Slurp your noodles with abandon in 30 minutes with this Easy Pho Soup Recipe! A quick, satisfying and full-flavor version of Vietnam’s national dish.
Easy Pho Soup Recipe
If you try to order phở at noon in Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City), you may already be too late. Pho soup is traditionally a breakfast food in Vietnam. And while you may have more a bit more luck these days finding pho in the evening as you travel this beautiful country, the more traditional shops open up around 6AM and are sold out around 9 or 10AM. Pho is one of those rare foods that is filling enough to energize you for a day of work or sightseeing in the notorious Southeast Asian heat and humidity – but light enough not to weigh you down. While pho vendors in Vietnam have likely been simmering the rich broth since the day before, my pho soup recipe only takes 30 minutes to prepare from start to finish. You’ll be slurping noodles in no time – at any time of the day or night with this easy recipe!
While most pho recipes include rice noodles, beef or chicken and herbs, the most important element (for me, anyway) is the broth. It typically takes hours to develop rich flavors by simmering bones in the stock-pot. This 30 minute pho soup has a delicate yet super-flavorful broth, deepened by the use of star anise, cloves and cinnamon. These spices really round out the flavor profile and compliment the savory elements of the beef broth and fish sauce. The whole thing is brought together by mint, basil and cilantro leaves added to the individual soup bowls right before serving that introduce an unreal brightness to the pho soup. I really can’t get enough herbs in my pho!
One of my favorite things about pho is its versatility. Like it spicy and sweet? Add a squirt or two of sriracha and hoisin sauce to your bowl. More of a savory, tangy and herby palate? Add a few extra dashes of fish sauce, a squeeze of lime and double up on the herbs. And if you’re looking for a true delicious time-saving lifehack, try this super easy 20 minute chicken pho recipe that uses rotisserie chicken for a blast of smoky richness to your pho soup.
As in most beef pho soup recipes, this preparation calls for paper thin slices of beef to be added to the serving bowls just before your diners dig in. The heat of the broth cooks the thin beef and leaves it extremely tender. If your beef slices are too thick, the hot soup will have a tough time penetrating the beef. It’s definitely tough to slice raw beef paper thin without a meat-slicer. Never fear! Just put your sirloin or London broil into a freezer bag, and place it in the freezer for 15-20 minutes. You’re not actually freezing the meat – but the time spent cooling will firm it up and make it easier to slice thinly.
This easy and delicious pho soup recipe is simple enough to whip up in 30 minutes – but will taste like you spent hours in the kitchen. Your diners don’t have to know how easy it was. And their empty soup-bowls and content smiles will let you know that it was a satisfying hit! How do you like your pho soup? Spicy, sweet, tart, savory? All of the above? I’d love to hear about it in the comments!
Other simple, delicious soup recipes:
- Hot and Sour Soup
- Chicken Tinola
- Red Coconut Curry Soup
- Homemade Ramen (The Easy Way)
- French Onion Soup With Miso
Did you like this Easy Pho Soup Recipe? Are there changes you made that you would like to share? Share your tips and recommendations in the comments section below!