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Homemade Pho

Skip the expensive restaurants and food additives by learning how to make pho at home! This nourishing Vietnamese soup provides the benefits of bone broth, meat, and veggies in a simple meal. Perfect for busy weeknight dinners or nourishment while you're sick!

Course Main Course, Main Dish, Soup
Cuisine vietnamese
Keyword bone broth, homemade soup, pho
Prep Time 1 day
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 1 day 15 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Calories 243 kcal
Author betsy


For the broth

  • 8 pounds beef bones I used marrow bones
  • 2 medium onions quartered
  • 2 whole heads garlic halved
  • 4 2-inch pieces ginger sliced
  • 6 whole star anise
  • 12 whole cloves
  • 2 whole cinnamon sticks
  • 2 black cardamom pods
  • 2 tablespoon fennel seeds
  • 2 tablespoon coriander seeds
  • 2 tablespoon salt
  • 1/2 cup fish sauce
  • 3 tablespoon sugar

For the soup

  • 1 pound sirloin beef very lean and trimmed of visible fat
  • 1/4 pound Chinese or Vietnamese rice noodles

To Garnish

  • 1 1/3 cups fresh bean sprouts
  • 4 scallions thinly sliced
  • 2 jalapeno very thinly sliced
  • 1/3 cup fresh cilantro leaves or Thai basil coarsely chopped
  • Asian hot-chile sauce
  • fresh limes


To make the broth

  1. Place the bones in a large stockpot and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil over high heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes before draining and rinsing the bones with water. DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP.

  2. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Spread rinsed bones, onion, garlic, and ginger into an even layer in a roasting pan. (Use two pans if you cannot make an even layer in one) Roast for 60 minutes stirring once halfway through.

  3. As the bones are roasting, add all star anise, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom pods, coriander seeds, and fennel seeds to a large, dry skillet over low heat. Toast your spices, stirring often to prevent burning, until fragrant, approximately 5 minutes. Make a spice sachet by transfer to your cheesecloth and gathering at the top and tying with kitchen twine.

  4. Transfer the bones into a slow cooker. Scrape bits and juices remaining in the roasting pan into the pot with the bones. (*see note)

  5. Cover bones with water and add spice sachet, 1/2 cup fish sauce and 3 tablespoons sugar. Cook on low for 12-24 hours, occasionally skimming the fat and foam from the top of the pot. Add more water if the bones do not stay submerged.

  6. Strain the broth through a fine mesh strainer. At this point you can cool the broth completely, place in airtight containers and freeze for future use. Or, prepare the soup. (**see note)

Make the soup

  1. Wrap beef in plastic wrap, and place in the freezer for about 1 hour.
  2. Meanwhile, fill a large bowl with cold water; add rice noodles. Let soak until soft, about 30 minutes. Drain; set aside.
  3. Remove beef from freezer. Using a mandoline or a very sharp knife, slice beef into very thin (1/8 inch) strips.
  4. Divide noodles among six serving bowls, and arrange strips of meat over them. Bring stock to a boil if chilled. Pour boiling stock over meat and noodles, pushing beef into hot liquid so that it cooks. Arrange bean sprouts and other garnishes over beef and noodles; serve immediately.

Recipe Notes

If you don't want to take the time to make broth from scratch, you can substitute 3 cups of beef stock, 1 1/2 cups water and 3 Tablespoons of fish sauce. Combine and bring to a boil. Pour over noodles and sliced beef. 

*If you do not have a crock pot, you can simmer the bones on the stove, cool, place in fridge overnight, and continue simmering the following day. 

**If you refrigerate the stock a hard, thick layer of fat will form on the top. Use a fork to scoop off the top layer of fat before preparing the soup. 

Nutrition Facts
Homemade Pho
Amount Per Serving (1 serving)
Calories 243 Calories from Fat 36
% Daily Value*
Fat 4g6%
Saturated Fat 1g5%
Cholesterol 42mg14%
Sodium 3931mg164%
Potassium 528mg15%
Carbohydrates 33g11%
Fiber 4g16%
Sugar 10g11%
Protein 20g40%
Vitamin A 190IU4%
Vitamin C 15mg18%
Calcium 105mg11%
Iron 3mg17%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.