Berlin Cuisine | Vietnamese beef broth with rice noodles and fresh herbs [Pho bo]

Pho bo is a very aromatic Vietnamese beef broth and one of the dishes I eat most often abroad. Cooking favourite dishes from the restaurant at home is a very nice challenge, but in this case I can say: it’s worth it. The soup gets its special taste through numerous spices, fish sauce and a lot of time on the stove. What should not be missing are crisp soy sprouts and fresh herbs with which the finished soup is served.

Ingredients for about four portions

1 kg bovine bone
600 g beef (e.g. shoulder or upper shell)
1 onion
1 shallot
2 spring onions
50 g ginger
1 cinnamon stick
3 Star anise
1/2 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp coriander seeds
1/2 tsp fennel seeds
30 g sugar
40 ml fish sauce
approx. 2 l Wassser

For serving for two portions:
250 g rice noodles
100 g soy sprouts
1 onion
1 handful fresh mint
1 handful fresh coriander
1 fresh chilli
1 lime

Hoisin sauce
Sriracha sauce


Preheat the oven to 300°C in the grill. Halve the onion and shallot. Cut the spring onions into several large pieces and the ginger into thick slices. Put everything in a blackout dish and roast on the upper rail in the oven for about three minutes. Then also add the cinnamon stick, star anise, cloves, coriander seeds and fennel seeds to the casing. Roast everything together for another minute and then get out of the oven.

Next, put the bones in a saucepan, cover with water and bring to the boil. Simmer for five minutes, then drain the water. Now add about two litres of fresh water. The bones should be well covered with it. Add the toasted ingredients from the top dish. Season with the sugar and fish sauce. Heat until the soup almost boils and then boil over a low to medium heat for two hours. After the two hours, add the beef and cook in the sedening soup for another 90 minutes. After that, the meat should be very tender and fall apart almost by itself.

Get the beef out of the soup and set aside. Pour the rest of the soup through a sieve. Season the broth with a little sugar and fish sauce. To serve, cook the rice noodles according to the package instructions. Halve the onion and cut into wafer-thin half rings. Cut the chilli into rings. Soy bean sprouts, mint, coriander and lime. Cut the beef into as thin a slice as possible.

Divide the rice noodles into two bowls. Add the beef and onions. Pour in the broth. Season to eat with chilli and lime, add soy sprouts and pluck the fresh herbs on it. Optionally, you can also add a bowl of hoisin sauce and sriracha sauce to dip the beef into it.

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Five years ago: Stuffed yeast wreath with caramel and pecans
Six years ago: Raspberry Curd
Seven years ago: Dip of white beans, garlic and basil
Eight years ago: Hazelnut cake with chocolate glaze

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