Vietnamese beef noodle soup recipe (Phở Bò)

  • Preparation: 20 mins
  • Cooking: 30 mins
  • Skill level: Easy
  • Servings: 6

Description Vietnamese beef noodle soup recipe (Phở bò)

Vietnamese beef noodle soup recipe (Phở Bò) usually contains two or more cuts of beef, often cooked brisket and raw slices of topside of beef, along with tendon. But in North, Vietnamese Pho only contains slices of raw beef. In Vietnamese Food, bowls of noodle soup are built from the bowl up – first the noodles, then the meat, with hot stock ladled over at the last minute and with the garnishes served alongside. This is especially important with Vietnamese beef noodle soup (Phở bò) because the beef is added to the bowl raw and the heat from the stock cooks it just enough.


  • 1 large yellow onion, unpeeled
  • 3-inch piece fresh ginger
  • 2 pounds oxtails, cut in 2- to 3-inch pieces
  • 2 pounds beef neck bones
  • 2 pounds beef shank bones
  • 2 pounds beef marrowbones
  • 1 ounce light brown palm sugar , or 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 3-inch piece Chinese cinnamon
  • 1 whole star anise pod
  • 1 whole clove
  • 1 black cardamom pod (optional)

Method Vietnamese beef noodle soup recipe (Phở bò)


Preheat the oven to 350 ° F. Place the onion and ginger on a rimmed baking sheet and roast until the onion is soft and beginning to ooze, about 1 hour. Remove from the oven and let the onion and ginger cool until they can be handled. Peel the onion and cut in half. Slice the unpeeled ginger into ¼-inch-thick coins.


While the onion and ginger are roasting, blanch the bones: To ensure the pot is large enough to blanch the bones without boiling over, put the bones in the pot and add water to cover by 1 inch. Then remove the bones and bring the water to a boil. When it is at a rolling boil, add the oxtails, neck bones, and shanks. Return the water to a boil and boil for 3 minutes. Drain the contents of the pot into a colander and rinse under cold running water. Rinse the pot and return the rinsed oxtails, neck bones, and shanks to the pot. Add the marrowbones.


Add the onion halves, ginger slices, sugar, salt, and 8 quarts fresh water to the pot and bring to a boil over high heat, skimming off any scum that forms on the surface. Lower the heat so the liquid is at a gentle simmer and simmer for 4 hours, skimming as needed to remove any scum that forms on the surface.


Add the pepper, cinnamon, star anise, clove, and cardamom and continue cooking, skimming occasionally, for 1 hour longer.


Remove from the heat and and, using a spider or a slotted spoon, discard the large solids. Strain the stock through a fine-mesh sieve into a large container, let sit for a few minutes (or refrigerate overnight), then skim most of the fat from the surface (leave some, as it gives the stock a better flavor and mouthfeel). Use immediately, or let cool completely, then transfer to practical-size airtight containers and refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months.

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