Rich, savory and aromatic Vietnamese Beef Pho noodle soup.
Nothing compares to a bowl of Pho. The unique spice blend of cinnamon, caradamon, star anise, cloves and coriander create an aromatic soup that will taunt your taste buds all day as it simmers on the stove.
I usually buy a Vietnamese pho spice packet from my local Asian grocery store. It's nice to have all the spices together and not have to buy them individually.
Aside from the spices, the toppings also add great flavor and texture to the noodle soup. I highly recommend Thai basil, cilantro and scallions.
I typically use beef marrow bones for Pho but sometimes change it up with a mix of beef neck bones and tendon. You can also add oxtails and brisket which can be sliced up and served.
Beef Pho is served with meatballs and thinly sliced beef eye round. Pour the hot broth over the meat to cook. If you like it more well done, you can boil it in the broth.
I love making this recipe after dinner so the broth can cook, natural release and cool down overnight. I set it and then come back in the morning to strain the soup and refrigerate so the fat solidifies and can be easily removed.
You can definitely simmer the broth for eight hours on the stovetop or in a slow cooker. I prefer to use the Instant Pot method since it's quicker and it makes me feel like the flavors are being locked in.
The broth tastes even better the next day after the flavors have had some cuddle time.
Vietnamese Pho may seem complex to make due to the amount of ingredients involved but it's so easy! Let me break it down for you.
How to Make Vietnamese Pho
- Roast the beef bones. I prefer roasting for more flavor instead of parboiling.
- Add beef bones, water, toasted spices, ginger and onion to Instant Pot. Cook on High for 2 hours.
- Strain the broth, skim off fat and serve with noodles and toppings.
Instant Pot Vietnamese Beef Pho Noodle Soup
- 5-7 lb beef marrow bones or a mix of marrow bones, oxtails and beef neck bones
- 1 onion
- 2 inch knob ginger
- 12 cups water
- 1/4 cup fish sauce
- 1 inch cube yellow rock sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 10 cardamom pods
- 2 black cardamom pods
- 10 star anise
- 5 cloves
- 1 tbsp coriander
- 1 tbsp black peppercorn
- Vietnamese rice noodles
- beef meatballs
- beef eye round, thinly sliced
- Thai basil
- onions thinly sliced
- bean sprouts
- red chilies
- hoisin sauce
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Place bones on a baking sheet and roast for 30 minutes.
- Char the onion and ginger in a skillet or directly over the fire. In a skillet on medium low heat, toast the spices for 3 minutes. Watch closely and constantly move the spices around to toast evenly.
- Instant Pot: Add the bones, onion, ginger, spices, water, fish sauce, sugar and salt to the Instant Pot. Cook on high pressure for two hours or use the Broth function.
- Let the Instant Pot natural release fully or natural release 30 minutes then turn to vent. Be careful as a lot of steam will be released.
- Remove the beef bones, ginger and onion and strain the broth into a large pitcher or bowl. Let the broth settle for 15 minutes then skim off the fat. Or let the broth completely cool, refrigerate and remove the solidified fat layer.
- Cook rice noodles according to package instructions. In a pot, add broth, meatballs, salt to taste and bring to a boil. Add the noodles and beef slices to a serving bowl. Slowly pour the hot broth over the beef to cook. Add desired toppings and happy nomming!
- Parboil the bones for 10 minutes instead of roasting.
- Optional: Remove marrow and tendon from bones to serve.
- Make a day ahead and strain the broth. Let the broth fully cool and refrigerate. The fat with solidify and be easier to remove.