Quick Beef Pho – Vietnamese Beef Noodle Soup

A bowl of quick beef pho, including rice noodles, beef, onions, beansprouts, lemon wedge and fresh herbs.

Quick beef pho is ideal for times when you have a craving but not the time or energy to make it from scratch. This recipe uses store-bought beef stock, which is transformed into delicious pho using toasted aromatics and spices. Beef pho from scratch would normally take at least six hours to prepare properly, however this quick beef pho can be on the table in 50 minutes for you and your family to enjoy.

Transforming Store-Bought Stock into Quick Beef Pho

You absolutely can get a decent bowl of pho using store-bought stock. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Use beef stock AND chicken stock – use a 4:1 ratio of beef and chicken stock for a clearer and sweeter pho broth.
  2. Char the onions and ginger – this adds a smoky flavour to your broth.
  3. Toast the aromatics – This will greatly increase the aroma you can extract from the spices.
  4. Add chuck steak – to improve the richness and depth of flavour of the broth.
  5. Don’t skimp on the broth the amount of broth you have in the bowls matters. The moisture from the noodles and garnishes will dilute the flavour of the pho broth, so season it well and fill those bowls right up with delicious broth!

Our Top Tips for Quick Beef Pho

The Beef

  • If you don’t like the sight of raw meat, then blanch them in the pho broth first before adding them into the bowls.
  • Make sure the water is boiling before adding the beef chunks. This will help stop scum from forming and making your broth cloudy.
  • If you are having trouble cutting the meat thinly, then put it in the freezer for 30 minutes.
  • If you are looking to minimise as much prep work as you can then you can buy packs of beef slices for pho (usually marketed for hotpot) at Asian groceries.

What Stock to Use for Quick Beef Pho

I strongly recommend using the liquid stock over the powdered version. The powdered version will taste very artificial.

Best Noodles for Quick Beef Pho

Fresh rice noodles are best. They can be purchased from most Asian groceries. You can also use dried banh pho noodles.

Toning Down Raw Onion

Thinly sliced raw onions are used in this dish as a garnish. If you find raw onion too overpowering, soak them in water for a few minutes to take the edge off.

Get Your Quick Beef Pho Bowl Piping Hot

Pour boiling water into the soup bowls first to warm them up before serving. Pho is always best when the bowl is piping hot!

Recipe Costing (Australia)

This table shows how much this recipe will cost if you had to go out and buy everything on the ingredients list (“Shop Price”), as well as the value of ingredients actually used in the recipe (“Recipe Cost”).

We haven’t included optional ingredients or small quantities of salt, pepper or sugar as the cost would be negligible. All prices are in Australian dollars and are based off what was published on Coles Online or Woolworths Online as at time of writing.

Servings: 4

Recipe NeedsRecipe
Chicken Stock1 L carton$1.901 L$1.90
Beef Stock1 L carton$1.901 L$1.90
Beef Chuck Steak350 gm at $14/kg$4.90approx 300 gm$4.90
Beef Flank Steak340 gm at $19/kg$6.46approx 300 gm$6.46
Rice Noodles2 x 250 gm packet$4.00500 gm$4.00
Brown Onion1$0.441$0.44
Star Anise12 gm packet$2.254$0.60
Cloves15 gm packet$1.802 cloves$0.01
Cinnamon Stick12 gm packet$2.951 stick$0.74
Ginger1 at $25/kg$3.6030 gm$0.90
Fish Sauce300 ml bottle$3.002 tbsp$0.30
Red Onion1$0.531/2$0.26
Spring Onions1 bunch $2.001/5 bunch$0.25
Bean Sprouts250 gm packet$2.001/2 packet$1.00
Total$37.73 $23.81

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Quick Beef Pho

A bowl of beef pho, including rice noodles, beef, lemon wedge, beansprouts, chilli and fresh herbs.

Quick Beef Pho

This quick beef pho recipe is ideal for times when you have a craving but not the time nor effort to make it traditionally. It is basically a bowl of noodle soup that is flavoured with beef, toasted aromatics and spices.
No ratings yet
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Course Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine Vietnamese
Servings 5
Calories 250 kcal


Pho Soup

  • 1 brown onion, cut in half
  • 30 gm ginger, sliced thinly
  • 2 L beef stock (low sodium)
  • 1/2 L chicken stock (low sodium)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt (omit if not using low sodium stock)
  • 200 gm beef chuck steak or cheap cut of your choice, cut into chunks
  • 1 cinnamon stick (cassia bark), do not use the powdered version
  • 3 star anise
  • 2 cloves
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce or to your taste

To Serve

  • 200 gm flank steak or cut of your choice, sliced thinly
  • beef tendon balls, quartered (optional and available at Asian groceries)

Garnishes & Toppings

  • 2 spring onions, chopped
  • 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 250 gm bean sprouts
  • 1 bunch coriander (optional)
  • 1 bunch Thai basil (optional)
  • 2 chilli, chopped (optional)
  • 1 lemon, cut into wedges (optional)

Condiments (optional)

  • chilli sauce / sriracha
  • hoisin sauce


  • Prep all of your broth ingredients.
  • In a small fry pan on high, toast the onion and ginger until char marks appear. Once done, let them cool and remove any overly charred parts.
  • In a medium sized pot on medium high, combine the beef stock, chicken stock, salt, sugar and water.
  • Once the pot is boiling, add the beef chunks, charred onion and charred ginger.
  • Lightly toast the star anise, cinnamon and cloves in a fry pan until fragrant. Add to the pot and simmer partially covered for 30 minutes on medium low. Skim any scum off the top with a spoon as it forms while simmering the broth.
  • After 30 minutes, add the fish sauce to the pot. Check the seasoning of your soup and adjust according to your taste. It is recommended for the broth to be slightly more salty since the noodles and garnishes will dilute the seasoning.
  • If using beef balls, then add them to the stock to cook. If not, skip this step.
  • Prepare the dried rice noodles as per packaging.
    If using fresh rice noodles, then make sure they are soft first. If not, put it in the microwave and give them a minute or two. Then divide into bowls and blanch them in boiling water for 10 seconds and strain.

Bowl Assembly

  • Wash and prep all of your garnishes.
  • Determine the amount of noodles needed for each bowl and divide the noodles.
  • Turn the heat up and take the pho broth to a rolling boil.
  • Place the thinly sliced raw beef on top of the noodles. If you prefer your meat more cooked, then blanch them in the boiling soup before placing them on top of the noodles.
  • Ladle the hot noodle soup into the bowl.
  • Garnish and serve with herbs, veg and condiments.


Calories: 250kcalCarbohydrates: 19gProtein: 29gFat: 8gSaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 52mgSodium: 1682mgPotassium: 1324mgFiber: 3gSugar: 9gVitamin A: 265IUVitamin C: 25mgCalcium: 91mgIron: 4mg
Keyword quick beef pho
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