Let me start by saying I am not Vietnamese. Never have been, never will be. That doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate a mean bowl of Vietnamese Pho noodle soup.

I know I know, if it’s spelled pho it should, phonetically speaking, be pronounced fhho. But it’s not. It’s pronounced fuuuuu. Which is awfully close to a nasty little expletive, and awfully fun to say.

“Hey what’cha got there?”


So what is Pho, exactly? According to the Gods of Wikipedia, Pho is “…a Vietnamese noodle soup, usually served with beef (pho bo) or chicken (pho ga). The soup includes noodles made from rice and is often served with basil, lime, bean sprouts, and peppers that are added to the soup by the consumer.”

Let me just tell you, there’s nothing better than a piping hot bowl of Pho on a drizzly East Coast day in Chinatown. It’s like the Asian version of Chicken Noodle Soup, only much, much better.

Being an aficionado of all foods Asian, I decided one day to come up with my own version of Pho for those days when I’m craving some comfort food but nowhere near Chinatown. Unlike the traditional forms of Pho, which most often include beef or chicken, my version is fish-based. This dish has been tried on many a friend, and they’ve all asked for the recipe.

(regarding portions, all I can say is wing it. I’m not one for exact measurements and besides, you should be tasting as you go.)


Print Recipe
Authentic Pho
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 8 hrs
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 8 hrs
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C).
  2. Place beef bones on a baking sheet and roast in the preheated oven until browned, about 1 hour.
  3. Place onion on a baking sheet and roast in the preheated oven until blackened and soft, about 45 minutes.
  4. Place bones, onion, ginger, salt, star anise, and fish sauce in a large stockpot and cover with 4 quarts of water. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to low. Simmer on low for 6 to 10 hours. Strain the broth into a saucepan and set aside.
  5. Place rice noodles in large bowl filled with room temperature water and allow to soak for 1 hour. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and after the noodles have soaked, place them in the boiling water for 1 minute. Bring stock to a simmer.
  6. Divide noodles among 4 serving bowls; top with sirloin, cilantro, and green onion. Pour hot broth over the top. Stir and let sit until the beef is partially cooked and no longer pink, 1 to 2 minutes. Serve with bean sprouts, Thai basil, lime wedges, hoisin sauce, and chile-garlic sauce on the side.
Recipe Notes

*adapted from

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