Phở Bò (Spicy Beef Vietnamese Noodle Soup)

Pho Bo vietnamese Soup with beef on bamboo tray on wooden background.
Number of Servings: 
Serves 4
Recipe Source: 
Enlightened Soups by Camilla V. Saulsbury ($27.95, Cumberland House, 2008)


  • 14 cup coarsely chopped fresh ginger
  • 2 whole star anise
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 6 cups low-sodium beef broth
  • 12 lb piece boneless beef sirloin, trimmed of any fat
  • 3 ounces dried flat rice noodles
  • 14 cup Asian fish sauce (e.g., naam pla)
  • 14 teaspoon cayenne
  • 2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 2 cups fresh bean sprouts, rinsed and drained
  • 12 cup minced green onions
  • 14 cup fresh cilantro leaves, coarsely chopped
  • 13 cup fresh basil leaves, sliced
  • Sriracha (southeast Asian hot sauce)
  • Lime wedges for garnish


  1. Tie the ginger, star anise, and cinnamon in a piece of cheesecloth. Place in a large saucepan with the broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, cut the sirloin across the grain into very thin slices (use a very sharp knife). In a large bowl soak the noodles in hot water to cover 15 minutes or until softened and pliable.
  3. While noodles are soaking, bring a kettle of salted water to a boil. Drain the noodles and cook in the boiling water, stirring 45 seconds, or until tender. Drain the noodles.
  4. Remove cheesecloth of spices from the broth. Bring broth back to a boil. Stir in the fish sauce, cayenne, and lime juice.
  5. Add the sirloin and cook 30 to 45 seconds or until the sirloin changes color.
  6. Skim any froth from the soup. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  7. To serve, divide noodles into 4 bowls. Ladle the soup over the noodles. Sprinkle the sprouts, green onions, cilantro, and basil over the soup and serve with the Sriracha and lime wedges.
Nutrition Info: 
Calories 222; fat 4.9g; protein 23.5g; cholesterol 50.43mg; sodium 597mg; carbohydrate 19.6mg