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How to Make Your Own Pho Soup From Scratch

Melissa is a certified food scientist with over 20 years in the food industry. New food development and matching are her specialties.

How to Make Homemade Pho

How to Make Homemade Pho

Building a Great Pho

The key to making pho is making a good bone broth. I was surprised to learn that one of the signature ingredients in the broth is star anise. When you smell it cooking, though, it makes perfect sense.

In this recipe, we roast beef bones to better develop their flavor before adding them to the soup. There are several types of beef bones that can be used. Bone broth offers multiple health benefits, including amino acids and minerals.

What makes the best broth is a very subjective argument, so feel free to use this as a building block to create your favorite. Just don't scrimp on time. It's what defines bone broth.

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For the pho:

  • 4 lbs beef bones for stock
  • 1 yellow onion, peeled and halved
  • 5 cloves garlic, mashed and peeled
  • 2 pods star anise
  • 2 thumbs fresh ginger, peeled and halved lengthwise
  • 4 qts water
  • 2 1/2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 lb sirloin, sliced extremely thin
  • 8 oz rice vermicelli
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To taste:

  • Cilantro, stems removed
  • Bean sprouts
  • Basil, typically Thai
  • Sliced jalapeño
  • Mint
  • Green onion, sliced
  • Hoison sauce
  • sriracha
  • Lime wedges, juice squeezed into soup


  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil, and place the beef bones on top. Roast for 30-45 minutes or until brown.
  2. Fill an 8-quart stock pot with the water. Add the beef, onion, garlic, star anise, ginger, fish sauce, and beef bones. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook, covered, for 6-10 hours. Strain the stock and salt to taste.
  3. Cook the noodles according to the package directions, then rinse with cold water. (If the noodles are thin enough, the hot broth will cook them and no precooking is necessary.)
  4. Assemble the soup: Divide the noodles between 4 extra large bowls, then add the "to taste" accoutrements as desired. For example: a cup of bean sprouts, a handful of cilantro and basil, a couple of sprigs of mint, 1 Tbsp green onion, 3-4 slices jalapeño, the juice of one quarter lime. Put the raw sirloin in the bowl and immediately add the boiling broth. The broth will be hot enough to cook the sirloin to rare. If you don't like rare meat, you can add the sirloin to the broth while it is still boiling and let it cook until preferred doneness.
  5. Taste the soup and add the hoison and sriracha sauce as desired.

Bone Broth Cooking

I use a colander insert in my stock pot that makes it easy to strain the broth.

I use a colander insert in my stock pot that makes it easy to strain the broth.

Sliced Beef




© 2017 Melissa Holton

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