Pho Bo Soup (Vietnamese Beef Noodle Soup)

Close-Up Pho Soup

Dinah Gartner / Getty Images

  • Total: 60 mins
  • Prep: 15 mins
  • Cook: 45 mins
  • Servings: 4 to 6 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
647 Calories
25g Fat
33g Carbs
71g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 to 6
Amount per serving
Calories 647
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 25g 32%
Saturated Fat 9g 47%
Cholesterol 203mg 68%
Sodium 213mg 9%
Total Carbohydrate 33g 12%
Dietary Fiber 4g 13%
Protein 71g
Calcium 175mg 13%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

A nourishing soup made with flat rice noodles, Pho Bo soup is popular throughout Vietnam.


  • For Beef Broth: 
  • 1 small onion (chopped)
  • 1 2-inch stick ginger
  • 2 pounds beef bones
  • 12 cups water
  • 6 star anise
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 pound beef (lean and tender)
  • For Noodles:
  • 1 16-ounce package flat rice noodles (pho)
  • For Garnish:
  • 3 scallions (thinly sliced)
  • 1 large onion (thinly sliced)
  • 10 Cilantro sprigs (finely chopped)
  • 1 cup bean sprouts
  • 10 sprigs basil 
  • 10 sprigs fresh culantro (ngo gai) 
  • 1 fresh red or green chile pepper (thinly sliced)
  • Garnish: lime or lemon quarters
  • Garnish: fish sauce
  • Garnish: hoisin sauce
  • Garnish: hot chile sauce

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Broil the onion and ginger until they look burned. Using the back of a cleaver, smash the ginger and set aside.

  3. Place beef bones in a large soup pot and add water to cover. Bring to a boil and immediately pour off this "first boiling" water and discard. Add another 12 cups of fresh water and again bring to a boil. Skim off foam.

  4. Add the broiled onion and ginger, star anise, salt, and sugar. Over medium-low heat, simmer for 30 minutes. Slice raw beef into thin strips and set aside.

  5. Remove bones from broth and strain out vegetables and seasonings. 

  6. Soak noodles in cold water for 10 minutes. Drain. In a soup pot bring two quarts fresh water to a boil. Add drained noodles and cook seven minutes at a rolling boil, stirring occasionally until noodles are tender.

  7. Rinse noodles under cold running water and set aside.

  8. Return the broth to a boil over high heat.

  9. Divide noodles among 4 to 6 large individual serving bowls. Arrange thinly sliced raw beef, scallions, onion, and cilantro on top. Pour boiling hot broth to cover noodles and serve immediately. The boiling broth will cook the thin slices of beef.

  10. Pho is always accompanied by bean sprouts, basil leaves, cilantro, and chile pepper. Serve with lime and lemon quarters, fish sauce, hoisin sauce, and hot chile sauce.

  11. Enjoy!

Glass Bakeware Warning

Do not use glass bakeware when broiling or when a recipe calls to add liquid to a hot pan, as glass may explode. Even if it states oven-safe or heat resistant, tempered glass products can, and do, break occasionally.