Pho in our A-Z - Cooking Index
Pho is a traditional Vietnamese rice-noodle soup.
The broth is generally made by simmering beef (and sometimes chicken) bones, oxtails, flank steak, charred onion, and spices, taking several hours to prepare. Seasonings include Saigon cinnamon, star anise, charred ginger, cloves, and sometimes black cardamom pods.
The noodles, called bánh phở in Vietnamese, are traditionally cut from wide sheets of fresh rice noodles similar to Chinese Shahe fen, although dried noodles (also called "rice sticks") may also be used.
The dish is garnished with ingredients such as green onions, white onions, coriander leaves (cilantro), ngò gai (culantro, or long coriander), Thai basil, lemon or lime wedges, and bean sprouts.
There are several regional variants of pho in Vietnam, particularly divided between northern, central and southern. One regional pho may be sweeter, and another variation may emphasize a bolder and spicier flavor. "Northern pho" tends to use somewhat wider noodles and green onions. On the other hand, southern Vietnamese generally use thinner noodles and add bean sprouts and a greater variety of fresh herbs to their pho instead.