Beef Pho - Vietnamese Soup

    6 hours 30 minutes

    Southern Vietnamese style pho. It's all about the stock - which takes a while to make but is totally worth it - which is ladled over rice noodles and thinly sliced beef.

    145 people made this

    Serves: 6 

    • 2 1/2 kg beef knuckle (stock bones)
    • 7 1/2 litres of water
    • 1 kg oxtail
    • 1 white (daikon) radish, sliced
    • 2 onions, chopped
    • 60g whole star anise pods
    • 1/2 cinnamon stick
    • 2 whole cloves
    • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
    • 1 slice fresh ginger root
    • 1 teaspoon white sugar
    • 1 tablespoon salt
    • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
    • 750g dried flat rice noodles
    • 250g frozen sirloin steak (to make easier slicing)
    • Thai basil, chilli, bean sprouts and lime pieces to serve

    Preparation:6hours  ›  Cook:30min  ›  Ready in:6hours30min 

    1. To make the stock, place the beef knuckle in a very large stock pot. Season with salt, and fill pot with 7 1/2 litres of water. Bring to a boil and cook for about 2 hours.
    2. Skim fat from the surface of the stock, and add the oxtail, radish and onions. Tie the anise pods, cinnamon stick, cloves, peppercorns and ginger in a cheesecloth or similar; add to the soup. Stir in sugar, salt and fish sauce. Simmer over medium-low heat for at least 4 more hours (the longer, the better). At the end of cooking, taste and add salt as needed. Strain stock and return to the pot to keep at a simmer. Discard spices and bones.
    3. To make the soup, bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Soak the rice noodles in water for about 20 minutes, then cook in boiling water until soft, but not mushy, just a couple of minutes. Slice the frozen beef paper thin. The meat must be thin enough to cook instantly.
    4. Place some noodles into each bowl, and top with a few raw beef slices. Ladle boiling broth over the beef and noodles in the bowl. Serve with hoisin sauce and chilli sauce and with a plate of bean sprouts, basil, slices of fresh chilli and lime out at the table for everyone to add their own toppings.

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    Reviews in English (103)


    Being a big fan of Vietnamise foods, it is sometimeshard to find the authentic tastes here in Australia, This one nails it..!! , if you have the time.  -  06 Sep 2009


    Very good recipe, definitely worth the time taken to prepare the broth... However one tip to make it even healthier: prepare the broth the day before, and leave it over night on the refrigerator. Once it cools down all the fat from them meat will be on the top, so you just have to skim it out, before warming it again to before adding the toppings.  -  06 Dec 2007  (Review from Allrecipes USA and Canada)


    i haven't actually made this according to this recipe yet but my mum's been making it for years and it's great to see a recipe that actually tells you to make the broth, cause this recipe is all about the broth! it's not key to use ox-tali or beef knuckle, just as long as you have enough large beef bones. it's best to actually 'clean' the bones before you cook- either some vinegar or whisky with lots of hot water-gives a cleaner taste and a clearer broth. i also always grill the onion, anise, cinnamon, ginger and peppercorns first and place all in cheese cloth bag. finally a tip for preparing, to cook noodles place soaked noodles in a sieve and place in boiling water(stir if needed) til the noodles are just soft, make one bowl at a time and serve steaming hot. enjoy!  -  14 Oct 2007  (Review from Allrecipes USA and Canada)