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Beef Pho Recipe (Pho Bo) - Vietnamese Beef Noodle Soup

A delicious homemade recipe for Pho Bo (beef pho), Vietnamese beef noodle soup, cooked on the stovetop. This pho broth is rich with flavor from beef bones cooking in aromatics for 3-4 hours. Simply delicious.
Course Main Course, Soup
Cuisine Vietnamese
Keyword Beef Recipe, Pho Recipes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours 15 minutes


For the Pho Broth

To Assemble the Pho

  • 1 package dried rice noodles (or fresh noodles if available)
  • 1/2 lb beef sirloin, thinly sliced (top or bottom beef sirloin, or eye of round)
  • 1 onion thinly sliced, soaked in cold water for 10 minutes
  • 1 bunch of cilantro leaves, chopped
  • 1 handful bean sprouts
  • 1 bunch Thai basil
  • 3 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 or 2 limes, cut into wedges
  • Hoisin sauce
  • Sriracha sauce


Making the Pho Broth

  • Lightly char the onions and ginger so that they release their flavor. You can do this on high heat over the stove. Or you can broil them in the oven.
    Char Onions and Ginger for Pho
  • In a large pot, bring the beef bones to a boil to release their impurities. Boil for 10 minutes. You can remove from heat when you see all the scum and gross gunk float to the top.
    Making Beef Pho
  • Rinse the beef bones under cold water. Rinse each piece well to ensure there is no gunk sticking to them.
    Pho Bo Recipe
  • In a medium saucepan, toast the dried spices for 1-2 minutes, or until they release a little aroma. (You don't want them burnt, just slightly toasted.) Remove from heat and place inside a cheesecloth bag.
    Beef Pho Recipes
  • In a large stockpot (12 quarts or 16 quarts), add the charred onions and ginger, beef bones, and cheesecloth with aromatics. Fill it with water to its max capacity. Bring it to a boil, uncovered.
    Making Beef Pho
  • Add sugar and fish sauce. Lower the heat, and simmer uncovered for at least 3 hours. (The longer the better. You can also add more water as you go if simmering for longer than 3 hours.)
    Beef Pho Recipe
  • Taste the broth. If it's not salty enough, add more salt or fish sauce. If not sweet enough to your liking, add more sugar.
    I thought the broth was perfect to my taste, so I left it alone.
  • Strain the broth. Throw away the onion and ginger. If there is meat on the beef bones, use a small knife and scrap the meat and tendon off. You can add this meat to the pho bowl.

Assembling the Pho Bowls

  • If you're using dried rice noodles, soak them in water for 20 minutes. Then cook them in boiling water for 1-2 minutes until they are soft (but not mushy).
    If you are using fresh rice noodles, you don't need to soak them in water. Only dip them in boiling water for 1-2 minutes.
  • Add the noodles to a bowl. Top with raw beef (and any leftover bone meat), sliced onion, cilantro, green onions, and bean sprouts.
  • Ladle the boiling hot beef broth over the noodles. This will cook the raw beef.
  • Eat with Thai basil, a squirt of lime, a dash of hoisin sauce, and Sriracha sauce for heat. Enjoy!
    Beef Pho, Pho Bo Recipe, Vietnamese Beef Noodle Soup