Beef Pho

How Pho Became an American Favorite

Prior to the fall of Saigon in 1975, Americans knew almost nothing about Vietnamese food. But in the years following the war, refugees settled all across the country. They formed strong communities in many cities, most notably in Anaheim and San Jose, California, and in Houston, Texas. They brought with them a cuisine with a unique French/Asian spirit. Americans learned to love such dishes as the banh mi, rice paper spring rolls, sweet/strong coffee, and, best of all, beef pho. Pronounced fuh, this vivid rice noodle beef-stock soup once was a signature dish of Hanoi. Now it is the premier item on nearly every Vietnamese-American menu.

It’s All About the Broth

Beef broth provides the basic taste. Cooks simmer it for hours. During that time, marrow-rich beef bones infuse the broth with buttery richness. Combine that with such high-energy spices as star anise, ginger, cardamom, coriander, and cinnamon, and you have a bowl of powerful comfort. Light and spicy, just barely sweet, it delivers fathomless beef flavor. Pho frequently is served with a plate of thin-sliced raw steak on the side. The eater dips the steak into the broth only long enough to warm it. That gives the ultra-rare, broth-saturated beef the aura of being cooked. Tradition demands that herbs, greens, sriracha, and fish sauce come with the pho. The eater adds them at will.


What do you think of Beef Pho?

4 Responses to “Beef Pho”

Mary Martin

May 4th, 2022

Would love to have recipe for Beef Pho



February 13th, 2022

Love love love



January 9th, 2022

I could eat pho every day of my life.



January 9th, 2022

I have learned to make Vietnam recipes myself. I love the quick meals. I really do eat some soups (Pho) for breakfast.


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