Pho (Noodle Soup)

Tender beef steak, a rich beef stock and rice noodles combine to make a hearty meal in Simon Rimmer's tasty version of a classic Vietnamese dish
By Simon Rimmer
Pho (Noodle Soup)
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 8
  • Cook Time:
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Effort: easy



  • 200g dried rice noodles, soaked in cold water
  • 400 g bean sprouts, blanched
  • 500 g rump steaks, finely sliced
  • 4 tomatoes, de-seeded and sliced
  • 6 spring onions, sliced
  • sprigs of fresh coriander, to garnish

For the beef soup:

  • 2 kg beef ribs
  • 500 g braising steak
  • 2 onions, sliced
  • 2.5 cm ginger, peeled and chopped
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 5 g black peppercorns
  • salt

For the nuoc cham (hot fish sauce):

  • 2 red chillies
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 5 g sugar
  • grated zest and juice 1 lemons
  • 15 ml rice vinegar, or Mirin
  • 15 ml water
  • 60 ml fish sauce
  • 5 g shrimp paste


1. First make the soup. Place the ribs, braising steak, onions, ginger, cinnamon, peppercorns and salt in a large saucepan. Pour in cold water to cover.

2. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to very low, cover and simmer for 6 hours.

3. Make the nuoc cham by blending together the chillies, garlic, sugar, lemon zest and juice, rice vinegar, water, fish sauce and shrimp paste in a food processor or grinding in a pestle and mortar until well-blended.

4. Cook the rice noodles in a large saucepan of boiling, salted water until tender, drain and cut into 2.5cm pieces.

5. To serve the dish, divide the noodles and bean sprouts in 8 serving bowls.

6. Place a few slices of rump steak, tomato and spring onion in a large ladle.

7. Bring the stock to the boil and immerse the ladle into the boiling stock. Leave the ladle in the boiling stock until the beef just begins to turn brown, around 30 seconds.

8. Pour the ladleful over the noodles, garnish with coriander sprigs and serve with the nuoc cham. Repeat the process for the remaining noodles.

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