Top Pho Bo and Pho Ga Recipes You Must Try Yourself

I must admit this post is rather old. I’ve been busy helping people open and run their pho restaurants (with customized recipes for each, of course) so have not time to redo a survey of more recent recipes suitable for making pho at home. So I will get back to this shortly. For now, I highly recommend you check out either Quick Beef Pho Recipe with Quoc Viet Foods’ Pho Soup Base or Lovingpho’s own Beef Pho Recipe infographic.
Top pho recipesUpdated 03-14-15. Pho recipes come in great numbers around the Internet and you can find them easily using your favorite search engine. Some pho recipes are penned by well-known chefs and culinary experts, while others are shared by experienced pho cooks and private citizens. The most popular, however, are the ones written by chefs and published in various cookbooks. So here's a collection of the top pho recipes you can find on the Web.

It should be pointed out that this list is different from the list already published as "Ten Pho Recipes from Around the Web," which was more of a random sampling of pho recipes at the time I wrote it. Many are not as authentic as they should be, and two of those ten are very good, solid recipes by two of the most respected experts in Viet cuisine. I published that article in a rush, so now with a little more time and effort put into it, here are my pick of must-have top pho recipes.

Top Beef Pho (Phở Bò) Recipes

Pho Author/Chef NameWebpage with Pho RecipePubishedRank by LovingPho
Nicole Routhierrecipesource.com19991
Mai Phamepicurious.com19951
Didier Corlouvietworldkitchen.com20021
Andrea Nguyenvietworldkitchen.com20021
Wandering Chopstickswanderingchopsticks20061
Kevin Youngfood.com20002

Top Chicken Pho (Phở Gà) Recipes

Pho Author/Chef NameWebpage with Pho RecipePublishedRank by LovingPho
Andrea Nguyenvietworldkitchen.com20021
Charles Phanfoodandwine.com19981
Wandering Chopstickswanderingchopsticks20061

Top Vegetarian Pho (Phở Chay) Recipes

Pho Author/Chef NameWebpage with Pho RecipePublishedRank by LovingPho
The Gastronomergastronomyblog.com20061
Emily Hothekitchn.com20102

I ranked the recipes using simple numerical ratings of 1, 2, 3, etc. with 1 being best. I left many recipes at the same level because I feel that, once they achieve what they set out to do (that is, to show a neophyte how to make pho themselves for the first time,) there is no point of picking one over the other. They are all good. They have variations among them, but all the basics are there and you can't go wrong with any of them.

For the beef pho, the recipe with rating of 2 did have bones in it but did not parboil the bones, making the broth less ideal and "clean" although the instructions did say to "scrape" and discard the scum. Plus it uses bay leaves and fennel seeds which may get the taste a little off for those who know pho well. I gave it one level down but it is a good recipe.

Chicken pho is relatively very easy to make, and the chicken pho recipes listed here are all pretty solid. They all get 1's.

For the vegetarian pho, I would prefer fresh vegetables, but these 2 are very good vegan pho recipes using pre-made vegetable stock. The Gastronomer gets top billing here for its great technique on the vegetarian "meat" and use of leeks in the broth. There are still other recipes using fresh vegetables, but I felt the vegetables used in those recipes really do not lend to the right flavor to make pho and may even be a little off-taste. Of course, a vegetarian dish can use any vegetable. But because it is pho and not just a vegetable soup, the flavor profile has to be correct. Anyway, I'll discuss a little more on this subject in another post.

The bottom line?

As you can see, many of these are great pho recipes. As we all know, it's all in the pho broth, so concentrate on how to make the broth. Once you've got the broth, the rest is easy and will just fall into place. Check 'em all out, pick one, make some and enjoy.

Top Pho Bo and Pho Ga Recipes You Must Try YourselfBut what is the REAL bottom line? It is this: Just pick one of these recipes that strikes your fancy and go with it. After the first or second time using it, I guarantee you will want (and know how) to experiment to get what you really want, by adjusting or adding ingredients. You'll have a feel for what each ingredient contributes to the broth's awesome and unique flavor, and will be able to make the changes to fit your taste. Remember, these recipes are only a staring point. Beyond that, you should be able to make the pho that you enjoy. You may incorporate some other ingredients or try out a "secret" element you've read about or heard from someone. You don't really need to find the "best" recipe; because it doesn't exist. You just need to start making pho. Whatever you do, don't forget to try that pho chay. Delicious!

For additional help, read my post on Easy Fixes to Common Homemade Pho Problems, where I provide additional helpful tips to either reinforce or elaborate on the instructions from many of these recipes. Follow those and you will have a great pot of homemade pho to feed a whole bunch of hungry family and friends.

Good luck and let me know how I can help.

By the way, a decent alternative to cooking pho broth for hours on end is with Quoc Viet Foods’ Pho Soup Base.

And one last thing, please take this poll.

What's your pho type?

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Originally posted 09-12-09.


  1. Yen Nguyen 24 April, 2010 at 02:22 Reply

    these places sound great. Maybe I’ll try it sometimes. But since I discovered this insanely good and easy Pho product called Happy Pho that I can use to make pho from scratch in 15 mins I’ve found it hard to motivate myself to cook Pho. It’s by a comapny called Star Anise Foods and the founder used a secret family recipe from her grandparents’ restaurant from Nam Dinh where Pho came from to make the spice packet in the kit. You get a spice packet with all natural and organic spices, and brown rice noodles and just have to add some chicken or beef broth and fresh herb and mushroom or meat if you like. I was skeptical at first but now I completely LOVE them. I got mine from Noe Valley Whole Foods, you can get them online at — check them out here

  2. Cuong Huynh 24 April, 2010 at 17:37 Reply

    Hi Yen Nguyen: Thanks for stopping by and share your experience about Happy Pho, and I’m glad you love them.

    I’m going to sound critical but that’s my job 😉 plus I’m all about the good authentic pho so I should be critical about anything that is not but tries to be.

    The sales and marketing materials looks and reads very good, though I would not serve the lime wedge right in the bowl as some of the photos suggest. The product looks and sounds like another instant-type noodle, albeit with healthier ingredients compared to the typical instant pho or instant noodle.

    I would question the link to pho Nam Dinh, however, as pho Nam Dinh is very specific in the way it’s prepared, and its quality depends entirely on the love of the Nam Dinh chef to make it the traditional way. I’ve seen many attempts to modernize Vietnamese pho to make it convenient for the American or other markets outside of Vietnam, but so far I’ve seen only one succeeded for very specific reasons.

    Furthermore, the company’s website uses lots of images taken from the streets and markets of Vietnam. While this does give an aura of authenticity, I’m sure Happy Pho does not taste anywhere close to those sold at pho stalls depicted in the photos. (I’m a little picky here, I admit.)

    So let me get this right. Here’s what I can gather from the information from Amazon and Star Anise Foods website: Each pack has 6 4.5-oz BOXES (2 servings per box). This makes a pack containing 12 servings. At $32.90 from Amazon, each serving costs just under $2.75, not including shipping. This is on par with most instant noodles, the better than average kinds. So if someone if looking for something healthy (as claimed by the maker of Happy Pho) and quick, this may do better than another instant pho. Or this may be a good vegetarian pho alternative. I would be very curious to see the nutritional labels on this product.

    Overall I think this shouldn’t be called pho. It looks more like another kind of hủ tiếu to me. I’ll try it when I have a chance.

  3. Thao 6 June, 2010 at 06:56 Reply

    Hey Cuong Huynh

    Thank you so much for talking about Happy Pho in your blog. It’s really a tasty, healthy version of Pho and as someone who grows up eating Pho I will say that it tastes just as good as the real thing. But really, I’d love for you to try our product and see for yourself 🙂 You can find the nutrition facts here. Our product only has brown rice, spices, water, salt and a touch of green tea, and nothing else. You can see our nutrition facts here

    Have a great day

  4. Cuong Huynh 6 June, 2010 at 07:41 Reply

    Hi Thao and Yen Nguyen: Enough of your marketing spiel. Just so we understand each other, is not a vehicle for free marketing of your company and products. If you’d like to have your products reviewed by me, or place an ad on, please send an inquiry through the contact page. Future unsolicited promotion will be banned.

  5. Cuong Huynh 14 April, 2011 at 18:46 Reply

    Hi Elizabeth: Interesting vegan pho recipe. I would suggest preparing the noodles last after the broth is done. You don’t want the cooked noodles sitting in the bowls for more than a few minutes, certainly not more than 5 minutes, otherwise it will cake or solidify. Also as a matter of sequence, if the chicken started out uncooked, then you’ll want to cook it with the broth from the beginning to get the spices into the chicken too. This also allows you to skim any froth resulting from dropping raw chicken into hot broth. Then the chicken and bell peppers should be taking out of the broth and sliced or whatever you want to do to them. The serving sequence should have all ingredients arranged over the noodle in the bowl, and hot broth ladled over them all. Finally, don’t put lime juice in the cooking broth pot! Rather, squeeze it into your bowl just before you eat. Enjoy.

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