RemitBee Family Recipe: Vietnamese Pho

By Remitbee - Nov 23, 2021

A person may migrate to another country to pursue a better life or to be able to provide more for their families back home. Food is one way these immigrants cope with the feelings of homesickness. Like how salt preserves food, food is a means of retaining and even promoting one’s cultural identity since food varies across cultures.

When one is missing the flavours of home, cooking the staple dishes one has grown to is one of the best ways to still feel at home even though you are far away from home. When you feel sick, nothing makes you feel better than a bowl of hot, steaming soup.

Pho is the national dish of Vietnam that combines simple ingredients and complex flavours. Whether you are sick or in good health, pho is the perfect comfort food. It is warm, hearty, and refreshing. It is like a warm embrace on a cold, lonely night.

Pho: More Than Just a Bowl of Soup, Meats, and Noodles

Pho is a Vietnamese soup dish. It has simple elements: broth, rice noodles, fresh herbs, and a variety of meat. Often, this popular dish is a favourite all-around meal in Vietnam and is served in households, street stalls, and restaurants. Pho is a memorable and traditional meal.

North and South Vietnam has their own take on phoNorthern Vietnamese pho is known for its clear and simple broth, green onion topping, and chicken or rare minced beef protein. On the other hand, Southern Vietnamese pho has a bolder and sweeter flavour, a variety of toppings such as bean sprouts, Thai basil, and cilantro, and a variety of sliced meats such as beef and tendon brisket, flank, and meatballs. Though different, these pho variations showcase Vietnam’s history and self-determination. The ingredients may have been influenced by the French who made beef scraps available and the Chinese who first cooked the noodle soup in Vietnam, but the Vietnamese people made pho and turned them into their own.

If you want to renew your passport then read it - How to Renew Your Vietnamese Passport in Canada

How to Cook Vietnamese Pho

If you want to learn and are craving to slurp the warm broth and chew on the noodles, meat, and fresh herbs and vegetables of Vietnamese Pho, here is a RemitBee family recipe you can try.

Note that this recipe is a Southern Vietnamese Pho which is more internationally known and served in different parts of Canada and the world. It may take hours to prepare this dish from scratch, but you will surely enjoy every second of it, especially once you have tasted the product of your hard work.

If you are going to make pho, you have to make your own broth, even if it means boiling meats, bones, and spices for hours. This is the only way you can make the best pho.


For the broth

  • 1.5 kg Beef brisket

  • 1 kg. Meaty bones

  • 1 kg. Marrow bones

  • 1 Ginger

  • 2 White Onions

  • Cinnamon Sticks

  • Cardamom

  • Coriander

  • Star Anise

  • Sugar

  • Salt

  • Fish Sauce

For the bowl

  • Thinly sliced raw beef

  • Rice noodles

  • Sliced white onion

  • Sliced Scallions (green part only)

  • Chopped Cilantro

For garnishing

  • Bean sprouts

  • Lime wedges

  • Hoisin sauce

  • Sriracha or other chili sauce

  • Thai Basil

  • Cilantro


For broth

  1. Wash your meats, then place them in a large pot. Quickly boil your meat for at least 5 minutes to remove impurities. Remove the scum while it is cooking.

  2. Remove bones from the pot. Wash away any remaining scum. After cleaning, put them again inside your boiling pot.

  3. On a pan, char your onion and ginger.

  4. Toast the cinnamon sticks, cardamom, coriander, and star anise to release their flavour and fragrance on another pan.

  5. Add onion, ginger, and spices to your boiling pot of meat and bones and simmer for 3 hours.

  6. Remove the brisket and set it aside. Some of these will be used as toppings for your pho.

  7. Simmer again for 40 minutes.

  8. Season your broth with fish sauce, salt, and sugar.

  9. Strain.

  10. You now have your pho broth!

Tip: If you want to skip the hours of simmering meats, bones, and spices, you can take the shortcut by choosing a quality beef stock as your base and simmer it for around 45 minutes with your charred onion and ginger, and other spices

Preparing Other Ingredients

  1. Slightly freeze your raw beef so that it is easier to slice thinly.

  2. Sliced your cook meats thinly. Make sure they are cold or at room temperature.

  3. If you use dried rice noodles, soak them in hot water for 15 to 20 minutes until soft and opaque white. Drain, then place in a bowl. If you are using fresh rice noodles, untangle each strand and briefly rise in a strainer with cold water.

  4. Blanch your noodles in boiling water for 10 to 20 seconds until they lose their stiffness.

  5. Blanch bean sprouts for 30 seconds, drain, then add to your garnish plate. Another option is to serve them raw.

  6. Place your other garnishes on your plate.

    1. Assembling Your Bowl of Pho
  7. Placed blanched noodles in a bowl.

  8. Place your thinly sliced raw beef meat and other meats in the bowl.

  9. Add sliced white onion, scallions, and cilantro.

  10. Pour the hot broth over your bowl.

  11. Serve along with your garnish plate.

    If you are a Vietnamese immigrant in Canada, you undoubtedly miss the busy streets of Vietnam and the smell of pho. And for sure, you can’t help but constantly think about your family and friends back home, especially during the winter season where it is extra cold. May this recipe envelope you in a warm embrace despite the feelings of homesickness you might be feeling.

A Warm Embrace to Your Family Even if You Are Miles Apart

While it is always convenient to call your family back home, there are other things you can do to constantly remind them that you remember them though you are far away. If you want to send your hard-earned money back home, RemitBee is here to help.

We offer reliable, fast, and safe money transfer services with competitive rates and affordable fees. When you send $500 and up, your transfer fee is free! Sign up now and start sending money to Vietnam and the rest of the world from Canada.

Other articles in recipe