Recipe 12: Pho


Pho is a Vietnamese dish that involved a broth and noodles, often including very aromatic and rich spices such as cinnamon and star anise. It is salty and slightly sweet and is usually topped with fresh mint, thai basil, and sliced chili.

I wanted to recreate the distinct smell that fills my nose whenever we get pho, and we did just that.

Recipe 12: Pho

Note: This recipe is adapted from a book called Heart of the Artichoke by David Tanis


  • 1.5 lbs beef ribs
  • 1 large onion, halved
  • 1 3-inch piece of ginger, unpeeled but roughly chopped
  • 6 quarts water
  • 1 star anise
  • 1 small piece of cinnamon stick (or 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon)
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1/4 tsp whole cloves
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • salt & pepper
  • 1 lb dried rice noodles
  • Garnish: mint sprigs, basil sprigs, cilantro sprigs, 1 serrano chili (sliced), lime wedges, scallions, sriracha, etc!


First thing you want to do is put your ribs in a large soup kettle with enough water to cover by a few inches. Boil on high for 10 minutes, then remove the meat (reserve) and discard the liquid. I know this seems totally counter-intuitive, but it makes for a cleaner broth. Trust me, you’ll still get plenty of flavor later down the line.

Add your ginger and onion cut-side down in the soup kettle and char the bottom for 2-3 minutes until dark brown (not burned). Add the water and then beef ribs, and boil on high. Once a rolling boil is attained, reduce heat to simmer and add the rest of your spices. Allow to simmer for another half hour or so until the beef is tender. Turn off the heat.

Start boiling water, enough to cover your noodles and cook them. You’ll cook these separately so that they’re soft when you add the broth. Pour the boiling water over your noodles in a heat-safe bowl and allow it to “cook” until the noodles are soft. Drain and place the noodles in bowls. Add your broth and garnish. Enjoy!

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