What does Pho mean in Vietnamese

Vietnamese noodle soup (Pho)

The other day we got a message from Sebastian on Facebook. Will he be allowed to cook for Madame Cuisine? He had read that our friend Jan had recently made roulades for us. When I asked what his specialty was, he said, "Pho". Means: Vietnamese noodle soup with fresh herbs and other side dishes, light Asian, nutritious and healthy. Brilliant! So we fixed that right away, and a suitable day was quickly found.

Visit from the Pho master

When the doorbell rang last Sunday, a huge folding box full of ingredients came running up the stairs. The hands on the box belonged of course to Sebastian, whose head we discovered a little later. While chopping the ingredients and preparing the soup, we had ample opportunity to fathom the secret of his Pho: The fact is that Sebastian is a true globetrotter and plans a trip every free minute, or in some distant country Earth is stuck. Of course he has already been to Vietnam, where he got to know and love this noodle soup. So much so that he absolutely had to try the recipe himself - which in turn worked so well that he now constantly cooks Pho for himself and his friends.

The practical thing about this soup is: once cooked, you can keep it warm for hours or reheat it again and again. The pho is namely the "24 hour soup" - because it not only cooks for a long time, but is also eaten at any time of the day or night. However, it is most popular in Vietnam as a healthy and light breakfast.

Annika and Jan (yes, Jan) were also guests. And so the five of us plus children were soon sitting comfortably at the kitchen table, filling our plates one ladle after the other. The Vietnamese noodle soup is also a great meal during the Christmas season: it is light, warm, healthy and smells of anise and cinnamon. Gorgeous!

Vietnamese noodle soup (Pho)

The Vietnamese noodle soup (Pho) can be enjoyed at any time of the day. With fresh broth, fine spices, sprouts, herbs and tender beef.
Preparation time 20min.
Country & Region Vietnamese


For the broth / soup

  • 4 liter beef broth
  • 6-7 cloves of fresh garlic
  • 1 large ginger bulb
  • 8Anis stars
  • 3 long cinnamon sticks
  • 10dried cloves
  • 3 cardamom capsules

Side dish for the soup

  • 600g rice noodles
  • 400g good beef, e.g. hip or entrecote
  • 1bunch of coriander
  • 1bunch of Thai basil
  • 1bundMint
  • 1bunch spring onions
  • 1 small bag of mung bean sprouts
  • 3 small red chillies
  • 2 limes
  • Sauces of your choice, e.g. Sriracha sauce, fish sauce, Hoisin sauce


  • Peel the garlic and ginger and cut into thin slices. Cook together with the other ingredients of the soup for at least 1 hour. After about 10 minutes, the pleasant room note sets in, and your apartment smells of Vietnamese cookery.
  • Wash herbs and remove larger stems. Eighth limes. Cut the chillies into small rings. Cut the meat into 2-4mm thin sheaths perpendicular to the fibers.
  • Serve side dishes and sauces in separate bowls
  • Cook rice noodles shortly according to the package instructions and collect in a colander.
  • Arrange meat and pasta per person in a large bowl. Pour boiling broth over it (the meat will cook, but will stay pink on the inside). Season with herbs, sprouts and sauces to taste.
Keywords noodle soup, pho, Vietnamese soup

Here are a few more tips for the whole pho enjoyment: In Vietnam, people eat (or should we say: slurp) with chopsticks, sometimes with a ceramic spoon as well. The broth is ideally clear, it is the "heart" of the soup. The connoisseur stirs the soup and herbs with his chopsticks, and then tries a spoonful of pure broth first. With Pho one drinks water or tea; At a given time of day, we also like to treat ourselves to a beer. Good Appetite!

Recipe categories: Asian / Oriental, Soups & Stews Search words: Noodle Soup, Pho, Soup, Vietnamese