Simple recipes step-by-step

Pho Bo Soup: Vietnamese Spicy Recipe

The Pho Bo soup is popular even here, as its foundation is a strong broth. It's a traditional Vietnamese spicy soup that is very hearty. Try the Pho Bo recipe.

What is Pho Bo?

Pho Bo is a very hearty soup containing rice noodles, pieces of meat, and vegetables. It’s a typical Vietnamese soup served in a traditional bowl. While it may seem that a lot of ingredients are needed for the soup, the resulting combination of flavors will surprise both you and your taste buds.

Meaning of the word Pho Bo

If you’re wondering about the origin of the name of this Vietnamese soup, it’s simple. “Pho” translates to wide noodles, and “Pho bo” denotes beef broth. So, the combination of words describes the traditional Vietnamese spicy soup, Pho Bo.

What does Pho Bo contain?

The foundation of the soup is a broth made from turkey and beef. However, it’s not a traditional broth, as the flavoring of the broth uses a combination of spices like star anise, cloves, coriander, cinnamon, and ginger.

You can also try: Tripe soup recipe

Pho Bo Soup: Vietnamese Spicy Recipe

Difficulty: Advanced Prep time 15 min Cook time 330 min Total time 5 hrs 45 mins
Servings: 4


If you're a fan of chili and spicy foods, then prepare the Vietnamese spicy soup with added chili peppers – the quantity depends on your taste and preferences. On the other hand, if you're not fond of spicy foods, you can skip this ingredient.


Ingredients for the broth

Ingredients for the Pho Bo


  1. Don't peel the ginger and onion; just cut them in half. In a soup pot, dry roast the vegetables. Then remove them and wash the pot.
  2. Add beef ribs, beef shank, and marrow bones to the pot and fill with cold water. Bring to a boil, then turn off the heat and discard the water. Clean the meat thoroughly.
  3. Again, add the meat to the pot with cold water and add the onion and ginger. Also, add cinnamon, cardamom, coriander, star anise, and cloves. Add fish sauce, cane sugar, and a pinch of salt to taste.
  4. Let the soup simmer, ideally on low heat, for about 5 hours. Regularly add water to keep the pot full.
  5. Once the broth is ready, remove all the ingredients and strain it through a cloth. Season with salt and fish sauce.
  6. Before serving, soak the rice noodles in cold water for 30 minutes.
  7. Slice the raw beef into very thin slices, prepare the herbs, and all other soup ingredients.
  8. Bring the broth to a boil. In a bowl, add the noodles and meat and pour the hot broth over them. Finally, garnish with herbs, onion, and bamboo shoots.
  9. For seasoning, add lime, chili, and sauces to the table.


How to serve Pho Bo soup?

Just before you start eating, squeeze lime into the soup. True Vietnamese gourmets serve the soup by slicing the sirloin into thin slices, placing them raw on a plate, and pouring hot soup over them. The thin slices of meat cook and remain juicy.

Vietnamese Pho soup is a very distinctive soup that you will surely fall in love with. The recipe is quite variable, so you can adjust the dish according to your tastes.

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