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The Vietnamese Goodness: What Does Pho Taste Like?

Street foods are everyone’s favorite.

Not only is it budget-friendly, but it is also delicious.

Trendy street food in Vietnam is Pho, a simple three-letter word dish. 

Topped with herbs and sprouts, the soup consists of rice noodles, spices, bone broth, and thin-sliced meat.

It is mouth-watering if you think of the ingredients.

Whether you are hearing the word Pho for the first time or just saw a picture of it, I hope you are eager to know and eat Pho.

But what exactly is Pho? What does Pho taste like? How do you cook Pho?

Scroll down below to read through what you have been missing. 

What is Pho?

what is pho

The creator of, Cuong Hyunh, believed that Pho originates in the northern regions of Vietnam.

Pho is a Vietnamese stock-based broth soup that consists of add-ons like onion, rice noodles, spice, and meat.

Top it with bean sprouts and herbs. It is served hot and taken at any time of the day. 

Sometimes people confuse Pho with Japanese ramen, but Pho uses rice noodles and the latter with wheat noodles.

Most people take Pho as a single unit though it refers to the noodles and not the soup. 

Pho Nam and Pho bac are two very famous varieties of Pho made in the Southern and Northern parts of Vietnam. 

What Does Pho Taste Like? Does Pho Taste Good?

what does pho taste like

The flavor of Pho is very complex as it has varieties of exotic ingredients in a single bowl.

It tastes like chicken or beef stock with slices of meat, noodles, and Thai basil leaves with line and ginger roots notes.

Bean sprouts add a crunchy effect to the dish. 

Many dishes in Southeast Asia have a similar dish to Pho.

Though it is not entirely identical, it contains noodle and beef, a common ingredient.

Some people find Ramen and Pho very similar, but both are entirely different kinds of noodles. 

Another popular comparison with Pho is Bun noodles, which is also Vietnamese cuisine.

The ingredients of both are somewhat similar. The only difference is that Bun noodle uses vermicelli noodles in their soup and is dark white.

In contrast, Pho uses rice sticks, which are opaque, flat, and translucent in color.

Pho has many different types of people experimenting with other ingredients at home as well. 

According to HuffPost, Pho is also one of the most mispronounced food names.

The most common pronunciation is “Fuh”. 

Pho offers a variety of Nutritious ingredients. Many of the ingredients used in the dish provide potential health benefits such as:

  • Ginger contains gingerol, which acts as an anti-inflammatory and reduces the effects of joint pain and inflammation.
  • The National Library of medicine shows that the combination of chondroitin and glucosamine contain in broth helps in painful knee osteoarthritis.
  • The spices and herbs, according to Healthline, have nutrient-rich herbs which reduce the risk of a chronic condition such as cancer and heart diseases. 

How to Prepare and Cook Pho?

how to cook pho

With simple tools and skills, you can make your version of Pho at home.

It does not require a complex recipe and is an excellent dish for any time of the day.

Ingredient used for preparing Pho is ginger, onions, coriander seeds, whole clove, chicken or beef stock, water, rice noodles, pepper, basil, and mint leaves, bean sprouts. 

Direction for cooking Pho:

  • Peel, cut, and chop the ginger, onion, and leaves into slices and set them aside. 
  • First, toast the coriander and clove seed for a few minutes. Add ginger and onion and stir until you get the aroma. Let it cool for few minutes. 
  • Return the pot to heat and add two cups of water along with cilantro sprigs and chicken or beef. Let the water boil and simmer. That is the broth or soup of the dish. 
  • In a separate pan, soak the rice noodles in hot water. Once it is pliable, drain and rinses the noodle.
  • Once the chicken is firm, transfer it to a cool and cut or shred into bite-size. 
  • Pour the broth through a mesh strainer and discard the solids. Add fish sauce and sugar to create a savory-sweet note. 
  • Lastly, boil the broth over high heat and add the noodles and meat. Serve it in beautiful bowls and enjoy. 

While cooking, be meticulous not to overcook the noodles.

It is also advised to either use chicken or beef and not both when you are cooking Pho.


Pho has created a place in the hearts of Vietnamese though its origin and popularity are not entirely clear. It is regarded as the country’s national dish.

The warm and comforting taste of the soup won many people’s stomach that travels worldwide.

Families specially make it during special occasions and gatherings.

what does pho taste like

What Does Pho Taste Like? Does Pho Taste Good?

5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Food Taste
Servings 1 Serving


  • Vietnamese Pho
  • Ingredients from your favorite recipes


  • Depending on the recipes you choose, the taste can vastly differ.
  • For authentic results, it is important to choose a recipe that will highlight the original flavor.
  • Have fun experimenting with different recipes and taste tests!
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