Best PHO – Linh’s family recipe

A couple of weeks ago I invited Linh, a friend of mine, to cook with me. I always wanted to know how to make a real Vietnamese soup and so she brought her Moms recipe of a beef pho with her and we started our little project.

The result was amazing, I was totally blown away by the deep and complex flavors. Seriously this was the best pho I’ve ever had in my entire life! I am now completely obsessed with it and also want to share this with you!

Although it is so easy to make, there is no way to cook a proper pho in a short time – you need to spend some time in the kitchen to receive the real flavor. Cooks in Vietnam tend to their stock pots till it’s finished. You also need to be patient – you will be definitely rewarded every second you wait – as Linh’s mom used to say:

“If you want to have a pho for lunch – start cooking a day in advance! 
This will always have the best taste.”

To slurp your beef pho as quick as you like use a spoon and a pair of chopsticks. Thank you so much Linh for sharing!!!


SERVES: 6                                                                TOTAL TIME: 6 HOURS


  • 250g leg meat from cattle
  • 200g beef bones
  • 20g ginger, peeled
  • 1 big onion, peeled
  • 1 star anis
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • coffee filter and a long cord
  • 1 filter bag of GIA VI PHO PASTEUR – a Chinese special spice (a grounded mixture of star anise, fennel, coriander, cinnamon, sugar, cloves) – you can find this in every Asian food store
  • 6 Tablespoons fish sauce, plus extra if needed
  • salt and pepper
  • 600g rice noodles


  • 1 big onion, finely sliced
  • a bunch of Thai basil, finely chopped
  • a bunch of coriander, finely chopped
  • a bunch of spring onions, sliced
  • 3 chilis, finely sliced
  • 200g beef fillet, finely sliced
  • 300g bean sprouts
  • 3 lemon wedges


  • Put the leg meat and the beef bones in a large pot and pour over water to cover by 4cm. Bring it to the boil. Then empty the pot and wash the meat and the pot. Put everything back in the pot and refill it again with fresh water and bring it to the boil again.
  • Roast the whole ginger and onion in a pan, until darkened – don’t use any oil! Put it into the broth! Turn down the temperature of the the oven to medium heat until the broth is simmering. Leave it like this for 2 hours.
  • Make sure there is always enough water in the pot and the meat is covered. If necessary refill it with some more hot water.
  • Put the cinnamon stick and star anis into a coffee filter and use a cord to tie together. Add this self- made bag and the filter bag of pho pasteur to the broth – let it simmer for another 3-4 hours.
  • Make sure there is no foam in the soup – look after the soup every 10-15 minutes and just scoop out the foam.
  • Remove the leg meat as soon as it is well done. It must not be that soft cooked, so that it pulls apart! Let it cool down and then slice it finely.
  • Season the broth to taste with fish sauce, salt and pepper.
  • Cook the rice noodles according to the pack instructions. Drain, then rinse off with warm water so the noodles don’t stick together.
  • Take a big soup bowl and fill it first with bean sprouts then the rice noodles. Add the raw thinly sliced beef fillet, sliced leg meat, onions and herbs. Poor the hot broth over it.
  • Season your soup with lemon, fish sauce and fresh chillies.


I hope you’ll enjoy this delicious family recipe as much as I did!

Happy cooking!!!!

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