Skip to main content

Vietnamese Beef Pho

Heat up During Winter With Pho!

The wintertime is a great time to put on a couple of pounds to help stay warm, and what better way to stay warm with a huge bowl of spicy and hot Vietnamese pho?

This beef pho recipe isn’t traditional by any means, but it is quite spicy, so let your tongue beware. You’ll be able to get four servings out of this recipe, and may have good luck by doubling up on the quantity of spices. Pho is very forgiving, but takes a long time to brew. You’ll be able to enjoy an entire day of your home filled with the smell of beef and spice.

Hands on time: 30 minutes.

Total time required: 6 – 8 hours.

Broth Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbsp cardamom pods
  • 1 Tbsp cloves
  • 1 Tbsp fennel
  • 1 Tbsp anise pods
  • 1 Tbsp salt
  • 1 Tsp sugar
  • 2 Tbsps fish oil
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • ½ Tsp allspice
  • 1 Tbsp whole peppercorn
  • 1 Tsp rosemary
  • Beef bouillon cubes (to taste)
  • ½ of a lime
  • 5 lbs beef knuckle
  • 1 lb beef tripe
  • 1 lb beef round
  • 1/4th of a red onion
  • 1.5 gallons of water
  • Rice noodles
  • Teabag
  • Deep bowls


  • Basil
  • Lime
  • Cilantro
  • Sriracha
  • Hoisin sauce
  • Green Jalapenos
  • Onion slices
  • Bean sprouts
  • Chili flakes


  1. Separate the beef knuckle into a few pieces.
  2. Lightly salt and pepper the beef knuckle pieces.
  3. Fill a large pot with water, and place the beef knuckle inside so that it is submerged.
  4. Set the stove to high temperature, and bring the water to a rolling boil.
  5. Boil the beef knuckle for 30 minutes.
  6. Skim the fat that bubbles to the top, and discard it. Reduce the level of heat slightly so that the liquid is boiling less turbulently.
  7. Chop the tripe into thumb-sized pieces, and throw it into the pot.
  8. Place all of the spices into one or two teabags, and place them into the pot.
  9. Slice the red onion, then put it into the pot.
  10. Simmer the broth for 6 hours or longer. More time is better. You may have to skim more fat from the top from time to time.
  11. Sample the broth from time to time; it should be very spicy and taste strongly of beef. If the broth does not taste sufficiently strongly of beef, try adding a beef bouillon cube.
  12. 30 minutes before the simmer is done, add the lime to the pot, tasting every five minutes to ensure that the broth doesn’t get too sour. Remove the lime after 10 minutes.
  13. Prepare the rice noodles by soaking them in cold water for 20 minutes. Typically, one fourth of a packet of rice noodles is enough for one person.
  14. While the rice noodles are soaking, prepare the condiments and the beef round.
  15. If the raw beef round is not already sliced thin, slice it as thin as possible, ideally forming pieces that are the dimensions of a credit card. Thicker slices should be made smaller to ensure that their center gets cooked.
  16. Pick the basil and cilantro leaves from the stems, and chop the jalapenos and onions to make neat slices.
  17. Once the rice noodles are done soaking, boil them in a separate pot for 5 minutes, then drain them and place one serving of rice noodles into the bowl that will contain a single serving of pho.
  18. Bring the pot with the pho broth to a rolling boil. This is essential because the heat of the boiling broth will be used to cook the raw beef round.
  19. Place the raw beef round on top of the steaming hot noodles, spreading them out to avoid clumping. Make sure that they have a large amount of surface area pointing upward.
  20. Ladle the boiling pho broth onto the bowl with the raw beef and noodles until the bowl is full, making sure that you have a few pieces of tripe. Watch the raw meat become cooked before your eyes! The ideal pho meat is still a little bit pink.
  21. Turn off the burner and remove the spice teabag and beef knuckle remains from the pot and discard them.
  22. Add whichever condiments you prefer to your bowl, and enjoy! I like to add a dash of sriracha, a dash of hoisin sauce, a little lime juice, and lots of basil, cilantro, and bean sprouts.

Now start to enjoy!