Beef Pho Recipe

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4 - 6

This recipe may not be the easiest, but it is certainly delicious. This impressive broth with beef sirloin and warming spices makes for a great, filling dinner. Have a look at our other soup recipes for more tasty ideas. 


Taken from Noodle! by Mimi Aye (£12.99; Absolute Press)


  • For the spices:
  • 2 cassia bark sticks or cinnamon sticks
  • 3 star anise
  • 6 cloves
  • 2tbsp coriander seeds
  • For the broth:
  • 2 medium onions, halved (skin still on)
  • 7.5cm knob of fresh root ginger (skin on)
  • 1kg beef bones (half oxtail bones, half knuckles with marrow)
  • 1 x 500g piece of stewing beef, such as brisket
  • 3tbsp fish sauce, plus extra to garnish
  • 2 lumps of rock sugar or 2tbsp soft dark brown sugar
  • 1tbsp black peppercorns
  • To serve:
  • 200g beef sirloin or fillet steak
  • 400g dried narrow flat rice noodles (banh pho if possible)
  • To garnish
  • :
  • 2 medium onions, shaved thinly, soaked in cold water for 30 mins and drained
  • 250g beansprouts, topped and tailed
  • Small bunch of spring onions (green and white parts), slivered
  • Sprigs of fresh coriander and mint, plus (if possible) fresh Thai basil and sawtooth herb (culantro)
  • Lime wedges
  • Fresh red chillies, sliced
  • Sriracha chilli sauce
  • Hoisin sauce


  • First, toast the spices by tossing them all together in a hot, dry frying pan over a high heat for 1-2 minutes until fragrant. Remove from the heat and set the spices to one side in the pan

  • For the broth, char the onions and ginger until the skin blisters all over, and goes black, either by setting them on a foil-lined baking tray and blow-torching them or grilling them (under a high heat), or by holding them directly over a gas flame with tongs (be careful and wear oven gloves when doing this). This will take a few minutes. Let the onions and ginger cool, then peel, removing the blackened bits. Rinse and set to one side

  • Put the beef bones and stewing beef in a stockpot or large saucepan with two litres of cold water. Bring to the boil and then boil briskly for about 10 minutes, until the scum rises to the surface. Discard the cooking water, then rinse the meat and wash the pot

  • Return the meat to the pot and place back on the stove. Add the charred onions and ginger, the toasted spices, the fish sauce, sugar and the peppercorns, plus about 2 litres of cold water – add enough water so that the ingredients are completely submerged. Bring to the boil and boil briskly for 10 minutes, then reduce the heat and leave to simmer, uncovered, for about 2 hours until the meat is tender. Top up the water if the liquid level ever drops below the ingredients

  • Meanwhile, prepare the steak and garnishes. Chill the steak in the freezer for 30 minutes (to make slicing easier), then slice it super-thin. Put all the garnishes in separate dishes on the table

  • When the broth is nearly ready, put the rice noodles into a heatproof bowl, generously cover with boiling water and leave to soak for 20 minutes. Drain, untangle and set to one side

  • When the broth is ready, remove the stewing beef, cut it into bite-sized pieces and set to one side. Strain the broth into a clean pan and discard all the bits, then season the broth to taste by adding more fish sauce and sugar if you think it needs it

  • Now you’re ready to dish up. Divide the noodles among 4-6 serving bowls and top with pieces of stewing beef and thin slices of raw steak. Bring the strained broth back to a brisk boil, then, while it’s still bubbling, put a few ladlefuls into each bowl so the noodles are swimming and the raw beef slices poach gently. Hand the bowls around, telling people to help themselves to the garnishes and dig in.

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