Beef pho

Beef pho

Ben's Meat Bible
Benito Martin

This is a classic Vietnamese noodle soup, and requires some preparation the day before you want to eat this dish. The broth makes more than you need for this recipe – use the remaining broth for another soup immediately or freeze it for another time.


Quantity Ingredient
500g dried rice noodles for pho
500g beef sirloin or blade, sliced very thinly

Pho broth

Quantity Ingredient
2kg raw beef bones, (brisket bones are best)
2 onions, roughly diced
3cm piece fresh ginger, peeled and sliced
5 star anise
3 cinnamon sticks or cassia bark pieces
500g beef brisket, (optional)


Quantity Ingredient
large handful bean sprouts
large handful thai basil
red bird’s eye chilli, sliced
Fermented chilli sauce
or sriracha
hoisin sauce
lime or lemon wedges


  1. Prepare the pho broth one day in advance.
  2. Place the bones in a large pan and add enough water to cover. Bring to the boil and cook vigorously for 5 minutes. Drain and rinse the bones in cold water. Wipe out the pan with paper towel and replace the bones. Pour in 6 litres of fresh cold water. Bring to the boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to a gentle simmer. Skim off any scum that comes to the surface. Add the remaining broth ingredients and the beef brisket (if using) and simmer, partially covered, for 3 hours. Season with salt and a little sugar to taste, if necessary.
  3. Drain the broth into a large container and cool before refrigerating. Skim off any residual fat that comes to the surface once the broth has cooled. Slice the beef brisket and refrigerate.
  4. The next day, soak the rice noodles in a large bowl of boiling water and leave to soften for about 10 minutes, or until the noodles are tender. Drain and set aside.
  5. In a large saucepan, bring 2.5 litres of the pho broth to a rolling boil over high heat.
  6. Divide the drained rice noodles, raw beef slices and the reserved beef brisket between serving bowls. Ladle over the hot broth (this will cook the raw beef). Serve garnished with bean sprouts and Thai basil. Allow everyone to season their bowl with as much fresh chilli, lime or lemon juice, chilli sauce and hoisin sauce as they like.
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