Vietnamese pho

Know pho as the Vietnamese cure-all to soothe the soul, ward off colds and ease a hangover
By Jason Atherton
Vietnamese pho
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 6
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Effort: easy


  • 175 g dried rice noodles
  • few handfuls mint leaves
  • few handfuls coriander leaves, roughly chopped
  • 1 red chilli, seeds removed, thinly sliced
  • 6 large spring onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 lime, cut into wedges
  • fish sauce
  • 75 g bean sprouts
  • 275 g fillet steak, thinly sliced

For the broth

  • 1 cube of beef stock
  • 900 g beef marrow bones
  • 225 g shin beef, chopped into large chunks
  • 1.5 tsp black peppercorns
  • 5 cloves
  • 4 coriander seeds
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 3 star anise
  • 5 pods green cardamom
  • 3 cm piece fresh ginger, sliced but not peeled


1. Put the rice noodles into a large bowl, cover with lots of boiling water and leave to soak according to packet instructions.

2. For the broth: put the beef stock cube into a large saucepan and cover with 1 litre boiling water. Add the marrow bones and the shin of beef.

3. Add the spices and ginger to the broth pan and simmer, skimming off any scum that rises to the surface.

4. Meanwhile put the mint and coriander leaves, chilli, lime wedges and some fish sauce into separate small bowls so people can help themselves to each later.

5. Divide the rice noodles among 6 serving bowls.

6. Bring the broth back to a vigorous simmer. Take a large soup ladle and lay a quarter of the fillet steak slices over the sides of the ladle. Dip the ladle into the boiling stock so the meat is covered and leave for 5-10 seconds, or until the beef has changed to pale pink. Pour into one of the bowls and top up with extra broth to cover the noodles.

7. Repeat the cooking of the steak for each of the bowls. Serve immediately with the small bowls of herbs, chilli and spring onions on the side for scattering over and the bowls of lime and fish sauce for seasoning.

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