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pho recipe | www.iamafoodblog.com
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4.87 from 15 votes

Pho Recipe

An intensely cozy and beefy beef noodle soup.
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time5 hrs 30 mins
Total Time6 hrs
Course: main
Cuisine: Vietnamese
Keyword: pho
Servings: 4
Calories: 1271kcal


  • blowtorch


Pho Soup

  • 1 lb oxtail
  • 1/2 medium onion charred
  • 2 oz ginger halved lengthwise and charred, about 3"
  • 8 cups water

Pho Spice Mix

  • 5 star anise
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1/2 tsp cloves
  • 1/2 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1/2 tsp peppercorns white preferred
  • 5 cardamom pods
  • 1/2 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1/2 tsp whole cumin seeds


  • 1 lb brisket
  • 1 lb sirloin thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 2 tbsp sugar or to taste
  • 1-3 tsp sea salt or to taste
  • 4 portions fresh pho noodles or dried

Toppings for Pho

  • 4 lime wedges
  • 1 cup bean sprouts raw or blanched
  • 4 springs Thai Basil
  • 4 springs cilantro
  • 1/2 medium onion thinly sliced


Day 1

  • Bring a small pot of water to the boil and blanch the oxtails for 5 minutes. Bring a second, larger pot with 8 cups of water to a boil.
    blanching oxtails | www.iamafoodblog.com
  • Transfer the oxtails to the second pot along with the charred onion, charred ginger, and 8 cups of water. Simmer on low for 3.5 hours.
    pho soup | www.iamafoodblog.com
  • Char pho spice mix, then add to the pho soup along with the brisket and continue simmering for another 2 hours (5.5 hours total)
    pho soup | www.iamafoodblog.com
  • Transfer the brisket to its own container, then strain and separate the pho soup. Refrigerate both.
    cold pho soup | www.iamafoodblog.com

Day 2

  • Skim the solidified fat from the pho soup with a fork and melt over low heat, then strain and refrigerate in a new small container. Prepare pho toppings as needed, cover and refrigerate.
    fat free pho soup | www.iamafoodblog.com

When you are ready to serve

  • Combine the pho soup with enough water to make 8 cups, then season with fish sauce, sugar, and salt, if needed. I like 1 tsp of fine sea salt, but you should feel that your pho is on the verge of being too salty to compensate for the unsalted meat and noodles. Bring the soup to a low simmer. Slice the cold brisket and drop into the soup to reheat.
    pho soup, fat free | www.iamafoodblog.com
  • Bring a large pot of water to the boil and cook the noodles halfway, then rinse in cold water and drain. Heat up the bowls with hot tap water for 5 minutes, the drain. Divide the pho noodles evenly between bowls.
    Cooked pho noodles | www.iamafoodblog.com
  • Slice sirloin if necessary, then divide between bowls along with brisket.
    Pho assemble | www.iamafoodblog.com
  • Ladle pho broth overtop, serve and enjoy immediately with many toppings.
    ladling pho soup over steak | www.iamafoodblog.com


See post for more detailed 2 day, instant pot, and crockpot instructions.


Calories: 1271kcal | Carbohydrates: 55.3g | Protein: 162g | Fat: 38.9g | Saturated Fat: 14.2g | Cholesterol: 367mg | Sodium: 2057mg | Potassium: 1821mg | Fiber: 1.2g | Sugar: 5.6g