Pho – the Vietnamese national dish

Pho – THE Vietnamese soup

*Product recommendation*


Usually, I would be traveling during this time of year! But for reasons known to all of us, it’s not possible this time.


That’s why I decided to cook some typical dishes from different countries during our “home-holidays”. In the hope to conjure up a little vacation mood. (or to alleviate the wanderlust?)


And I’m happy to share these recipes with you.


I’ll start with a wonderful Vietnamese soup

Pho – a soup with rice noodles, vegetables, sprouts, and pieces of beef or chicken (Pho Bo/ Pho Ga) or vegetarian, without the meat in it. Unfortunately, the vegetarian one in Vietnam is only partly vegetarian – the broth is usually still made with meat.


But my recipe is 100% meatless, with a homemade spiced broth.


By the way, in Vietnam, this soup is eaten at any time of the day, even for breakfast!


It is mainly offered in street kitchens. Small tables and stools are put on the streets in the morning, the kitchen is set up, and off you go.



This soup fits very well with this cold season, it warms you up wonderfully. On the one hand because of the spices – cardamom, star anise, and cinnamon – on the other hand, because it is eaten hot.


As always with my recipes, you can replace some ingredients with others

In our case, it is also not easy to find the right ingredients. Especially the typical vegetables and herbs are hard to find. But you should be able to get some in a well-stocked Asian store.

I buy my exotic ingredients mostly at “Alimentari Asia” in Bellinzona. There I find almost everything, and the seller is very competent and friendly. By the way, there are also ready-made bouillon cubes for Pho – in case you don’t have time to make the broth yourself.


As vegetables this time I used  Pak-choi, but it also works spinach or chard. Or just Vietnamese vegetable herbs.


By the way, the soup still tastes good the next day, warmed up!



Here is the recipe:




Phò ingredienti

Pho - the Vietnamese soup

Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Total Time 1 hr 30 mins
Course Main Course, Soup
Cuisine Vietnam
Servings 4 people


For the broth

  • 1 apple
  • 1 pear
  • 1 onion
  • 3 carrots
  • 1 daikon radish
  • 1 leek
  • 3 lt. water
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 2-3 dried shitake mushrooms
  • 2 shallots
  • 2 cm ginger fresh
  • 2 star anise
  • 1 green cardamom pod squeezed
  • 5 cm cinnamon stick

For the finished phò:

  • 200 g rice noodles
  • 100 g smoked tofu
  • 200 g fresh mushrooms
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 4 Pak-choi boiled in water for 2 minutes
  • 1 spring onion
  • fresh chili pepper
  • Limes
  • fresh herbs e.g. coriander, basil, mint
  • Soy sauce
  • salt/pepper


  • Peel apple, pear, carrots, daikon, and onions, wash leek. Cut everything into pieces of about 2 cm.
  • Bring water, vegetables, salt, and shitake mushrooms to a boil in a large pan.
  • Cut ginger, peel shallots, and cut into small pieces. Dry roast both in a pan. Then add to the water/vegetable mixture.
  • Reduce temperature, and simmer everything for 45 minutes.
  • After 15 minutes, add the spices, and simmer.
  • At the end of the cooking time, strain out all the solids, leaving the broth.
  • Set aside the shitake mushrooms
  • Soak rice noodles in lukewarm water, then boil briefly in salted water.
  • Cut tofu and mushrooms into pieces of about 2 cm. Cut shitake mushrooms into small pieces.
  • Heat oil in a pan, fry fresh mushrooms for about 5 minutes, add tofu and heat. Add the shitake mushrooms.
  • Chop scallions, chili and herbs and put them separately in bowls.


Place a portion of rice noodles in a soup bowl, add a portion of tofu, Pak Choi, and mushrooms. Pour over hot broth.
Everyone can garnish their own soup with what they like best - spring onions, chili, herbs, lime juice, and salt and pepper.
Keyword Phò


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