Beef Rice Noodles Soup

Pho Bo


1 kg Shin beef bones

340 g Lean stewing beef

5 1/4 pints Water

1 Onion, unpeeled and halved

3 Ginger, unpeeled and halved

1 Cinnamon stick

6 Peppercorns

6 Coriander seeds

4 Star anise

2 Carrots, unpeeled, cut into chunks


225 g Thick steak in one piece

225 g Rice noodles

455 g Flat, thick dried noodles

2 tablespoon Nuoc Cham (fish sauce)

1 Brown onion, thinly sliced

3 Green onions (scallions), finely chopped

125 g Beansprouts

50 g Coriander (cilantro) leaves, torn into sprigs

50 g Mint leaves, chopped

1 Red chili pepper, seeded and sliced into rings

2 Limes cut into wedges

Method :

  • Pour the water into a large pot. Add the shin bones and beef. Bring to the boil and skim the surface. Turn heat to medium-low, partially cover and simmer for two hours. skimming often, before add in remaining broth ingredients. Simmer another 90 minutes and remove from heat. Leave to cool.

  • Strain the broth through a fine sieve and discard bones, carrots, onion and spices. Skim fat from broth. Cut the beef finely across the grain to paper thinness. Reserve.

  • Soak rice noodles in warm water about 20 minutes until soft, drain and reserve.

  • Return broth pot to heat. Boil with Nuoc Cham then reduce heat to very low. Fill a separate big pot three-quarters full of water and boil, add noodles and rinsed bean sprouts.

  • Continue cooking until noodles are tender but not mushy. Bean sprouts should retain some crispness.

  • Serve boiling broth first then drain noodles into 6 bowls, top equally with beef, raw onion rings, chopped green onions (scallions), and thin raw steak slices, which will par-cook in the bowls.

  • Garnish with coriander and mint leaves.


The beef will be easiest to slice if semi-frozen from the freezer. Diners help themselves to chili rings and lime wedges. This recipe can also be adapted for chicken which takes less time to cook.

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2 thoughts on “Beef Rice Noodles Soup

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