Do you really know Pho Vietnam?

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Pho Vietnam has been closely linked with Vietnam’s classic culinary traditions for a considerable time. It’s not merely a delicious hot soup; it also offers a captivating glimpse into Vietnamese culture. What elements contribute to the irresistible appeal of this dish to discerning food enthusiasts?

The renowned beef Pho Vietnam has held sway over the Pho landscape both in Vietnam and globally. However, it’s not solely the beef that forms the aromatic broth, the slightly chewy rice noodles, and the fragrant toppings. Let Ftrip Vietnam delve into the finest Pho experience and explore intriguing variations during your Pho adventure today.

Vietnamese People’s Beloved Noodle Soup: What is Pho?

What exactly is Pho? Pho stands as the quintessential Vietnamese soup, primarily comprising flat rice noodles immersed in a savory meat-based broth. Among its various renditions, the most renowned is Pho bo, featuring thinly sliced beef complemented by an array of toppings. Fresh herbs such as basil, cilantro, bean sprouts, spicy chilies, and tangy lime enhance its appeal and visual appeal and infuse distinctive flavors.

Pho enthusiasts are drawn to its harmonious blend of sweet, salty, and spicy notes. Central to its allure is the fragrant broth that tantalizes the senses upon stepping into any Pho establishment. Whether day or night, indulging in a steaming bowl of Pho promises to satisfy with its rich, simmered broth.

Today, Pho holds the esteemed title of Vietnam’s national dish and has garnered global acclaim. Originating in northern Vietnam, specifically Nam Dinh and Hanoi, it later migrated south during the 1950s before embarking on its journey to international fame, from bustling New York to vibrant Melbourne.

How to Enjoy Pho in Vietnamese Style?

Eating Pho like a local is easy! You’ll need chopsticks and a spoon. Here’s how to do it:

  • Start by adding herbs to your bowl using chopsticks. Tear them into pieces before adding. You can choose which veggies you want, or none at all. Then, squeeze in some lime and add a bit of black pepper. Mix everything using both chopsticks and spoon, and take your first sip of the hot broth.
  • Feel free to slurp and lift your bowl at the end to finish off the last sips. This way, you won’t miss out on the delicious flavors of the meat and fragrant spices like cinnamon.
  • Don’t forget about the hoisin and chili sauces on the table. You can add them directly to your bowl or pour them into a separate small bowl to dip toppings like meatballs. Customize your Pho with extra ingredients according to your taste preferences. Just ask for what you like!

Different Types of Pho in Vietnam

When you peruse the menu at a Pho restaurant, you might be amazed by the array of options available, from the type of broth to the method of preparation. Here are some popular variations to keep in mind for your next Pho adventure. Pho comes in various styles depending on the region and cooking techniques.

  • The most common variation is Pho bo, or beef Pho, which comes in many forms. Despite the numerous choices, don’t fret – you can always find something that suits your taste buds. Pho tai, featuring thinly sliced rare beef, is praised for its tender texture, while Pho nam, with well-done beef, offers deeper flavors. Additional options include fatty brisket, tendon, and beef balls. Mix and match these choices to create your ultimate Pho experience in a generous bowl.
  • For those seeking a lighter option, there’s Pho ga, or chicken Pho. Its broth is lighter compared to beef Pho, and most diners prefer lean chicken pieces. If you’re accustomed to beef Pho, chicken Pho offers a refreshing change of pace while still delivering a satisfying experience. For an elevated version, consider adding chicken gizzards, a delicacy that adds a unique touch to the dish.
  • Pho rolls, a beloved dish in Hanoi alongside Bun cha, are simple yet delicious. They consist of beef and herbs wrapped in rice sheets, then dipped in fish sauce with chili, garlic, and pickled vegetables for extra flavor. Some innovative chefs enhance the rolls with natural colors from ingredients like beetroot, pumpkin, or gac fruit.
  • Mixed Pho skips the broth and instead features a salad with beef or chicken, combined with fresh greens and served with boiled Pho noodles. Topped with chopped peanuts and red chili peppers, it’s a flavorful alternative.
  • Vegetarian Pho, or Pho chay, offers a comforting broth infused with cinnamon, anise, cloves, and ginger. It substitutes mushrooms, tofu, and mock meat for the traditional protein, making it a popular choice in vegetarian eateries and near Buddhist temples.

What are the ingredients typically found in pho?

Pinpointing an exact recipe for authentic pho is challenging due to the various regional variations. However, the most common ingredients for a delicious pho include:

  • Beef broth: Typically, pho features a clear beef broth crafted from bones and meat, infused with star anise and cloves for a subtle spiciness.
  • Rice noodles: These flat noodles boast a delicate texture and are often cooked separately to maintain their firmness.
  • Sliced beef: Thinly sliced beef is a staple, often added raw to the bowl. Once hot broth is poured over it, the meat cooks perfectly. Alternatively, you can opt for cooked chicken, mushrooms, or tofu.
  • Toppings: This aspect allows for creativity—mix and match toppings or set up a pho bar for your friends. Fresh herbs, bean sprouts, lime wedges, and hot sauces are popular choices.


In conclusion, delving into the world of Pho Vietnam unveils not just a culinary delight but also a journey through Vietnam’s history and culture. Whether you’re a seasoned enthusiast or a newcomer to Vietnamese cuisine, Ftrip advice you explore the depths of Pho Vietnam promises a flavorful adventure that transcends taste buds to connect with the soul of a nation.

Reviewed by

Diep Van

Phone: +84901166884


Diep Van

Founder & Photography Guide

Specialties: Culture, landscape, portrait, hiking, active and adventurous tour

Besides my unlimited passion for traveling, a professional tour guide for over a decade, I have been taking photographs since sitting at Hanoi of the University of Culture in the early 2000s. Photography started as a hobby but it was seriously taken due to my work relations and my significant passion for the beauty of our world, especially in Southeast Asian parts such as Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, and Myanmar.

Within a few years of taking photographs, my works began to be recognized by many reliable international publications such as AFAR Travel, The Times, and The Daily Telegraph newspaper. In addition, I continuously add to my growing profile by winning numerous major awards: 3rd Position of The Independent Photographer 2018, 1st Position of Amateur Photographer of the year 2018, Grand Prize Winner of the AFAR Travel Photography 2019, and a Gold Award of San Francisco Bay International Photography 2020.

I photograph a wide variety of subjects, from travel to landscapes to street scenes. I enjoy documenting the East’s rich cultural heritage and its land soaked in glorious sunrise or sunset light in remote and secluded spots. And, I am very happy to share my knowledge and experience with you. You can visit Luminousvietnamtour to explore tour!

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