Vietnamese Pho

For the broth

  • 12 cups of water
  • 1-2 pounds (1/2 to 1 kilo) of beef chuck, rump, brisket or cross rib roast, cut into 2-by-4-inch pieces or left whole (I have done both ways). 
  • 4 Star Anise 
  • 2-inch piece of fresh galangal or ginger, peeled
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1/4 cup Soy sauce
  • 2-3 Tablespoons Fish sauce (or to taste)
  • 1 Tablespoon Brown Sugar
  • Salt, to taste

This is what a Galangal looks like. You can find this in Asian stores.
This is what I used for the recipe.


  1. Place the meat into a large deep pan. Pour the water in. Bring to a boil using high heat. Once it begins to boil lower the heat to a gentle simmer. Skim off the scum that rises to the surface as it begins to boil. Add the rest of the ingredients. Cook for about 1 1/2 to 2 hours until the meat is cooked to your desired tenderness (a little chewy but not tough is fine).
  2. If necessary adjust the taste of the broth to your liking by adding more fish sauce, soy sauce, a little sugar or salt. It should taste strong since the other ingredients that will be added to the broth are not seasoned. 
  3. Remove the meat pieces from the broth. Place it in a bowl with cold water for about 8-10 minutes. This is to prevent the meat from drying out and turning dark. It's also easier to cut up when it's cold. Refrigerate, if not making the Pho right away. There will still be some fat left on the broth so if you're not in a hurry, leave the broth on the fridge overnight (after straining it) and then the next day, skim off as much fat that has floated to the surface before reheating it.
  4. If you want to have the Pho right away, strain the broth to remove the remaing bits and pieces in it with the use of a fine sieve or strainer. Slice the beef into thin strips.
Assembling the Pho
  • 1 pack of Rice Vermicelli (about 250 grams) - cooked according to package directions
  • 1 pack of bean sprouts (rinsed well)
  • A small bunch of fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 4 scallions or green onions, sliced thinly
  • 1 Fresh Red chili, sliced thinly (really spicy so you need to use only one tiny slice per bowl)
  • Lime, a few drops of freshly squeezed lime juice, to taste
  1. First cook your noodles just until tender usually about 10 minutes. See package directions for further guidance.
  2. While noodles are cooking. Slice the beef into thin strips. Reheat it with the broth.
  3. Place enough noodles in a bowl. Divide the noodles among 6-8 bowls (depeding on their size).
  4. Place the beef strips on top of the noodles. 

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