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Classic Beef Pho with Ginger

Classic Beef Pho with Ginger

I’ve got another variation on the traditional pho recipe, with a slightly different spice mix and with the zest of a little ginger in the broth. Charring the onions and ginger will add more depth to the flavor, but you can skip if it you don’t have the time (or the energy) for yet another step.


  • 5 lbs beef bones (knuckle if you can get them)
  • 2 lbs beef chuck, cut in half
  • 6 cups water
  • 4 inch chunk of fresh ginger, peeled and charred*
  • 2 small onions, charred*
  • 3 tbs sugar
  • 10 whole star anise pieces
  • 6 whole cloves
  • 1/4 cup fish sauce
  • 1 tbs salt


  • 1 lb rice noodles
  • 1/3 lb sirloin, raw but sliced thinly
  • 1/2 lb fresh bean sprouts


  • 1/2 onion, thinly sliced
  • 3 green onions, sliced
  • 1/2 lb fresh bean sprouts
  • 1 serrano chili, thinly sliced
  • Fresh cilantro
  • Fresh basil
  • Lime wedges

*Charring is a traditional way to prepare flavoring elements for pho broth. I have an explanation with instructions on another page (how to char onions for pho). You can skip this step if it’s too much work.

In a big stock pot, start heating up water to a boil. When the water starts to boil, add the bones and the chuck. Heat back up to a hard boil, then turn down the heat until it is simmering.

At this point, add the charred ginger and onion along with the sugar. Keep simmering for about 40 more minutes. Skim off any fat that starts to accumulate on top. The chuck should be tender at this point. Take out one piece, dunk in cold water, and slice. Set that in the fridge to be served with the pho later.

Meanwhile, keep on cooking that pho broth for about another 40 minutes to an hour. Now use a piece of cheesecloth or a tea ball to make a bundle with the star anise and cloves. You can toss them in loose if you want, but you’ll have to strain later. Either way, add the spices now along with the fish sauce. Keep simmering for yet another half hour. During this time, you can heat up another pot of water and cook your noodles. When they are done, drain and set aside until the broth is finished. You can also chop up your garnish plate now.

There should be roughly 2 hours of cooking at this point, and you can start to think about serving your pho. Heat up the broth back to a boil and you’re ready to go.

Divide up your noodles into 6 bowls, and top with the sliced meats (both the raw sirloin and the cooked chuck). Add some bean sprouts too. Pour about 2 cups of very hot broth over each bowl. The meat should heat up and cook right away. Serve up your classic beef pho right away, along with the garnishes.

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