How to Order Extra Bánh Phở Noodles With Your Pho

Bánh phở is the noodle used in the Vietnamese pho dish. Reader Eric left a request over at the other post "Pronunciation of Pho and Other Vietnamese Words and Phrases" inquiring about what to say when you want to order extra Bánh Phở noodles, or a side order of pho noodles. Eric says:

hi there- i’m wondering how to pronounce the following question about ordering extra rice noodles:
có thể tôi xin có bún thêm cho một đồng đô la phụ? Tôi rất đói.
the direct translation (from google translate) is:
can i please have extra rice noodles for an extra dollar? i’m very hungry.

Hmm Google translation helps sometimes, but not in this case.

Extra banh pho noodlesBut first let's get something straight. In my opinion, the best thing to do is to have bánh phở added to your bowl in the kitchen before they pour in the hot pho broth. Some may prefer a side bowl of just bánh phở at your table, but if you think about it, you'll want everything in the bowl before the broth is poured in. This is because bánh phở needs to cook with the rest of the other pho ingredients in the bowl. Even if the pho noodles are blanched and then served in a separate side bowl at your table, you'll have to immediately put it in your bowl. Otherwise if you leave it in the side bowl while enjoying the main portion first, the side noodles will continue to cook on the inside and get all lumped up and mushed together, and will become cold and dry on the outside, all while your broth is cooling in your bowl as well. Anyway if you must then you must, but I recommend extra bánh phở inside the bowl, not outside.

Note that Eric's message implies that he wants certain quantity (a dollar's worth) of pho noodles. As far as I know, most pho restaurants either charge one price for sides or none at all. So specifying a dollar amount's worth of banh pho may not work well in most situations. Also there is absolutely nothing wrong with the "very hungry" part, but I'll leave that part out of the audio files as well. If someone really must have the "I'm very hungry" then please leave a request in the comment, I'll do it then.

As requested by Eric, below are 3 variations of ordering extra pho noodles when you're in a restaurant. The variation between each phrase is very minimal, but the impact can be major. They range from more formal to casual ordering tones.

Pronounce: Ordering extra bánh phở noodles with your phở.

  • More formal. Xin cho thêm bánh phở (Please add/give more banh pho noodles.) Southern accent once, then Northern accent twice.
    Play audio     
  • Neutral. Cho tôi thêm bánh phở (Add/give me more banh pho noodles.) Southern then Northern accent.
    Play audio     
  • Casual. Cho thêm bánh phở (Add/give more banh pho noodles.) Southern then Northern accent. 
    Play audio     

Thanks for the question Eric!

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  1. jay 21 November, 2012 at 11:46 Reply

    My name is jay and i live in korea. I owned vietnamese restaurant in korea. I am interesting to use this noodle. But i dont know how. Please let me know how. Thank you very much.

  2. Cuong Huynh 25 November, 2012 at 21:15 Reply

    Hi Jay: So you have a Vietnamese restaurant in Korea but only serves Viet food other than pho? Is this correct? And you are interested in learning how to make pho, especially the broth, correct? What city are you in? Please reply and I will contact you in private to discuss further. Thank you.

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