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Homemade Beef Pho

One of our favorite comfort foods while living in Seattle was Pho. There was no better way to cozy up, than with this traditional Vietnamese broth and noodle dish. We always had the veggie pho, as there was no halal option. But I’ve been wanting to try making my own homemade beef pho. 

amandas plate beef pho, homemade beef pho

If you follow me on Instagram ( @AmandasPlate) you know how long the broth making process took… about 12 hours. And honestly, I could have simmered the broth longer, but we were hungry and that is what I had planned to make for dinner. 

I did receive some messages from people suggesting getting an Instant Pot, as the broth would have been done in about an hour. But I really do not want to get another large appliance and I don’t really mind waiting. Great things take time and it is part of this rewarding process called cooking. 

I found several similar recipes online and ultimately combined two that I found on Serious Eats and All Recipes. The difference with the two were some spices and I love a punch of flavor so I used them all. 

The broth starts with beef stew bones. You can either sear them or roast them in the oven. I decided to roast them, as my pot was not large enough to sear at once, and I need to be hands free and available for little Hannah Bear.

In the traditional preparation (I think I saw this on travel channel) the onions and ginger are charred on an open flame on the stove top. This char brings out a caramelization in the veg and helps bring a rich depth to the broth. I roasted the onions and ginger with the beef stew bones and it works great! 

Homemade Beef Pho
Author: Amanda
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 6-8 servings
  • 2 large onions
  • 6 inch piece of ginger, split in half
  • 3 pounds beef stew bones
  • 3 whole star anise pods
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 4 cloves
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons rock sugar (granulated works too)
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt (diamond crystal is best)
  • To Serve
  • pho rice noodles (I used 1/4 inch thick)
  • 1 pound beef flank steak, thinly sliced
  • 2 cups fresh herbs (thai basil, mint, cilantro)
  • 2 cup bean sprouts
  • 1/2 cup sliced green onions
  • thai chilis, sliced thin
  • 2-3 limes
  • sriarcha, hoisin and chili paste
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Place the beef stew bones on a sheet tray. Place in oven and roast for 30 minutes. Add the onion and ginger to the sheet tray and roast for another 45 minutes, until bones and onions are browned.
  3. In a large stock pot, place the beef bones, onions and ginger and cover with cold water. Add star anise, cinnamon, fennel, cloves, fish sauce, rock sugar and kosher salt to the pot. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat and allow to simmer.
  4. Simmer for 6-12 hours, skimming any impurities from the top of the pot.
  5. Strain the broth into a saucepan and set aside.
  6. Prepare rice noodles according to package instructions. I soaked my noodles in a bowl for one hour, then drain. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and placed the the noodles into the large pot.
  7. Bring broth to a rolling simmer.
  1. Place thinly sliced flank steak into your serving bowls. Pour the broth overtop (this will cook the meat, alternatively, you can cook the steak in oil for 1-2 minutes)
  2. Place the rice noodles in the bowl and top with cilantro, thai basil. mint, bean sprouts, green onions, chills and sriracha.
  3. Enjoy!


Make this recipe? I’d love to see! Tag me using #CreateAmandasPlate or @AmandasPlate!




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  1. As a Vietnamese from the North, where Pho originates, I would suggest:

    1. The five essential spices for the broth: cloves, cinnamon, coriander seeds, black cardamom and star anise
    2. Fish sauce should not be used (although it’s very South East Asian) since it could make the broth become sour.
    3. The broth could also contain roasted onions, shallots and gingers.
    4. Traditionally we don’t roast nor sear the beef bones. The bones will be boiled quickly at first. When there are bubbles (which are the dirt), immediately pour the water out of the pot, refill it and start simmering. You can do it one more time if the amount of dirt is significant, however, avoid doing so in order to keep the nutrition and taste. While simmering, use a spoon to get rid of the bubbles, so you will have the transparent broth.

    Good luck and have fun with this very traditional and sophisticated dish!

    1. HI Kien! Thanks so much for this information! This is great to know 😀 I guess the recipes I found had more of an American influence, given the lack of spice? Regardless, I appreciate you sharing! -Amanda

  2. Thanks so much for sharing this recipe Amanda! I made it yesterday, and it came out so yummy!
    I added the cardamom that Kien suggested (green, because I didn’t have black) and had to use meat-in bones (slices of leg), because they didn’t have plain bones at the butcher’s.
    It turned out to be good, because we ate this meat instead of adding additional one.
    It took three hours in the pressure cooker, and the meat still had some flavor in it and was tender.

    Thank you for your inspiration and for the detailed recipe.

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