the pho is not only a unique dish, it is steeped in tradition and closely tied to Vietnamese culinary culture. It fascinates gourmets around the world with its complex flavor despite the apparent simplicity of its ingredients.

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For four persons

Preparation: 2.5 hours

Cooking: 1 hour


* For the broth

– 1 kg of beef bones (optional: 500 g

ribs with bone and/or 500 g oxtail), cut into small pieces

– 500g beef shank

– 1 to 2 large marrow bones

– 2 large onions

– 5 shallots

– 1 piece of ginger of about


– 3 – 4 tablespoons (tbsp) of nuoc mam (fish brine)

– ½ teaspoon (tsp) of salt

* Spices

– 1-2 pieces of tsao-ko cardamom

– 1 cinnamon stick

– 3 stars of anise

– ½ tsp black peppercorns

* For the service

– 500g rib of beef

– 500 g of rice noodles (pasta or fresh pasta)

– Aromatic herbs: chives, coriander

– 1 green onion (scallion)

– 1- 2 limes

– 1- 2 finely chopped fresh peppers


* Step 1 : preparation of ingredients

Wash the beef bones, the shank. Then, soak the bones and the beef in water with salt for 2 hours to thoroughly clean the meat and make it more tender when tasting.

Grill directly on the heat (or in a pan or in the oven under a grill at 240°C for 5 minutes) the unpeeled and cleaned ginger as well as the whole peeled onions then dry roast. Then, crush the ginger, cut the onion in 2 or 4.

Roast all the spices then collect them in an empty and closed tea bag.

Wash the aromatic herbs and the chilli then chop them finely.

To serve, peel and slice the onion into very thin rings, quarter the limes and chop the chilli.

* 2nd step : preparation of broth

After soaking the bones and meat for 2 hours, drain the water then bring 3 or 4 liters of water to a boil in a large pot. As soon as it boils, add the bones, the shank and cook for 15 minutes. Rinse the meat, empty the pot and clean it.

Return the bones and shank to 4-5 liters of cold water. When boiling, reduce to medium heat to maintain a slight simmer. Skim regularly.

Then add the spice sachet with a little salt and pepper to the broth pho.

After one hour of cooking, add the grilled ginger and the grilled onions to the broth. Maintain the broth at a low simmer and simmer for 2 hours. Don’t forget to skim from time to time.

After 2 hours of cooking (i.e. a total of 3 hours of cooking for the meat), take out the shank (and the part of the main rib if you are using it), leave the bone in the broth. Dip the meat in water to cool it before refrigerating it.

Remove and discard spices, ginger and onions.

Dilute the broth with a liter of hot water and continue cooking, maintaining a slight simmer for 2-3 hours.

Degrease the broth, skimming the fat off the surface.

At the end of cooking, add 3-4 tbsp of nuoc mamtaste and correct if necessary.

* Step 3 : presentation and tasting

Soak dry rice noodles in water for 30 minutes before serving. Cook them in boiling water for 1-2 minutes then drain. This step is not necessary for fresh pasta.

Before serving, quickly plunge a portion of pasta back into boiling water using a large, fine-mesh colander to reheat pasta before placing portions in bowls.

Remove the cooked meat and the 500 g of prime rib from the fridge. Cut the cooked and raw meat into thin slices. Using a colander, quickly plunge them into the broth to warm them up (for cooked meat) and precook the raw beef before putting them in the bowls. Arrange the meat over the rice noodles in each bowl.

Add the chopped aromatic herbs. For the white part of the green onion, it must be cooked in the broth before putting it in the bowl.

In short: in every bowl of phofirst place a portion of warmed rice dough,

a few strips of cooked and pre-cooked beef. Then, according to your taste, add two stalks of white spring onion, a few thin slices of raw onion, minced green spring onion and coriander.

In the broth, you can take out the oxtails and serve them on the side in a dish to accompany the pho or simply reserve them for another meal.

Once all the ingredients are in the bowl, pour in the hot broth, making sure to baste the meat well. Serve the soup pho when it is still warm.

Enjoy your lunch !

Source: Nguyen Van Thang/CVN

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