A hearty noodle dish beloved around the world, pho bo is the epitome of Vietnamese comfort food. Its complex flavors can vary but its pleasant blend of herbs, spices, and unique textures never disappoints.

Our partner Amawaterways offers this excellent recipe served on board their Mekong River cruises. Get inspired to travel and try a taste of Vietnam in your own home:

Pho Bo

Makes approximately 6 servings.

  • 2 lbs. 3 oz. Beef Bones
  • 10½ Cup Water/beef stock (about 2 ½ cartons stock)
  • 4 tsp. Fish Sauce
  • 3 tsp. Sugar
  • 2 tsp. Salt
  • 6 TBS and 2 tsp. Garlic
  • 6 TBS and 2 tsp. Ginger
  • 5 pcs Star Anise
  • 2 pcs Cinnamon Sticks (broken into pieces)
  • 1/3 Cup and 4¼ tsp. Onion
  • 1/3 Cup and 4¼ tsp. Carrot
  • 1/2 lb. raw eye of round, sirloin, London broil or tri-tip steak, thinly sliced across the grain (1/16-inch thick; freeze for 15 minutes to make it easier to slice)


Sauté the carrots and onion with the star anise, ginger, cinnamon and garlic. Cook until golden brown, then add the water/beef stock and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer for 2 hours. Leave to cool, then strain off the stock. Add fish sauce, sugar and salt. Correct the seasoning to taste.

Condiments and Garnish for Soup

  • Thick Rice Noodles (Cooked)
  • Bean Sprouts
  • Long Leaves (Vietnamese Mint, Perilla Leaves)
  • Lime
  • Red Chili Finely Chopped
  • Lettuce (Iceberg)
  • Sweet Basil/Hot Basil
  • Lemongrass
  • Sliced Onion

Preparation Method with Beef

Mix all ingredients into the soup and stir together. Divide noodles among 6 serving bowls and top with sirloin. Pour hot broth over the top. Stir and let sit for 5 minutes until the beef is partially cooked and no longer pink, and the flavors are infused. Serve with bean sprouts, Thai basil, lime wedges, hoisin sauce, and chili -garlic sauce on the side.