Traditional recipes for Vietnamese Pho soup in 6 original variants. Get inspired!

Various Asian soups are popular all over the world thanks to their distinct flavors and aromas.

When you think of rice noodles, thin slices of beef, coriander, fish sauce and lime, most people think of one traditional Vietnamese soup.

Get inspired by our pho soup recipes!

The advantage is that you don’t have to travel anywhere today and still enjoy it.

Try not only the Vietnamese, but also the Chinese or Thai version!

Vietnamese pho soup

Don’t underestimate the first step of making the onion and ginger soup. It is very important for the correct taste of the soup!

Ingredients:

  • 1 white onion
  • piece of fresh ginger, approx. 8 cm
  • 5 anises
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 3 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 cardamom pods
  • 1 tbsp whole coriander seeds
  • 8 cups of beef broth
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons of fish sauce
  • 220 g of lean beef, for example sirloin
  • 200 g thin rice noodles
  • salt
  • oil
  • fresh herbs (coriander, mint, Thai basil), bean sprouts, lime, chili peppers for garnish

Method:

  1. Peel and slice the onion and ginger.
  2. Turn on the oven at approx. 180°C, place the onion and ginger cut side up on a baking sheet and brush them with a little oil.
  3. Bake for about 7-10 minutes until the tops of the onion and ginger are lightly browned. Remove them and set aside.
  4. Heat the anise, cloves, cinnamon, cardamom and coriander in a large saucepan until fragrant, about 3 minutes.
  5. Add onion, ginger, stock and mix.
  6. Continue cooking until the stock reaches boiling point.
  7. Then reduce the heat to medium-low, cover with a lid and cook for at least 30 minutes.
  8. Drain and discard the onion, ginger and spices.
  9. Stir the fish sauce and sugar into the hot broth.
  10. Taste the broth and add salt as needed.
  11. While the stock is cooking, cook the noodles according to package directions.
  12. Drain them in a colander and then rinse them briefly with cold water to prevent them from cooking further.
  13. Cut the lean beef into very thin slices against the grain. It is very important that the meat is cut thinly so that it cooks quickly in the broth and has a fine texture.
  14. Place noodles and meat slices in each bowl. Then pour the boiling broth over them, making sure the meat is completely submerged to cook.
  15. Garnish each bowl with herbs and finish with a squeeze of lime juice.
Vietnamese noodle soup with beef.
source: gimmesomeoven.com

Pho soup recipes are not the only way to get Asian cuisine to your table. Also cook traditional Chinese . In meat and vegetarian form!

Chinese pho soup with beef

The mixture of various spices and herbs gives the soup not only an intense taste, but also an aroma. There are no limits to imagination when decorating.

Ingredients:

  • 1000 g crosswise cut beef slices
  • 1500 g of beef bones
  • 2 cardamom pods
  • 2 star anise
  • 1 teaspoon of fennel seed
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 350 g dried flat rice noodles
  • 300 g of tenderloin

Decorating options

  • 1 bunch of fresh mint
  • 1 handful of garlic chives
  • 4 spring onions
  • pressed garlic
  • 2 tablespoons of ground ginger
  • soy sauce
  • a mixture of balsamic and apple vinegar in a ratio of 2:1
  • dried chili flakes
  • ground roasted Szechuan pepper
  • pickled chili peppers

Method:

  1. The easiest way to cook the stock is in a pressure cooker. Put the beef shank, bones, cardamom, star anise and fennel into it and add seven to eight cups of water.
  2. Close the lid and bring the pot to high pressure. Adjust temperature as needed to maintain pressure. Let it cook under high pressure for 20 minutes and then turn off the heat.
  3. Allow the pressure to naturally reduce for 15 minutes on a cool burner, then loosen the lid.
  4. When cooking in a regular pot, bring the clams, bones and 12 cups of water to a boil. Skim off any foam on the surface before adding the spices. Adjust the temperature and cook for 3 to 4 hours.
  5. Regardless of the cooking method, after the broth is finished, remove the meat from the pot and let it cool.
  6. Strain the broth through a fine sieve.
  7. Remove as much fat as you like and add salt. You should have about 8 cups of stock.
  8. In a pot of boiling water, cook the noodles according to the instructions.
  9. Drain the noodles and divide into bowls.
  10. Arrange thin slices of cooked beef and raw tenderloin on top.
  11. Bring the stock to a boil and pour the hot stock into each bowl.
  12. Pho soup is served garnished with herbs, spices and other ingredients.
Chinese variant of soup with rice noodles and beef.
source: vietworldkitchen.com

Another popular variant of Asian soups are those with Chinese mushrooms. Get inspired by our recipes for Peking soups !

Chicken pho ga soup

In addition to chicken thighs, you can also use a whole chicken. On the other hand, chicken breasts that do not contain bones and skin, which add strength to the broth, are not suitable.

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp of oil
  • 2 onions
  • piece of fresh ginger, approx. 5 cm
  • 2000 ml of water
  • 1500 g of chicken thighs with bone and skin
  • 1 bunch of coriander
  • 5 star anise pods
  • 1 stick of cinnamon
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 2 teaspoons of fennel seeds
  • 2 teaspoons of coriander seeds
  • 8 teaspoons of fish sauce
  • 6 teaspoons of white sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 360 g of dried rice noodles
  • 2 spring onions
  • 3 cups bean sprouts, Thai basil, cilantro, chili peppers, lime for garnish

Method:

  1. In a large pot, heat the oil over high heat.
  2. Add the peeled and halved ginger and onion and fry for 2-3 minutes until soft. Turn them over and leave for another 2 minutes.
  3. Add the water, chicken and all the spices except the salt.
  4. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat and cover halfway with the lid.
  5. Cook on low heat for about an hour and a half.
  6. Once or twice during cooking, skim any foam that rises to the surface.
  7. Remove the chicken and strain the stock into a clean pot.
  8. Add the salt and bring the stock to a gentle boil. The broth should be slightly salty, if not, add salt.
  9. Shred the chicken, discarding the bones and skin.
  10. Just before serving, prepare the rice noodles according to package directions.
  11. Put the finished noodles in bowls. Place the chicken on top and pour over the hot stock.
  12. Finally, sprinkle with scallions and garnish with bean sprouts, spices and a squeeze of lime.
Chicken soup with rice noodles.
source: recipetineats.com

Vietnamese soup with rice noodles

The chicken version of the soup has a slightly less intense flavor compared to the beef version.

Ingredients:

  • fresh ginger, approx. 2 cm
  • 2 spring onions
  • 1 bunch of coriander
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons coriander seeds
  • 1 whole clove
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 2 cups of water
  • 220 g of chicken breast
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 150 g dried flat rice noodles
  • 2 teaspoons of fish sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon of sugar
  • pepper
  • bean sprouts, sprigs of mint, Thai basil, coriander leaves, lime, chili peppers for decoration

Method:

  1. Peel the ginger and cut it into 4 or 5 slices. Tap them with the flat side of a knife or a meat mallet and set aside. Cut the green parts of the onion into thin slices, the white parts into rounds and add to the ginger.
  2. Coarsely chop the coriander leaves to yield two tablespoons and set aside for garnish.
  3. In a saucepan, toast the coriander seeds and cloves over medium heat until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes.
  4. Add the ginger and green onion pieces. Blend for about 30 seconds
  5. Add the chicken stock, water, cilantro sprigs, chicken and salt.
  6. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to a simmer.
  7. After 5 to 10 minutes of cooking, the chicken should be cooked.
  8. Remove it and cook the broth without the chicken for another 15 to 20 minutes.
  9. Allow the chicken to cool and then cut or shred it into pieces.
  10. Soak the rice noodles in hot water until they are pliable and opaque. Drain, rinse and set aside.
  11. After boiling the broth, pour it through a fine sieve, discarding the solid parts.
  12. If necessary, season with fish sauce and sugar to create a distinct spicy-sweet flavor.
  13. Bring the broth to a boil over high heat. Place the noodles in a mesh and submerge them in the hot broth for a few seconds to warm them up.
  14. Remove the noodles from the pot and divide them into bowls.
  15. Lower the heat to keep the broth hot while you arrange the chicken on top of the noodles and garnish with chopped green onions, cilantro, and a sprinkle of pepper.
  16. Ladle the broth into bowls and decorate it with any accessories to taste.
Chicken noodle soup according to a Vietnamese recipe.
source: simplyrecipes.com

Not only Vietnam, China or Thailand have their traditional soups. In addition to recipes for pho soups, you can also try the so-called Japanese ramen . It exists in many diverse and very tasty variants.

Traditional Asian soup pho bo

Thanks to the variety of spices and spicy taste that you can achieve by adding typical sauces, this soup can supposedly help with colds.

Ingredients:

  • 2 yellow onions
  • fresh ginger, approx. 8 cm
  • 5 star anise
  • 6 whole cloves
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 8 cups of beef broth
  • 2 tablespoons of fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp of oil
  • 300 g of dry rice noodles
  • 300 g beef tenderloin

For decorating

  • 1/2 white onion
  • 2 cups bean sprouts
  • 1 bunch of Thai basil
  • 1 bunch of Vietnamese coriander
  • chili peppers
  • 1 lime

Method:

  1. Peel and slice the onion and ginger.
  2. Preheat the oven to approximately 180°C, place the onion and ginger cut side up on a baking tray and brush with a small amount of oil.
  3. Bake for about 8-10 minutes so that their surface does not brown slightly.
  4. Anise, cloves and heat in a saucepan until fragrant.
  5. Add onion, ginger, beef broth and stir.
  6. Bring the mixture to a boil, cover with a lid and cook for at least 30 minutes.
  7. Then strain the broth and discard the onion, ginger and spices.
  8. Stir the fish sauce and sugar into the hot broth.
  9. If necessary, add salt to the broth.
  10. Cook the rice noodles according to the instructions on the package.
  11. Then drain them and rinse briefly with cold water.
  12. Cut the beef tenderloin into very thin slices against the grain.
  13. Place noodles and meat slices in each bowl.
  14. Pour over the boiling broth, garnish with herbs and add a squeeze of lime juice at the end.
Traditional Asian soup and rice noodles.
source: meatlovessalt.com

Do you have a weakness for traditional beef broth? Get inspired by our beef stock recipes.

Thai soup pho

This variant contains several ingredients that are not used in traditional vero, such as mushrooms, tomatoes or shrimp.

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 1 onion
  • 1 cup mushrooms
  • 2 large tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes
  • 6 tablespoons of lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp chili paste
  • 3 tablespoons of fish sauce
  • 10 shrimp
  • 150 g of rice noodles
  • 1 chili pepper
  • chopped cilantro
  • Thai basil
  • bean sprout
  • jalapeño pepper
  • salt pepper

Method:

  1. Cut the onion, mushrooms, tomatoes and cherry tomatoes into slices.
  2. Bring the chicken stock to a boil in a saucepan.
  3. Add the chopped onion and mushrooms to the broth. Stir occasionally and cook until soft.
  4. Add lemon juice, chili paste and fish sauce.
  5. Mix thoroughly and add other spices to taste.
  6. Then add the chopped tomatoes and cook until soft.
  7. In the meantime, boil water in a small pot. Once the water starts to boil, submerge the noodles in it for about 10-15 seconds until they soften, then remove them.
  8. If you are going to serve the noodles immediately, put them in a bowl. If not, rinse the noodles with cold water to prevent them from boiling.
  9. Add the cherry tomatoes and shrimp to the boiling soup.
  10. Cook until the shrimp turn orange and are no longer translucent.
  11. Pour the finished soup over the noodles with a ladle.
  12. Garnish the pho soup with basil, cilantro, bean sprouts and jalapeño pepper.
Thai noodle soup with shrimp.
source: cookingwithwallflower.com

A few interesting facts about pho soup

This traditional Vietnamese soup with rice noodles has been very popular in our region for several years. But many of us are not sure how to pronounce “pho” correctly. The variant most similar to the original is “fu”. By the way, the word “pho” is actually the name of the flat long rice noodles that are part of the soup. Over time, however, this name became established for the soup as such.

The roots of this dish go back to the beginning of the twentieth century in the Vietnamese province of Nam Định. Originally, the Vietnamese surprisingly consumed this soup for breakfast to give them energy for the whole day. Today, however, it is consumed at any time. The classic version is based on beef broth. Over the years, the soup spread not only throughout Vietnam, but also to other countries, and the traditional recipe began to be varied in various ways. The proof is also our diverse recipes for pho soup, for example with chicken or shrimp.

Pho soup is traditionally served in soup bowls with chopsticks and a soup spoon. And how to eat properly? First, stir various side dishes into the broth with chopsticks, especially spices and herbs, which will give it additional flavor. Then alternately eat the noodles, meat and vegetables with the chopsticks while eating the broth with the spoon.

Milan & Ondra

We are both fans of good food and enjoy cooking. On this website, we want to inspire you with traditional, but also less common recipes. We will be happy if you try our recipes and let us know how you liked them. Bon appetite! :)

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