Secrets Revealed
September 9, 2023

World-Class Beef Pho

Jason Farmer

A comprehensive guide to world-class beef pho at home! Pho Bo is one of the most popular dishes at every Vietnamese restaurant! Today, I’ll break down all the tips, tricks, and techniques so you can make beef pho at home even better than any restaurant you’ve ever been to!

Download the full recipe document here:

World-Class Beef Pho Recipe Document


24-Hour Beef Bone Broth Base Recipe


11 lbs. (5 kilograms) beef bones 

(preferably marrow bones mixed with meaty leg, knuckle, or soup bones)

6.5 liters (6500 ml) water

(preferably filtered or reverse osmosis water)


  1. Heat oven to 550° F (290° C)
  2. Place bones in a roasting pan and roast for 15-25 minutes or until well-browned
  3. Wash scum off bones under running water in the sink, making sure not to dislodge any of the marrow in the bones
  4. Place washed bones in a large stock pot and cover with water
  5. Bring bones and water up to a light simmer and lower heat until you see the faintest bubble (optional – cover pot with lid set slightly off the pot to allow for some evaporation)
  6. Simmer broth for approximately 24 hours
  7. Strain broth, cool down completely (preferably in a pot with an ice bath) – then transfer to a container and place in the fridge overnight
  8. Scrape fat from the cooled broth and save to use later in the pho broth later
  9. Use the broth immediately or transfer the broth to storage containers for later use (broth can be stored for up to 5 days in the fridge or frozen for up to 12 months)

Notes: This broth base can be used for anything that calls for beef broth. 

Aromatic/Brisket Prep


1 yellow onion, halved

1 shallot, halved

1 piece of ginger, halved

1 head of garlic, halved 

Brisket – 1 lb. (½ kilogram)


  1. Pre-heat oven to 550° F (290° C)
  2. Salt brisket on all sides
  3. Place onion, shallot, ginger, garlic, and brisket in a roasting pan
  4. Roast until brisket is browned, about 20-25 minutes
  5. Remove from oven and set all ingredients aside

Notes: The traditional method for aromatics is to char them over a flame. Conversely, you can also add an additional layer of flavor to the aromatics if you want to put them over a flame after roasting.  

Pho broth infusion:


6-8 tbsp. beef fat (from beef base broth)

5-7 pods (20 grams) black cardamom

3-6 pieces (15 grams) cinnamon (preferably Saigon cinnamon)

9-12 pieces (10 grams) star anise

15-17 pieces (1 gram) cloves 

3 liters (3000 ml) beef bone base broth, divided (2500 ml + 500ml)

Reserved roasted brisket 

Reserved roasted charred aromatics (1 yellow onion, 1 shallot, 1 piece ginger, 1 head garlic)


45 grams salt

40 grams rock sugar

20 grams Hat Nem

Final seasoning:

10 grams rock sugar

1 tbsp. + 1 tsp. (20 ml) Fish sauce 


  1. Heat beef fat over medium heat until it has melted
  2. Sear brisket in beef fat on all sides until well browned
  3. Turn off the heat, let it cool a bit, then add black cardamom, star anise, and cinnamon and stir for 20-30 seconds or until you smell the aroma of the spices
  4. Add the cloves and stir for 20-30 seconds longer so all the spices are infused into the beef fat
  5. Add 2.5 liters (2500 ml) of the beef bone base broth and 1 oz. of salt (28 grams) and taste – continue adding salt 1 tsp at a time until the broth is just on the verge of too salty (I added 45 grams total)
  6. Add the rock sugar and Hat Nem and stir so that all the seasoning is dissolved
  7. Add the brisket and charred aromatics to the broth
  8. Turn the heat back on medium and bring it up to a light simmer
  9. Reduce heat to a very light simmer (just faintly bubbling) and infuse broth for 3 hours
  10. After 3 hours, remove the brisket and reserve; strain the broth and set aside
  11. Skim extra fat off the broth if you wish, but try to leave a bit as it does make the flavor better
  12. Add reserved ½ liter (500 ml) of beef base broth
  13. Add the final 10 grams of rock sugar and 1 tbsp. + 1 tsp of fish sauce and stir so that the sugar is dissolved
  14. Taste the broth: if it’s too salty, add more broth; if it’s underseasoned, add more salt or fish sauce; if it’s not sweet enough, add more sugar, etc. 
  15. Save the broth to use in the final dish

Final Plating


3 liters (3000 ml) infused pho broth

1 piece well-done brisket, thinly sliced

Thinly-sliced rare meat (preferably eye of round, sirloin, tenderloin, etc.)

Banh pho noodles (preferably fresh noodles, size small)

Herbs/onion (for garnish):

Any mix of thinly-sliced onion, scallion (green onions), Thai basil, cilantro, culantro, mint, bean sprouts, jalapenos, etc. 


  1. Warm bowls on a warm setting in the oven
  2. Heat broth in a small pot (½ liter or 500 ml per serving) until simmering
  3. Cook noodles according to package instructions and section them out in the warm bowls
  4. Layer rare meat and well-done brisket on top of the noodles
  5. Pour simmering broth over the rare meat (the simmering broth will cook the meat)
  6. Garnish with herb salad
  7. Enjoy!

Note: if using dried banh pho noodles, soak in cold water for 1-2 hours before cooking. Then proceed as per package instructions. 

Amazon ingredient affiliate links:

Black cardamom:

Star Anise:

Saigon Cinnamon:


Kosher salt:

Rock Sugar:

Po Lo Ku Hat Nem:

Hat Nem:

Squid brand fish sauce:

Red Boat fish sauce:

Banh pho noodles:

Affiliate disclosure: As an Amazon Associate, Jason Farmer may earn commissions from qualifying purchases from

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