Vietnamese beef pho broth

If yVietnamese beef pho brothou are Vietnamese, please jump to the link at the end of this page for my Vietnamese version on the press

Pho is not difficult but it requires time and attention. In this hub, I am going to share Vietnamese Pho broth recipe for a serious cook.

MAKE 12-15 bowls

5lb. beef leg bones, cut into 2-3″ pieces, marrow removed
3 oz. ginger, grilled and bruised
1 medium-big onion, grilled and peeled
2-4 cinnamon sticks, toasted
3-4 star anise, toasted
3-4 cardamons, toasted
Salt and rock sugar
Fish sauce, to taste
2 small dried squid, grilled


1. Parboil the bone in salted water, wash off and place aside. Bring 6l of water to boil, add 1-2 tbsp. salt then add the bone. Simmer for 5-6 hours, skim any scums and top with boiled water twice as the water level reduces. Leave to cool.

2. Add 1/4 cup of fish sauce to cold broth (above) and bring to boiling point. Reduce the heat and simmer.

3. Meanwhile, prepare the spices. Grilled ginger, onion and squid over charcoal or fire, scrape ginger’s skin, peel onion, scrape burnt part from the squid and add all to the stockpot. Toast/grill cardamons, star anise and cinnamon sticks till release aroma, add to the stockpot. Keep simmer for 2 hours then add sugar, salt to taste; after 15-30 minutes, turn off the heat and strain the stock through a fine sieves or a colander lined with cheese cloth. Dishcard the solid.


  • A high-pot makes better broth. Also, because water will evaporate less, you will not have to top-up the broth very ofter. As a result, it saves precious energy (gas, electricity) and requires less attention.
  • Mind the heat, rolling boil ruins the broth
  • You might skip the parboil step and the skim scums step, leave the broth overnight and lift the solid fat.
  • Do not leave spices soak in cold broth, they bitter the broth
  • Cook a large pot and store the stock in the freeze for future craving