Do you love Asian cuisine? Discover Vietnamese Pho, the new soup that is replacing Ramen

The Pho soup trend is taking off and we at alfemmile love Asian cuisine and are thrilled with this new recipe! For more than a hundred years, pho soup has been the staple of traditional cuisine in Vietnam. Locals eat them for breakfast in the morning!

What is Pho Soup?
Pho (pronounced "fah") is a clear noodle soup, topped with fresh herbs, Asian spices, and often thin slices of beef or chicken. It is eaten with a spoon and chopsticks and served in pretty porcelain bowls, with lots of spice.

What is the difference between Ramen and Pho?

Pho has a lot in common with the more popular ramen, it too consists of a soup made from broth, pasta and meat or vegetables. However, there are many small differences between Pho and Ramen.

We have summarized the most important:

See also

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  • comes from Vietnam
  • flat rice noodles are used
  • contains chicken or lean meat or meat broth
  • it is seasoned with lime and exotic spices such as coriander, ginger, fennel and cinnamon

© Getty Images / gofeminin


  • comes from China (popular in Japan)
  • lean wheat noodles are used
  • it is quite salty
  • eggs, pork and seaweed are added

Pho soup: perfect for spring

For us, Pho is simply the perfect spring soup: light, fresh and not too spicy. If you go for pho, you will probably also be served chilli sauce, sriracha, hoisin sauce, saté sauce and garlic vinegar.

© Christian Verlag / John Lee

Pho soup is also traditionally served with a separate spice dish that you can add to your liking. You'll also find fresh herbs like Thai basil, coriander, mint and bean sprouts, chillies, jalapenos, and lime chunks.

How to make your own Pho soup

If you like to experiment in the kitchen, you can make your own pho soup. It may take some time for a good broth, but the effort will certainly be worth it.
Our tip: For pho recipes, get a pressure cooker, perhaps a multipurpose, electric model like this one on Amazon for € 59.95.

We also recommend a nice book to deepen your knowledge of Asian cuisine.
"101 Asian Recipes You Must Cook Before You Die" by Jet Tila who knows a lot about real Asian cuisine. Raised in Los Angeles in a Thai and Chinese family to become a renowned chef, restaurant owner and judge of Cutthroat Kitchen, he brings all of his experience and knowledge gained over the years to this book. Buy it on Amazon for € 20.40.


Here are two super quick Pho recipes (no meat bone broth): once a vegan and a spicy one with meat broth. Choose the one you prefer!

Vegan Pho soup with tofu, mushrooms and beans

© Christian Verlag / John Lee

You need these ingredients:
for 2 servings

  • 1 piece of ginger 2 cm long
  • 2 medium-sized spring onions
  • star anise
  • 3 3/4 cm cinnamon sticks
  • 1-2 whole cloves
  • 1 liter of vegetable broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt
  • 150 g of dried rice noodles
  • 4 pieces of seared tofu
  • thin green beans
  • 2-3 shiitake mushrooms
  • 2-3 teaspoons of soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon of sugar (or 1 teaspoon of maple syrup)
  • 2 tablespoons of chopped fresh coriander leaves
  • freshly ground black pepper

How to make vegetarian Pho:
1. Peel the ginger and cut it into 4-5 slices. Cut the green parts of the spring onion into thin slices and set aside for garnish. Cut the remaining parts into small pieces to add to the ginger.

2. Roast the star anise, cinnamon and cloves in a 3 to 4 liter pot over medium heat until they smell for 1-2 minutes. Add the ginger and spring onions. Mix for approx. 30 seconds. Remove the pot from the heat, let it cool for 15 seconds, then pour in the vegetable broth. Put the pot back on the stove, add 500 ml of water and salt. Boil at high temperature, then reduce the heat and simmer gently for 30 minutes.

3. While the broth is simmering, dip the rice noodles in hot water until soft and lose their shine. Drain, rinse and set aside.

© Christian Verlag / John Lee

4. Cut each block of tofu into thin slices and cook them in water.

5. Strain the broth into a saucepan and add sugar and soy sauce

6. Boil the filtered broth over medium-high heat. Dip the noodles in the hot broth for a minute and serve them up.

7. Reduce the temperature to keep the broth warm by adding the tofu (if necessary, reheat it first in the broth), chopped spring onions, coriander leaves and a pinch of salt. Boil the broth again, turn off and pour into bowls.

2. Pho recipe: with beef and fish sauce

© Christian Verlag / John Lee

You need these ingredients:
for 2 servings

  • 1 piece of ginger of 2 cm
  • 2 medium-sized spring onions
  • 1 star anise (8 points)
  • 3 3/4 cm cinnamon sticks
  • 1-2 whole cloves
  • 420-480 ml of low sodium beef broth
  • 420-480 ml of low sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon of fine sea salt
  • 150 g of dried rice noodles
  • 115-150 g cooked roast beef or steak (very thinly sliced)
  • 1/2 teaspoon of sugar (or 1 tablespoon of maple syrup)
  • 2 tablespoons of chopped fresh cilantro
  • freshly ground black pepper

The procedure for this pho soup is identical to the previous one, just replace the vegetable broth with the chicken and beef broth and add the beef slices at the beginning of step 7 when the broth temperature is slowly reduced.

Don't feel like soup? How about a Vietnamese sandwich?
Here is a book that collects the best combinations: "The Banh Mi Handbook" on Amazon for € 12.85.