made anything quite like this before, I wanted to clarify the soup assembly. Raw beef in the bowl, pour over hot soup, serve…the beef is not cooked beforehand?

    Also, we plan to have fresh cabbage, as well as bean sprouts to add some extra ‘luck’ to the new year.


    • Joanne December 30, 2013, 11:11 am

      Yes, you are correct. You want the beef sliced very thin and the soup very hot. If you’re worried about it, you can cook the beef instead. It’s completely up to you.

      Fresh cabbage and bean sprouts will be nice. Happy New Year!

  • michelle December 24, 2013, 8:13 am

    Oh no, you have coriander seeds in the list of ingredients but cardomon seeds in the directions?
    Not sure what to use?

    • Joanne December 30, 2013, 12:21 pm

      Whoops. It should have said “coriander seeds.” We use coriander seeds and one black cardamom pod in the recipe.

  • Susan December 20, 2013, 11:53 pm

    Hello Adam and Joanne,
    I have never tasted Pho but my son, who is coming for Christmas LOVES IT. As a special treat to him and his wife, I am making your recipe of Pho and serving for our Sunday dinner. I’m confident from reading all the reviews that this will be a hit. I’ll let you know…..Thanks for the easy to follow video and recipe.

  • Jim December 15, 2013, 9:15 pm

    I loved the video.

    I do have a suggestion. You may be usung cinnamon and not “asian cinnamon”. Asian cinnamon or cassian is what is traditionally used. Not a big deal but it makes a slight difference.

    • Joanne December 16, 2013, 12:32 pm

      Thanks for the tip Jim!

  • Augustus van der Vlijht December 14, 2013, 6:33 pm

    Hi there. I was very intrigued by this recipe but it was a bit disappointing to some extent. I totally stuck to the instructions but the effort was rather low. The broth did smell great and promising but the taste was kinda meh. I fixed it with boiling it up with some more spices, soy sauce and somenextra bones. Whole a lot effort and expenses for a rather meh outcome.

    • Joanne December 16, 2013, 12:38 pm

      Sorry about that. Next time, simmering a little longer to reduce the flavors a bit more could help.

  • Kendall December 6, 2013, 1:01 pm

    This was such a wonderful recipe! I’ve always thought making pho would be such a daunting task, but your step by step instructions and video made it totally doable! I will make this recipe again and again. The only thing I will change next time is making more to stick in the freezer! Thanks again for a delicious recipe. :)

  • Shameem December 3, 2013, 2:15 pm

    Thank you for this very specific recipe. I made it last weekend and found that I could double the amount of liquid and get the same amazing results. I did only one thing differently, and that was to also char the bones in the broiler. This was amazing. Thank you!

  • Franklin November 26, 2013, 4:58 pm

    Hi Adam and Joanne, just wanted to say thank you for a fantastic recipe! So many other people have commented how great your recipe tastes so there is not much more for me to add, but I did have to comment and give credit where it is due, thank you for sharing this with the rest of us!

  • Julie November 23, 2013, 12:13 pm

    Thank you for such an authentic recipe! I am Vietnamese, so I scrutinize and scoff the “quick and easy” pho recipes, especially those that say fish sauce is optional. Your recipe is pretty much spot on to the ones used by other authentic pho aficionados. Kudos!

  • Kenneth November 11, 2013, 8:10 pm

    Hi, Guys, Good Job And Effort OnThE Pho. Here’s Something U All Might Want To Try. Chop Up Alot Of Garlic ( I Mean Alot!) Then Dry Them Up In Really Hot Oil Until They Are Nicely Brown And Crispy. Then You can Either Drain Them On Some Paper Towel, Or Just Put It On A Bowl.Add A Small Spoon Full (Or However Much U Want) To Your Pho And It Adds A Different Taste To It. I Love Alot Of garlic

    • Joanne November 12, 2013, 6:03 pm

      Thanks for the tip about garlic. Sounds delicious!

  • Audrey November 11, 2013, 1:59 pm

    Coming from Vancouver I love Pho but now living in Northern Ontario – it’s impossible to get! This recipe is full of great tips and tricks and really sounds like it will be a successful dish!

    Just wondering if 5 spice powder could be used in place of the whole spices. Getting whole spices in this small town has proved impossible but I DO have 5 spice powder and the ingredients are almost exact. Could essentially toast them still – thoughts?

    • Joanne November 12, 2013, 6:05 pm

      We’ve never tried 5 spice powder. You could try — the whole spices will be better, but the blend could be a nice shortcut if you don’t have everything in your kitchen.

  • kate November 6, 2013, 9:00 pm

    I’ve made this soup a few times already using your recipe. Thanks! A few things though that I change up (because it still didn’t taste as what I’m used to), is more fish stock. It made all the difference it’s like a secret ingredient, I doubled it, because it wasn’t tasty/salty enough. And, boil bones longer to get more flavor, I boiled mine for 8 hours.

  • Bethany November 4, 2013, 6:30 pm

    I just made this tonight for my family and it was a great success. My parents had never had it before and they couldn’t get enough. Thanks so much for this great recipe!! I will definitely be adding it to my recipe library :)

  • Elaine October 31, 2013, 3:17 pm

    i was wondering if i could use raw sugar since i cant find any yellow rock candy anywhere?

  • Mike Govette October 20, 2013, 10:37 pm

    I have been eating pho in restaurants for about 6 months now. My 19 year old son discovered this dish, and we have it 3 to 4 times a month. We also do a lot of cooking at home so I am very excited to try this recipe. I congratulate you on your website. Besides the clear instruction, the personal responses posted in a timely manner make ALL the difference! I will be coming back to this site often, I guarantee you!

    • Joanne October 21, 2013, 9:09 am

      Thanks Mike! Hope you love the recipe.

  • Michael October 20, 2013, 7:49 pm


    I’m currently in the process of making the soup. The house smells amazing. Brings me right back to the first time I tried pho!

    I do have one question in regards to preparing it. All the spices and everything are in, but do I simmer it with the lid on, or off?

    Thanks 😀

    • Joanne October 21, 2013, 9:10 am

      You want the lid off and the broth should be at a low simmer. Hope that helps!

  • Diem October 13, 2013, 2:41 pm

    You guys did great! I want to learn how to make the broth and you guys helped a lot!

    • Joanne October 14, 2013, 9:55 am

      Thanks! So glad we could help :)

  • Lauren October 12, 2013, 4:50 pm

    “This is also known as “lump sugar” and is sold at Asian markets. Look for it sold in a box. You will most likely need to break the rock sugar into smaller chunks. You can use a hammer or rolling pin to do this”

    I have a quick pro-tip for cooking block/cubed sugars. Granulated sugar and small cubes are fine as they are since you can use a small or large amounts; however, I was making a sweet and sour recipe that called for paim sugar, but the Asian grocery store only sold it in 6 inch round slabs that were an inch thick.
    I tried to break/chop it without great success, when I realized that I could add ~ 1/4 cup of water to it on my stove and cook it down to a syrup. I didn’t use much heat or boil it really – just enough to get it to dissolve and I now keep the palm syrup in a bottle in my fridge. The only danger with not keeping it dry is that it may spoil. But like honey, syrups with low to no water content will stay good for an extended period of time since bacteria need water to survive….
    Since I can now use as much or as little as I want I have been using it in EVERYTHING.

  • Kathryn October 9, 2013, 1:03 pm

    I made this and the smell was fantastic but the broth itself lacked a depth of flavor. I had to use marrow bone and couldn’t find the black cardamom pod. Everything else was spot on. Could it be the bones?

    • Joanne October 14, 2013, 10:02 am

      The black cardamom does add a lot of depth and smokiness. Beef knuckles are our favorite for the most flavor. Next time, try simmering a little longer so the flavors reduce a bit.

  • Donald September 27, 2013, 9:23 pm

    Just made this! Absolute perfection in every way! Better than pho in restaurants!

  • Tessa September 22, 2013, 12:46 pm

    I cook a lot, too and I can tell that this is an authentic recipe. What I would like to add is that the spices in this recipe can be found at Indian food stores as well. I use them to make chai :)

    • Joanne September 23, 2013, 10:19 am

      Thanks for the tips, Tessa!

  • Cathryn September 17, 2013, 3:45 pm

    How about using my own, homemade beef stock, then adding the spice mix and the charred items? How long do you think I would have to simmer it to infuse the flavors? Have you ever tried this?

    • Joanne September 18, 2013, 11:49 am

      It is a great “quick-fix” for Pho. We suggest simmering at least an hour.

  • Jack North September 9, 2013, 12:00 pm

    I enjoy cooking. Your site is the most “user friendly” and easy to follow of any that I have seen. I have had pho prepared with a boiled egg simply placed whole in the finished soup. Is this traditional. The same version included Sirahcha hot sauce. Another pho soup had what seemed to be about half a pound of basil leaves. Can you comment on these varriations, please?

    • Joanne September 16, 2013, 11:47 am

      People have their own ways of serving Pho — it’s really based on your preference. The most common way to serve is with some fresh herbs (Thai basil is common), bean sprouts and a little sliced onion. We like adding a little Sriracha, too. While we’ve never seen egg in Pho before, it doesn’t mean you can’t do it — sounds pretty darn delicious, actually.

    • DoodahGurl January 12, 2014, 3:35 pm

      Jack, there are Vietnamese noodle dishes similar to pho that may have quail eggs or whatnot in them. But I think that would not be a typical pho dish so much as a different Vietnamese noodle dish. Hu Tieu has quail eggs in it (can be eaten dry or in broth like pho). I think there are other dishes like that, but cannot think of the names right now.

  • ken September 9, 2013, 9:41 am

    what do you mean by 6 whole cloves? Cloves of what? Recipe calls for cardamon seeds and a cardamon pod am I correct?

    • Joanne September 16, 2013, 11:50 am

      Cloves are another spice we use — you can see them in the photo in our post — they are the small spice next to the cinnamon sticks. We do not call for cardamom seeds, we use 1 whole black cardamom pod. (You might be thinking of coriander seeds, which we do call for).

  • Linda September 4, 2013, 6:23 pm

    Hi!!! I love to cook but have never reviewed or commented on a recipe I have used – until now!!! The beef pho that I made following your recipe was delicious!!! My youngest nephew introduced me to pho a couple of years ago and since then I have been searching all over north Dallas for the “perfect” bowl of pho – what I was able to produce using your recipe was pretty darned close!!! I gave a container of the broth to my neighbor (who happens to own a restaurant & I always feel intimidated when I cook for her) because she and I have eaten many bowls of pho together – again trying to find the perfect restaurant/bowl of pho. She called me earlier today to tell me that she thought the broth was better than any that we had found to date. Of course she asked for the recipe which I was happy to share. I told my nephew that I was experimenting with homemade pho and I think he expects to take a few containers home after his next visit. I couldn’t find star anise or cardamom pods so I used anise seeds and powdered cardamom instead – and it was fine. I also used a combination of oxtails and short ribs to make the broth and ended up with a lot of tasty boiled beef. Any ideas on how to use up the boiled beef? I may use some in my pho bowls. I also put BBQ sauce on the boiled beef to eat by itself – and that was tasty. Next time I may just use oxtails for the broth. If you roast the oxtails first, do you still get the scum from the bones that you need to discard, etc.? Also if you develop a great chicken pho recipe, please let me know. My other nephew usually orders chicken pho – so I know what I need to learn to cook next!!! Thank you again for the recipe and all of the tips!!!

    • Joanne September 7, 2013, 2:38 pm

      Hi Linda, thank you for such an awesome comment :) Isn’t Pho amazing? We just love it. So glad you found us and thank you so much for telling your friends about us! Oh, and for the boiled beef, just add it to the pho at the end.

    • DoodahGurl January 12, 2014, 3:25 pm

      Linda, my sister-in-law started using ribs since the other beef bones were getting too expensive. She removes the meat off the ribs after a few hours and add the rib bones back into the broth to let it simmer some more. I just add the rib meat to my bowl of pho, but my brother and his kids like to dip the meat into their personal small bowl of hoisin sauce mixed with sriracha.

  • Elizabeth September 2, 2013, 4:12 pm

    I’ve been making pho stock using your recipe every week. My tummy is very happy, and my apartment smells amazing. This is a great recipe, I recommend it to anyone. Thank you!

  • Carol September 2, 2013, 12:32 am

    Thank you so much for sharing this recipe! I’ve been checking online on how to make this delicious soup and so far your posting is the best – very detailed and I just loved the way you make the broth. Congratulations to both of you and please continue sharing your knowledge about cooking. Appreciate it so much.

    • Joanne September 7, 2013, 2:42 pm

      Thanks so much!

  • Tomy August 29, 2013, 12:07 am

    Thanks so much for sharing this recipe. This is more authentic than a lot of recipes on the Net. Pho to me is one of the most complex of flavors. Many give ingredients, but not the techniques. Best Pho recipe on the web.

    • Joanne August 29, 2013, 2:20 pm

      Thanks so much!

  • Paul Tracy August 25, 2013, 11:35 pm

    The recipe is perfect. I like to duplicate dishes that I find at my favorite restaurants and this one definitely hit the mark. I made my soup in a Crock Pot, cooked the beef bones overnight and then added the spices for 4 hours. I also tasted the charred onions after 3 hours of cooking and enjoyed them so much that I charred 2 extra onions and added them to the Pho after I discarded the initial spices bones and started onions. Thanks for a great recipe

  • scott August 24, 2013, 2:00 pm

    Alrighty guys! I’ve got my HUGE pot of pho broth on the stove and simmering! I want to cook it for at least 6 hours. If I do this, should I remove the spice cachet at 3 hours and leave everything else in it? I want the broth to be as flavorful as possible, but don’t want to “over spice” it. Oh my gosh, how the heck am I supposed to wait this long until I get to eat it?!? LOL

    • scott August 24, 2013, 9:20 pm

      OK, so I went ahead and simmered my pho for 7 hours and I left everything in it. The only changes I made from your recipe was to roast the bones prior to parboiling them and I also added about 1 1/2 pounds of ox tails to the pot. It has turned out absolutely freakin’ spot on!! I am so beyond over the moon happy with this !! It’s not over spiced, it’s lovely and clean and clear and soooo unbelievably full of deep, rich flavor! I’m telling you people, follow this recipe and you will NOT be disappointed. Other than the changes I listed and the fact that I simmered mine for 7+ hours, I changed nothing of your recipe. It is exactly what I was looking for in my Pho and I simply could not be happier! You Guys Rock!! Thank you so much. I now have my favorite food at my disposal :))))))

  • scott August 17, 2013, 2:14 pm

    Oh man!! I can not wait to try this when I get home! I’ve been in Sacramento for about two months (wonderful food scene here!) and finally got to try Pho for the first time. It is absolutely my favorite new food! I mean, I like it better than Thanksgiving dinner!! It’s my new “Death Row” meal : ) I have scoured the interwebs for Pho recipes/how-to videos. Yours seem to combine all the best ideas, ingredients, and techniques in a very simple and easy to follow format. One question/idea: Would roasting the nuckle bones (like you do with the ginger and onion) help develop a richer, deeper flavor too? I’ve seen this done and not done, but have to think it could only add to the depth. Love to know what you think. Thanks guys! I’m on to some more of your vids and recipes!!

    • Adam August 17, 2013, 5:35 pm

      Hi Scott — Yes, roasting would develop a deeper flavor. You could absolutely add the step in the beginning. We suggest roasting them in a 400 degree F oven in one single layer for about 1 hour. If you get a chance, come back and let us know how it went. All the best!

      • Scott August 19, 2013, 8:51 pm

        Thanks soo much for such a quick response Adam! I found my final puzzle piece today, black cardemom! Had to buy a huge bag of it, so now I’ve got enough to make like 89 pots of Pho! HA! might not be enough 😀 I plan on making the Pho this coming weekend when I get back home and will definitely let you guys know how it turns out. Your recipe/video is the most straight forward and well presented method I’ve seen yet. And I’ve looked at a BUNCH! I’m so anxious and hope it turns out as good as yours looks. Talk to you soon!

  • Mary July 30, 2013, 7:01 pm

    OH boy I am making this recipe as I type!! I am so excited to try it… have been trying to make pho for a year now and have had no luck! I think I have finally found a recipe that breaks it down well enough for me to understand! Thanks guys, I will let you know how the recipe turns out!

    • Mary July 30, 2013, 7:20 pm

      I missed the part about the cheesecloth?? OH NO, I literally just put all the spices into the pot. Have you heard of anyone doing this. Is it okay?

      • Joanne July 31, 2013, 12:02 pm

        Don’t worry, you’re fine. The spices will be caught when you strain the broth at the end.

    • Joanne July 31, 2013, 12:04 pm

      Wonderful, hope you love it!

  • Bev Blackwelder June 16, 2013, 7:47 pm

    This is a delicious recipe!! Easy to do to, once you pre-prepare the broth. Putting it all together is fast for an ‘no-time to cook dinner’ that taste wonderful and comforting
    – just add meat and few items, pour over the boiling broth. Cold broth is gelatinous with marrow and nutrients, so just heat it up to liquify.
    I couldn’t find the beef knuckles or leg bones, so used beef oxtails which taste great in the broth – bit expensive, but you can use the meat picked from bones for a vegetable beef soup. I also used Kame Hokien Stir-Fry Noodles (wheat) which are simple to store and heat up – as couldn’t find ‘bang pho’ noodles(?rice noodles?) – but delicious anyway.

    • Joanne June 17, 2013, 9:22 am

      We’ve used ox tails before, as well — gosh they are good. So glad you were able to make the soup. It’s one of our favorites!

    • Lynne May 10, 2015, 6:24 pm

      Find a meat market/butcher shop and ask them to save beef marrow and knuckle bones for you. And if you have a butcher who specializes in grass-fed beef, so much the better!!!

  • Annette June 1, 2013, 10:14 pm

    Could you please tell me what are cloves and where do I find it? And the cheese cloth? And do you and your wife put the meatballs with tendon in also? I love Pho soup so much. I find it very soothing to me after a long day a work. I thank you in advance for showing us how to prepair it. I will be trying this recipe this Monday and will let you know how it turn out. Thanks a million.

    • Joanne June 10, 2013, 12:14 pm

      Cloves are a spice — you can find them whole or ground in most grocery stores. For this recipe, use whole. At home, we do not add additional things like meatballs or tendons, but you could certainly do so yourself. Enjoy!

  • debbie s May 31, 2013, 11:37 pm

    I can attest to the awsomeness of this recipe, second time i made it i went easier on the spices and it came out perfect! anybody who likes pho as much as i do , should definitely see the video.

  • Pavel May 28, 2013, 8:15 pm

    Where can I get thinly sliced beef as shown in the video?

    I cannot cut that thin and all my slices are way too thick. I tried to purchase thin sliced beef from my local grocery, made for stir fry but was still too thick and not the same as what the recipe calls for.

    Please help.

    • Adam May 30, 2013, 7:56 am

      There are two options we have found. If you purchase your beef from a local grocery store they should be able to slice it extremely thin with their meat slicer if you ask them to. Another option is to look at your local asian market. They usually have pre-sliced meat that is very thin.

  • Kathy Luther May 24, 2013, 6:23 pm

    wonderful, perfect. I have eaten pho for many years and finally tried making it. was so good. thanks!

  • Hanh Nguyen May 5, 2013, 10:23 pm

    Hi , I am a Vietnamese , I really like your Pho recipe , I tried to make Pho many times , it really takes a lot of time to prepare a bowl of delicious Pho. Well done!
    Try Chicken Pho with lemon leaf ! Yum

    • Adam May 6, 2013, 12:16 pm

      Sounds delicious! We’ve had chicken pho on the list for a while now :)

  • Dennis Poh May 3, 2013, 3:14 am

    Just came back from vietnam and already missing the great taste of the beef broth.

  • Judy March 16, 2013, 1:25 am

    We make a vegetarian version of this, substituting beef bones with Daikon (white radish) and meat with Tofu. Still great flavor.

    • Adam March 16, 2013, 9:49 am

      That sounds really good. One of our local Vietnamese restaurants has a version with ham tofu which is Joanne’s favorite and it has a veggie broth. Delicious

  • Olivia March 4, 2013, 8:15 pm

    How about Chicken Pho? Do you cook chicken bone instead of beef bones? I fall in love with the lighter version, chicken broth instead of the heavy beefy kind. Please show me. Thanks!

    • Adam March 7, 2013, 10:25 am

      We haven’t made a chicken pho yet but that might be a good idea :)

  • kimberle February 12, 2013, 12:41 am

    made this yesterday–delicious! thank you! absolutely loving your site

    • Adam February 12, 2013, 11:52 am

      So glad you liked it and thank you :)

  • Cami February 9, 2013, 8:36 pm

    Hi I am making your Pho right now as we speak. I seem to be having a blind moment. When do I add the “yellow rock sugar”? :) I feel silly asking, I’m sure it’s there I’m just not seeing it. Thanks

    • Joanne February 10, 2013, 8:25 am

      Hi Cami, I bet your house smells good right now :) You weren’t having a blind moment. The rock sugar was missing from the method. I just fixed the recipe. Thank you for bringing that to our attention. You add the rock sugar when you add all of the spices. You will have to come back to tell us how your soup turned out.

  • JONATHAN January 26, 2013, 10:23 am

    i thought pho was clear , i forgot to add I was watching a uk chef make pho and he was in vietnam & there they simmer the bones 24 hours ! i just wonder if that is to much or just enought would bones release their flavour after say 12 hours

    • Joanne February 8, 2013, 1:01 pm

      Hi there,

      Our recipe is specifically suited for someone making pho at home. You could certainly simmer for longer for a richer broth, but the recipe as stated is very flavorful. Pho should be clear – that’s why we suggest that you parboil the bones and skim any “scum” from the broth while it simmers. Hope you enjoy!

  • Misha January 18, 2013, 1:26 pm

    Thank you for sharing this recipe! I hope to find all the ingredients this weekend so I can try making it. :-)

  • Rachael {Simply Fresh Cooking} January 18, 2013, 12:36 pm

    I love all the steps you take to make such a clear and beautiful broth.

    I haven’t tried to make pho yet, but I’m really dying to!!! Yours is absolutely gorgeous, and I loved the video, btw!

  • Neil January 13, 2013, 5:17 pm

    We just tried out this recipe and it turned out great! While searching for the spices listed in the ingredients, we found a pre-package mix at a local asian market (Bangluck Market for those who live in the Los Angeles area). It’s labeled Nguyen Lieu Nau Pho and includes all of the spices in the recipe, in addition to guanua and licorice. I even found it on Amazon trying to find out what guanua is. Still don’t know. We used leg bones and our broth at the end was not thick, as shown in the video. Should we have taken the marrow out of the bone during cooking?

    • Adam January 14, 2013, 11:15 am

      Hi Neil, So glad you enjoyed it. The broth shown at the end of our video was cold – when any broth/stock made from bones cools, it takes on the look of jello. That is because of the marrow from the bones. Once you heat it up again, it becomes liquid.

  • Vietnamese Food January 12, 2013, 5:06 am

    Oh…! I was born and live in Viet Nam. This food is a good dish in my country. :)… I very like this dish.
    This food is easy cooking but it’s well.

  • Cathy December 12, 2012, 8:18 pm

    I can’t thank you enough for this recipe. I tried it the first time today (12/12/12) and it was a success! It’s going to be in my recipe definitely.

    Thank you, thank you!

    Love, Cathy

  • clara October 20, 2012, 2:14 pm

    Am I understanding that you throw the water/stock from cooking the bones the first time? Really?

    • Adam October 20, 2012, 2:42 pm

      Hi Clara – Yes, we par-boil the bones first (only for 5 minutes or so). When you do this, the bones release a bunch of impurities or “scum,” which if left would make the final broth cloudy and not nearly as delicate in flavor. This won’t remove much flavor at all – the bones need hours to release their flavor.

  • mike riley October 2, 2012, 12:19 pm

    great recipe! A quick note about the hoisin…in vietnam, at least in the north, I seldom see it served. in America, some people will put the hoisin in a small sauce bowl and dip the flank steak or whatever in it just before eating. Adds a nice note to the bite without cluttering up the soup flavor

  • Krist January 6, 2012, 10:17 am

    2 tbsp of salt? Are you sure? 11,500 mg seems like a lot of salt.

    table salt from milligram to teaspoon Conversion Results :
    Amount : 11500 milligrams (mg of table salt)
    Equals : 2.02 teaspoons (tsp / table salt)
    Fraction : 2 1/50 teaspoons (tsp / table salt)

    • Joanne January 6, 2012, 10:24 am

      Hi Krist, We say 1-2 tablespoons because it really depends on the brand of fish sauce you use. We know that is a lot of salt, but the recipe produces a lot of broth, as well. If you were concerned, you could always cut back on the salt based on your taste/desired sodium levels.
      Thanks for commenting! Joanne

      • Josh January 25, 2013, 11:51 pm


        Thank you for being so wonderfully kind.
        As well, I especially thank you for such an ingenious phó recipe. I have tried so many and this one may be the key to success.


        • Joanne January 26, 2013, 3:18 pm

          You’re so welcome!!

  • skip to malou April 6, 2011, 12:26 pm

    i have bookmarked a lot of pho recipes already because I’ve been wanting to try it. My family is Pho-crazy and we eat it more than we eat our own mami (our local version of a noodle soup) but im bookmarking this because of the details you have shared in making pho.

    thanks for sharing and im glad i found my way to your blog.


  • Trisha March 7, 2011, 9:01 am

    I just had my first bowl of Pho at a local Vietnamese restaurant on Saturday and I fell instantly in love with this stuff!
    This sounds JUST RIGHT so i plan on making it soon! Thanks for the recipe, you two!
    Plus, you two are absolutely adorable in your photo!! :)


    • inspiredtaste March 8, 2011, 8:25 am

      Trisha – Isn’t Pho amazing! So comforting! This recipe takes a bit of patience, but, it is so worth it! We usually make a double batch of the broth so we can freeze it for another day.

  • Karen August 18, 2010, 3:06 pm

    This looks so good! I am addicted to pho – my favorite is with chicken. And lots of herbs piled on top!! Love your blog, you guys have gorgeous photos.

  • Jill August 9, 2010, 5:23 pm

    Yum! I love Vietnamese but have never made Pho. I will definitely try this one.

  • ++MIRA++ August 9, 2010, 2:20 am

    PHo, its all anyone ever talks about. lol. no really, i gotta make this

  • Esme August 9, 2010, 12:39 am

    I am going to bookmark and try this recipe. I have been searching for a great pho recipe.

    • inspiredtaste August 9, 2010, 10:15 am

      It is definitley worth the effort for sure. Just let us know if you need any clarification on any of the steps. Happy cooking!

      • Erika April 6, 2013, 4:43 pm

        I’m confused as to when to take out the bones from the broth as it simmers? Do you take out the bones and still allow the broth to simmer for another hour or so?

        • Adam April 8, 2013, 10:49 am

          We take out the bones after simmering all of the ingredients for about 3 hours.

  • Jaden August 5, 2010, 9:25 am

    Gorgeous pho!!!

    • inspiredtaste August 5, 2010, 9:32 am

      Thanks Jaden :) That means a lot coming from you.

  • Tony November 9, 2015, 9:32 am

    Beef bone marrow best broth yes.


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