Pho Tai (Vietnamese Beef Noodle Soup)


When I’m sick, I crave soup. Spicy soup. One thing that makes me feel instantly better is pho tai. Luckily, we have a sizable Vietnamese community in our city, and a steaming bowl of noodle soup is never far. Hubs and I have our favorite restaurants depending on what type of noodle soup we want – one place for the beef soup with rice noodles, one place for the seafood soup with glass noodles. I swear, the broth has healing properties.

The soup base was easier to make than I thought. Allow plenty time for the broth to cook and develop its flavor. I recommend making the broth a day ahead (if time allows). This way, you can let it cool overnight, and skim the off the fat very easily.

Adapted from Asian Noodles
By Nina Simonds

Pho Tai (Vietnamese Beef Noodle Soup)

Pho Tai (Vietnamese Beef Noodle Soup)


Beef Stock
4 lbs of beef shinbones or oxtails (I used a combination)
16 cups water
4 shallots, thinly sliced
1 inch chunk of ginger, peeled and sliced
6 star anise
4 cinnamon sticks
¼ c fish sauce
Salt and pepper to taste
6 oz thin rice noodles, softened in hot water, cooked according to the package directions, and drained
1 lime, cut into wedges
1 jalepeno pepper, thinly sliced into rings
½ lb boneless beef sirloin, trimmed of fat and gristle, and cut into very thin slices
2 c bean sprouts, rinsed and drained
¼ c minced scallions, green part only
¼ c minced fresh cilantro
1 c Thai basil leaves, or sweet basil leaves


  1. In a large pot, combine the ingredients for the beef stock. Bring to a boil. Turn down the heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for 1.5 hours, skimming any impurities and fat from the surface.
  2. Strain broth into another large pot. Remove any meat from the bones and cut into thin slices. Discard the bones and the stock seasonings. Skim any fat from the surface of the stock. Add the fish sauce. Season with salt and black pepper and keep warm over low heat.
  3. Divide the noodles among six soup bowls. Set the lime wedges and jalapeno slices on a plate.
  4. Add the reserved cooked sliced beef, the sirloin, and bean sprouts to the hot soup. Bring to a boil and cook until the sirloin loses its pink color, 1 ½ to 2 minutes. Ladle the soup over the noodles. Sprinkle bean sprouts, scallions, cilantro, and basil on top. Serve with lime wedges and jalapeno slices.


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Sweet Comments:

  1. Your beef noodle soup looks comforting and I bet it’ healing 🙂

  2. I have a colleague when ever he get sick he eats his noodle soup ridiculously spicy, to the point he is sweating bricks.. haha


  1. paleo recipes…

    Pho Tai (Vietnamese Beef Noodle Soup)…

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