Phở Soup (Vietnamese Beef Noodle Soup)

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Phở Tai is a Vietnamese Beef Noodle Soup that is delicious and comforting. This flavorful and healthy soup recipe is easy to make. Now, you can make your favorite beef phở soup at home.

pho thai recipe with cilantro and onions
Have you ever wondered what the key is to making a flavorful and delicious pho tai?

Making this Vietnamese noodle soup at home is easier than you might think.

You guys know that I’m always on the quest for recipes that capture the true authentic flavor. I want it to taste so good that it tastes like it came straight from Bà’s kitchen.

I used the recipe featured in Eat Real Vietnamese Food by Lien Nguyen. Lien’s recipe is an easy phở recipe. It takes time, but the steps are super simple.

This cookbook is a collection of traditional Vietnamese recipes that are fantastic! I highly recommend picking up a copy.

I love finding recipes that make me feel like I have an inside seat in someone’s family kitchen. This book definitely checks that box.

What is Phở?

If you’re asking this, you may never have had a bowl of beef phở.

pho tai served in a large bowl with bean sprouts, jalapenos, and plenty of sriracha

What you’re going to love about this soup!

  • Authentic Flavor: The flavor of the broth is exactly how it should be.
  • Healthy: Beef broth and veggies. What could be better for you?
  • Comforting: a steaming bowl of Phở noodle soup is one of the most comforting soups. Whenever it’s cold outside, I’ve go to have it.
  • Easy: Making Phở at home is really easy. It’s as simple as making a rich stock with the perfect aromatic and then adding some rice noodles.

Recipe Notes

Phở is all about broth. Having a flavorful beef broth is essential to making sure that this soup is delicious. Vietnamese Pho soup is such a simple thing to make, but there are a few techniques that you’ll need to make it perfect!

What you’ll need to make Vietnamese noodle soup at home

The ingredients that you need to make Phở soup are pretty simple:

The foundation of this traditional Vietnamese soup is a stock made from either short ribs or beef knucklebones. The aromatic spices are what then give this dish it’s distinctive flavor.

For the phở broth:

  • Beef Bones: I chose to use knucklebones but you can also use short ribs. Or even a combination of both. Have the butcher ‘crack’ the bones for you. They will know what you mean.
  • Aromatics: White onions, cilantro, ginger, and fresh scallions.
  • Spices: Star anise, black cardamom, cinnamon sticks
  • Fish Sauce: Vietnamese food has signature umami that is usually imparted with fish sauce. choose a high-quality fish sauce like Red Boat (affiliate link) or Suchi. (affiliate link)

Optional: You can also add in brisket. Phở can be served with rare steak, and/or brisket.


Phở is typically served with thin rice noodles (affiliate link). At one of my favorite restaurants, you can also order it with egg noodles.

You will see rice sticks in the Asian section of the grocery store. They are sometimes called rice vermicelli or rice sticks.

I like to use thin rice sticks, but you can also use medium or wide noodles.

All the fixin’s:

Phở is typically served with a helping of bean sprouts, fresh Thai basil, lime wedges, and jalapeños on the side. These fresh veggies are added to your bowl of soup as you eat it. Yum!

Although it is debated whether or not this is traditional, for me, an absolutely necessary part of eating phở is the inclusion of an obscene amount of Sriracha Hot Sauce (affiliate link).

I like my soup broth bright orange with sriracha, and my lips burning. Of course, this is a personal preference.

How to make Phở soup

Phở should have a nice clear broth that tastes clean and fresh while offering a rich beef flavor that is infused with subtle spices.

  1. Start by setting up a large stockpot. Add the bones and the brisket, if you are using it.
  2. Cover with 5 quarts of water.
  3. Add in the onions.
  4. Bring to a boil.
  5. Skim off the scum as the broth is cooking.

Assembling a bowl of soup

The thinly sliced steak is cooked in the steaming hot broth. I’ve found the best cuts of steak to use for phở tai are beef filet or sirloin.

The steaming hot broth cooks the steak to a rare to medium-rare temperature.

Raw beef that is sliced exceptionally thin is added to the bowl along with a few sliced onions.

PRO-TIP: To slice extra thin steak, freeze the meat for about 30 minutes before slicing. Freezing firms up the meat and makes it easy to slice paper thin.

authentic pho tai recipe made from scratch

FAQs and Expert Tips

How do you pronounce Phở?

Phở is pronounced as FA.

Is phở healthy to eat?

YES. Phở is a nutrient-rich soup made of bone broth, lean beef or chicken, and fresh vegetables.

What is the difference between Ramen and phở?

Ramen is typically made with a rich pork broth and egg noodles. Pho is made with a clear beef or chicken bone broth and rice noodles.

What is Phở Tai?

Phở Tai is the version of Phở that contains beef broth and rare steak.

I’m a true believer in the magical healing properties of soup – Especially Chicken Noodle Soup.

Phở Gá (Chicken Phở) is one of my favorite versions of chicken noodle soup. Once you give the traditional beef version a try, the chicken version should be next on your list.

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Vermicelli Noodle Bowls with Lemongrass Shrimp is one of my favorite things to make. You can easily make this popular Vietnamese recipe at home. These noodle bowls are packed with flavor and a ton of healthy veggies.
vermicelli noodle bowl recipe

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This Hawaiian style fried chicken is impressively umami-filled. Top it with spicy sriracha aioli. Are your taste buds ready? 
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Bowl of Pho with Sriracha

Homemade Phở Tai (Vietnamese Noodle Soup)

by: Laura Reigel
Vietnamese Beef Noodle Soup. Making Phở at home is easy and this recipe and it's so good that I honestly think it's one of the best bowls of soup, I've ever had. The spices are spot one and the broth tastes rich and super fresh. So Yummy!!!
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 20 minutes
Course Soup
Cuisine Vietnamese
Servings 6


  • large soup pot



  • 2 lbs braising beef, Short Ribs, Beef Knuckle, or Oxtail
  • 3.75 quarts filtered water, 15 cups


  • 5 large onions, peeled, left whole
  • 1 bunch fresh cilantro, stalks and leaves divided
  • 1 4 inch piece fresh ginger
  • bunch scallions


  • 1-2 star anise
  • 1-2 black cardamom nut
  • 1 cinnamon sticks
  • sea salt
  • black pepper
  • fish sauce
  • mushroom seasoning
  • lemon
  • white Vinegar
  • 1 lb lean beef
  • 12 ounces rice sticks, Banh pho


  • bean sprouts
  • fresh basil
  • fresh limes
  • jalapeño peppers
  • chili pepper


  • Add braising beef to a large stock pot and cover with water. 
    2 lbs braising beef, 3.75 quarts filtered water
  • Add 4 of the peeled onions and the cilantro stalks. 
    5 large onions, 1 bunch fresh cilantro
  • Bring to a boil. Maintain heat at a vigorous boil. This allows the scum to come to the surface. 
  • Skim off the top of the broth to ensure that is stays clear. 
  • Once there is no more scum coming to the topic reduce the heat and simmer for 3-4 hours. 
  • Place the aromatics, the star anise, cardamom, cinnamon, and ginger in a cloth or cheese cloth bag so that they can be easily removed later. 
    1 4 inch piece fresh ginger, bunch scallions, 1-2 star anise, 1-2 black cardamom nut, 1 cinnamon sticks
  • Let the aromatics steep in the simmering broth unit the flavors are infused into the broth. Don't let the flavors get too strong. 
  • Cook the rice sticks according to directions. Set aside. 
    12 ounces rice sticks
  • Freeze beef for about an hour. Slice thinly. 
  • Thinly slice beef can be cooked in hot broth before serving or immedietely before. 
  • Slice remaining onion into thin slices. Add to bowl immediately before adding hot broth. 
Keyword beef pho, pho, pho recipe

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One Comment

  1. 5 stars
    The fish sauce you choose is very controversial and will depends on what part of Vietnam you descended from. As the child of south Vietnamese parents we grew up on 3 Crabs brand.

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