Recipe: Vietnamese Pho

The Vietnamese Pho is the signature dish, and one that you will want to make when you return home. Here is our favourite recipe to have your kitchen smelling of Vietnam.


  • 1½oz fresh root ginger, peeled, cut into 6 pieces
  • 12oz shallots, peeled, sliced
  • 3in cinnamon sticks
  • 2lb beef shin
  • 4 or 5 star anise
  • ½ tsp fennel seeds
  • 2lb beef marrow bones
  • 2 onions, peeled, thickly cut
  • 2 sticks celery thickly cut
  • 2 carrots, peeled, thickly cut
  • 8 cloves
  • 1 tsp black peppercorns
  • 8 pints  of water
  • 1 tbsp salt


  • 10½oz dried 1cm/½in wide flat rice noodles
  • 7oz fillet steak
  • 2 tsp fresh Thai sweet basil
  • 2 tsp fresh mint leaves
  • 2 tsp fresh coriander leaves
  • 5 red bird's eye chillies, finely sliced
  • 2 limes, sliced into wedges
  • 8 spring onions, green parts separated, trimmed and cut
  • 2 to 4 tbsp fish sauce
  • 3½oz bean sprouts


Step 1

The first step is preparing the beef broth. Place the shallots and the ginger onto a flat surface like a chopping board and hit them lightly with a rolling pin.

Step 2

Add the star anise, the fennel seeds and the cinnamon sticks into a preheated frying pan. Dry fry the spices until they faintly darken, then tip onto a plate and set aside for later.

Step 3

Keep the pan heated on the stove and add the shallot and ginger, let it fry for eight to ten minutes until both ingredients are a golden brown then place on the plate with the spices.

Step 4

Put the celery, carrots, cloves, onions, black peppercorns, shin of beef, beef marrow, ginger, shallots and cooked spices into a large deep pan and pour over the water, then brig to a boil.

Step 5

Lower the heat, then add the salt and allow the broth to simmer for three to five hours. The longer you cook the broth, the better it will taste so going over five hours won’t hurt. Bring the broth to boil in a fresh pan, skimming off the layer that rises to the surface.

METHOD: Noodles

Step 6

Bring a pan of water to boil and add the rice noodles; make sure they are completely immersed in the water. Remove the pan from the heat and let the noodles soak for ten minutes. Drain and divide the noodles into four soup bowls. Chop the beef into thin slices and arrange on top of the noodles, then put the mint, red chillies, basil, coriander and lime into separate bowls (to be served later).

Step 7

Add white layer of the spring onions and the fish sauce to the hot broth. Sprinkle the green layer of the spring onions and the bean sprouts over the noodles and beef.  Pour the hot stock gently over the noodles, and serve with fresh herbs and chillies that you can add to your meal as you eat.  Enjoy!


If you haven't tried Pho before, we couldn't recommend this dish highly enough. However, if you want to taste the real flavour of Vietnam then speak to one of our experts on 020 7843 3531 or who can organise your foodie experience.