How To Recipes

Pho for Beginners

vietnamese pho cooking in sens

Photo: Rosemary/Cooking in Sens

Ever see all those lovely Pho recipes and want to try making your own? Perhaps the recipe seems to laborious or intimidating. Never fear- we’ve created the essential guide to help your grasp the basics for making an excellent Pho- that is delicious and authentic! Set a date, invite over some friends, and showcase the newest addition to your culinary repertoire!

vietnamese pho spices story of a kitchen

Photo: Lisa/Story of a Kitchen

Selecting Spices

Using the right spices is essential to building the foundation of your Pho. Using whole spices allows for the broth of the soup to develop a warm flavor. Lisa from Story of a Kitchen uses the following spices to help build a flavorful Pho broth.

  • Ginger knobs
  • Cinnamon sticks
  • Coriander seeds
  • Fennel Seeds
  • Star Anise
  • Cardamom pods
  • Whole Cloves
  • Peppercorns
  • Salt
pho essential ingredients chilli and mint

Photo: Torie/Chilli and Mint

The Essential Ingredients

After building flavor with your spices, it is time to add the essential ingredients to add another level of flavor to your Pho. These ingredients not only add various flavor components but create texture in the dish. From spicy to savory, chewy to crunchy, there are a myriad of components to choose from for your essential ingredients. Torie from Chilli and Mint suggests these ingredients below, which were inspired from her cooking lesson taken in Hoi An.

  • Garlic
  • Shallots
  • Roasted Onions
  • Bean Sprouts
  • Asian Basil
  • Red Chilis
  • Chili Paste
  • Beef Bones
  • Fresh Pho noodles/Rice noodles
vietnamese pho meat vicky pham

Photo: Vicky/Vicky Pham

It’s All About the Meat

Pho is known for its meat based broth as well as the addition of meat ingredients. Pho is traditionally made with beef broth and has has various types of beef added to it. Vicky from Vicky Pham goes for the tradition meat additions of thinly sliced beef or meatballs. But if red meat isn’t your thing, try some of these other meat or vegetarian friendly proteins!

  • Eye round beef-steak, thinly sliced
  • Beef meatballs (Bo Vien)
  • Chicken (shredded)
  • Ground Pork
  • Tofu
vietnamese pho veggies hugs n kitchen

Photo: Lauren/Hugs ‘n Kitchen

Veg out

If going for the plant based route, a vegetable based Pho is still just as hearty and delicious at the original meat recipe. Lauren from Hugs ‘n Kitchen created a veggie-friendly Pho that has all the fixings! Check out some of her vegetable based ideas!

  • Jalapeno slices
  • Mushrooms
  • Baby Bok Choy
  • Mung beans
  • Steamed Broccoli
  • Bamboo shoots
  • Baby carrots and corn
vietnamese pho inspired taste

Photo: Adam and Joanne/Inspired Taste

Top it Off

The finishing touches are almost as important to your ingredients! Toppings add that extra layer of flavor to every slurp of your dish! Check out these topping ideas inspired from Adam and Joanne of Inspired Taste.

  • Sliced Jalapenos
  • Fresh Basil
  • Chili flakes
  • Sriracha
  • Hoisin sauce
  • Fish sauce
  • Cilantro
  • Lime wedges
  • Bean sprouts


Now that you have the basics, you are ready to make your own Pho! Happy slurping!

You Might Also Like

No Comments

Leave a Reply