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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.
Course Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine Vietnamese
Keyword quick beef pho
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 5
Calories 250kcal
Author Scruff


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: 250kcal | Carbohydrates: 19g | Protein: 29g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 52mg | Sodium: 1682mg | Potassium: 1324mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 265IU | Vitamin C: 25mg | Calcium: 91mg | Iron: 4mg