Beef Pho Recipe Infographic By Lovingpho

Updated 06-20-19. Here's Lovingpho's own beef pho recipe in infographic form. This beef pho recipe yields about 10 quarts, which is about 13 regular size bowls you can typically get at most pho restaurants. With this size, you can make it once, enjoy it, and have plenty of leftover to freeze for quick pho anytime later.

It's quite easy to scale up or down depending on your desired size. Just do straight linear scaling and you can't go wrong. Of course, you can adjust any element to customize to your own taste. Let me know what you think, and leave a comment below.

Pho bo recipe infographic by




  1. Thanh 21 April, 2019 at 09:34 Reply

    Tôi có hai vẫn đề cần anh giúp :
    1- Sau khi các gia vị phở hầm một thời gian tiết ra màu nâu làm nước phở nhìn không đẹp mắt dù vẫn trong . Anh có thể chỉ dẫn cách khắc phục để nước phở không bị đậm màu không ?
    2- Ngày xưa khi tới trước tiệm phở là đã ngửi được mùi phở thơm phức , vậy làm sao nấu phở có mùi thơm toả hương ngào ngạt như vậy ?
    Rất cám ơn nếu được anh chỉ dẫn .

    Moderator English translation:

    I have two issues needing your help:

    1- After the spices have been simmered for a long time, the broth has a brown color which is quite unsightly, though the liquid itself is clear. Can you provide instructions on how to prevent the broth from becoming dark?

    2- Once upon a time, when you came to a pho restaurant, you could smell the fragrant pho outside upon arrival, so how do you make pho that gives such aroma even to outside?

    Many thanks if you can provide some guidance.

    • Cuong Huynh 21 April, 2019 at 13:15 Reply


      1. You didn’t say how long is “a long time”, but generally you don’t need to keep the spices simmering for too long. It really depends on 2 things: a) the size of the pot and b) how you prepared your spices.

      Additionally, if this is home cooking in a small pot, then I think 45 minutes may be sufficient. If it is for restaurants with bigger broth volume being produced, then it may require longer time. You can read more about how to cook spices in pho broth in these 2 articles:

      How Long To Cook Pho Spices In Pho Broth

      How Best To Add Spices When Making Pho Broth?

      Brown but clear broth may be a sign of overly long cooking of the spices.

      2. Where a pho restaurant is located may determine the answer to your question. For modern restaurants in North America and elsewhere around the world where there are strict food safety regulations, a properly working ventilation system is required to be installed. The purpose of the ventilation system is to ventilate grease, smoke, odor, and other particulate matters produced from cooking to be taken outside, upward, and be safely eliminated. The key purpose is also to prevent customers/people from inhaling such matters, but unfortunately, pho fragrance is a part of it.

      Add to this the fact that many modern restaurants utilize an air conditioning system, producing and circulating cool air for summer, warm air for winter. The doors are pretty much always closed whether it’s cold or hot outside. While this also helps keep outside traffic noise and exhaust from entering the restaurants, it obviously would stop any pho scent from getting out.

      Most pho shops in Vietnam do not have to deal with or worry about the above issues. I’m not totally familiar with doing business in Vietnam, but there may be no such ventilation regulations (and/or enforcement) in existence. Adding the fact that many pho shops in Vietnam place their cooking right upfront, oftentimes outside and visible to the public. The resulting pho fragrance in the streets is unmistakable and unavoidable.

      It is a great marketing device, but unfortunately such practice is not allowed in more modern/developed cities, except at food fairs, festivals, or outdoor eating establishments.

      Hope this helps.

  2. Thanh 29 April, 2019 at 10:30 Reply

    Thank you for answer . I will read and try , hope I will get more fragrant of Phở . I like when open the door people smelt the fragrant of Phở right away . I love that smelt a lot , can you help me how to get more smelt of Phở ? I cook at home only good flavor but not much smelt .
    I am lucky to found your web to learn more about Phở . Thanks again for all information.

    • Cuong Huynh 1 May, 2019 at 12:30 Reply

      @Thanh: I hope my answers were helpful to you. Sorry for not replying in Vietnamese. I normally include a Viet language version in the answer but this last one was quite long so I didn’t do it this time.

      Regarding your question about the lack of pho fragrance when you cook at home. I’m not sure what else to suggest to you to “increase” the pho smell/fragrance. When you cook anything in a kitchen, whether at home or in restaurant, you WILL get the food odor (good or bad) spread throughout the whole area. You cannot escape the food smell regardless of what you’re cooking. For food such as pho which requires simmering for many hours, the steam coming off of your pot will 100% give out pho smell.

      The only 3 probable causes for you not to have food odor when you make pho is 1) your food doesn’t have much substance to produce the smell, or 2) you have good ventilation to attract odor out of your cooking area before anyone can smell it, or 3) you’re already getting used to the smell the whole time while cooking, therefore you seemingly don’t detect any more smell. It’s possible your situation is the last one, number 3). For you to notice pho smell right away when open the door, you must not be cooking pho yourself the whole time before opening the door, right?

      In any case, if your pho has good flavor, then I’m pretty sure the pho smell should definitely be there.

  3. Thanh 8 May, 2019 at 09:48 Reply

    Thanks you for answer ,
    Yes I did cook by myself whole time until my friend come over but they don’t known I cook Phở until they come to kitchen . All my friend want to eat Pho when they come to my house . With me I still not complete satisfied with smelt . Do you think the herb need to increase ?
    The Fat on top of the soup not take out ?

    • Cuong Huynh 8 May, 2019 at 16:30 Reply

      @Thanh: I’ve helped people make pho at home and in restaurants, and never ever run into a situation when people complain about not having enough pho smell. Whatever smell you produce from cooking pho has to come from the ingredients themselves. There is no way that I know of to “add” or “increase” more pho smell, without changing your taste profile which you already like.

      If you want to share your detailed recipe (including each ingredients and quantities used, and cook time) then I may be able to make a suggestion based on your own situation.

  4. Quy 8 May, 2019 at 22:50 Reply

    Hi anh Cuong,
    If I were to use this recipe for my pho restaurant in the future do I scale up all of the ingredients, if so what is your suggestion on the amount of broth/ingredients I should have daily.

    • Cuong Huynh 9 May, 2019 at 11:15 Reply

      @Quy: You should be able to scale this recipe up to any size for restaurant use. There are a few things to keep in mind especially if you want to go large scale:

      1. You should try it at least once at current size to convince yourself this is what you want, and make any adjustment as needed before scaling. I generally recommend several trials to eliminate personal/operator errors and ensure you get same/similar result every time before scaling, because at small size it’s easier (and less costly in time and money) to find and correct errors.

      2. Once scaled up, you’ll also need additional testing and make adjustments again. You’ll need to do this to ensure all variables are understood and accounted for, and proper adjustments made to meet business goals (quality, food cost, labor cost, etc.) Many people skip all these steps (based on very poor reasonings) and as a result they hurt themselves when it comes to quality, food cost, labor cost, and making a profit.

      My suggestion on the daily production amount is to do market analysis and understand how much you need/want to sell on a typical day. I can’t tell you how much gas to put in your tank without knowing where you’re driving to, how far it is, and what kind of car you drive. With that said, I do help people figure out where they want to go, why they should have such target, and how to get there with minimal cost and risks.

      The point is: each restaurant is different, and you as an owner should know as much as you can about your business and what you want to achieve before committing to one way of doing things. For much more detailed coaching, you can book a consultation appointment or post on the Pho Forums when I have it go live shortly.

      Hope the above helps.

  5. Sharon Mossy 26 August, 2019 at 18:05 Reply

    I’m happy to have found this recipe and I definitely plan on trying it! I have a question though – rock sugar – is this a must ingredient or can I substitute white sugar for the rock sugar and if yes, how much white sugar? I live in an area of the US that is not very diverse culinary-wise, so I know I won’t be able to find rock sugar near me. Thank you!

    • Cuong Huynh 26 August, 2019 at 18:50 Reply

      Hey Sharon Mossy: Thanks for the question.

      You should be able to use white or brown sugar with no problem. Considering the recipe yields 10 QRTS (2.5 GALS) of liquid, a small 1 inch piece of rock sugar will not have that much of an impact on the result. It’s supposed to be subtle.

      You can substitute 1 to 1 ratio, or to personal taste, meaning a one inch piece of rock sugar, if crushed into granulated/grain form like granulated sugar, should be about 1.5 table spoon (TBSP) by my own rough estimate. To be safe, you can use 1/2 TBSP sugar when called for, then add more later to taste if needed. You can even add it at the end to the hot broth too, it’s just sugar and will just dilute in no time.

      Bottom line: you’ll probably can’t tell the difference with or without any sugar. Like in any good cooking processes, sometime it’s the subtle taste that makes the difference. In this case, keep things flexible, experiment, and find what you like. If you find you need things a bit sweeter, then add a bit more. Otherwise, if you can’t taste any difference at such small quantity, then maybe skip if all together like many actually do.

      Best of luck.

    • ChikibuStarzz3 9 October, 2019 at 10:21 Reply

      @Sharon Mossy
      Late reply here. Imo it’s not critical to have exactly rock sugar. I think this ingredient gives pho its small sweet taste but because rock sugar is subtle, it’s hard to overdo it. So if you must, regular granulated sugar can be used but I suggest start with very small amount first.

  6. bovitop34 28 August, 2019 at 10:11 Reply

    Thanks for sharing this recipe! I read elsewhere on this site that you recommend grinding up the spices to get more out of them. Can I use my coffee grinder to do this, and when used in the cooking, should I adjust the cooking time of the spices (and maybe when to best add them in)? Thank you.

    • PhoZilla 3 September, 2019 at 09:17 Reply

      @bovitop34 You definitely can use the coffee grinder. I use it often and the fragrance coming off is amazing! I use the coarse setting as I think that should be enough. 

    • giangdinh903 6 September, 2019 at 15:08 Reply

      I use a kitchen mallet to crush the spices to various different sizes, then roast them until a bit burnt, then put them all in a muslin bag for cooking. Always turns out delicious.

  7. Dan 8 January, 2020 at 09:17 Reply

    I love Pho!!! So last year I began trying to cooking it myself at home. I watched YouTube videos and read recipes. After tweeking various ingredients and changing meats, bones, etc., I arrived at a good broth after one year of experimenting. Your graphic is close to my final recipe. Though Oxtail and sliced ribeye are the core of my broth, I agree with adding fish sauce to my bowl when building the final meal. Thanks much for this website.

    • Cuong Huynh 10 January, 2020 at 20:37 Reply

      @Dan: Thanks for stopping by and sharing your pho making adventure. Looks like you know what you’er doing and having success. Congrats! Oh yeah, fish sauce! Can’t do without it.

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