Easy beef pho is a delicious and versatile soup that makes for a great family dinner…no matter where in the world you live.Jump to Recipe
We have soup for dinner once a week and I always take family requests. My husband usually wants some kind of hearty chili, even though it’s 90 degrees in Singapore. Sierra, on the other hand, reminds me that her favorite soup is (and always will be) Pho. She ate this soup almost every day during our recent trip to Hanoi! Pronounced “fuh,” Pho is a noodle soup famous in Vietnam and is traditionally made with beef (pho bo) or chicken (pho ga).
How can one soup tick so many boxes?
This flavorful soup is both simple and complex. It’s warm and satisfying, yet light and refreshing. How can one soup tick all of these boxes? The clear broth is infused with a variety of spices and the flat, linguine-like-noodles are made from rice, rather than wheat. The soup is topped with fresh herbs like mint, basil and cilantro. Lean sirloin is thinly sliced and added at the end, so the hot broth can perfectly cook the meat. Pho is the ultimate street food in Vietnam and is commonly served for breakfast, but can really be eaten any time of day. You can make an easy beef pho right in your own home!
Some argue that making a proper beef pho broth is a long and complex process. Boiling bones, roasting aromatics, toasting spices and simmering the broth for 2-3 hours (all the while skimming the fat that rises to the top) are some of the steps. I tried this and was completely disappointed. I clearly did something wrong! There were so many steps, I couldn’t even pinpoint what to change for next time.
An authentic-tasting pho can be very simple
I’ve since learned that all you really need is store-bought beef broth and the right aromatics and spices, for an authentic-tasting beef pho. The whole process is fool-proof. You can make this easy beef pho recipe in 30 minutes…and all in a single pot.
Start by placing the sirloin steak in the freezer for 15 minutes (this makes it easier to slice thin) while you make the broth. Next, saute a thinly sliced onion, two garlic cloves and two thick slices of fresh ginger in a small bit of oil until the onions are soft (about 5 minutes). Add 3 star anise pods, 2 cinnamon sticks and saute for another minute until the fragrance is released. And finally, pour in 2 liters of your favorite beef broth, ¼ cup of fish sauce, and 2 tablespoons of sugar. Bring this mixture to a boil, reduce to low, and then simmer for 15 minutes.
While the broth is simmering, prepare the flat rice noodles according to the package (typically you boil them for a few minutes) and set aside. If you can’t find pho noodles, you can use other rice noodles, such as pad thai noodles, that are more commonly found. Wash and tear the herbs off the stems and place them on a platter, along with some bean sprouts. I use a lean sirloin steak for beef pho. The key is to slice it very thin, so it will cook in the hot broth. Once the broth is cooked, you will need to strain it to remove all of the aromatics and spices.
Everyone can customize their own bowl!
I love dishes that people can assemble themselves and easy beef pho is perfect for this! You just grab a bowl and take the amount of rice noodles you want. Next, pour the hot beef broth over the top and then immediately add the thinly sliced beef. Swish it around a bit so that it fully cooks. And finally, keep a tray of herbs, chilis, bean sprouts and some lime wedges at the table for people to add as they like. Enjoy!
Easy Beef Pho
Easy beef pho is a delicious and versatile soup that makes for a great family dinner…no matter where in the world you live.
- 2 thick slices ginger
- 1 onion thinly sliced
- 2 garlic cloves peeled
- 3 star anise
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 8 cups beef stock
- 1/4 cup fish sauce
- 1 package of flat rice noodles 14 ounces
- ½ pound sirloin thinly sliced against the grain
- 1 cup bean sprouts
- 1/3 cup fresh basil leaves
- 1/3 cup fresh mint leaves
- 1/3 cup cilantro leaves
- 1 red chili seeds removed, sliced
- Sriracha sauce
Saute onion (thinly sliced), garlic and ginger in a tablespoon of oil until the onions are soft (about 5 minutes).
Add 3 star anise pods, 2 cinnamon sticks and saute for another minute until the fragrance is released.
Pour in 8 cups of your favorite beef broth, ¼ cup of fish sauce, and two tablespoons of sugar. Bring this mixture to a boil, reduce to low, and then simmer for 15 minutes.
While the broth is simmering, prepare the flat rice noodles according to the package (typically you boil them for just a minute or two) and set them aside.
Wash and tear the herbs off the stems and place them, along with bean sprouts on a plate or platter.
Place a lean cut of sirloin steak in the freezer for 15 minutes and thinly slice.
Once broth is finished simmering, strain to remove all of the aromatics and spices. Bring back to a boil just before serving.
Place the amount of cooked rice noodles you want in a bowl pour the hot beef broth over the top. Immediately add the thinly sliced beef so that it fully cooks.
Top with your choice of fresh herbs, chilis, bean sprouts. Add a squeeze of lime and either sliced red peppers or sriracha sauce if you want a spicier version.