What the pho?

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So, we may have seen them scattered around our local food districts as Pho 99, Pho 2, Pho 134, but what is all the craze about? Pho, by definition is a meat broth based soup with flat rice noodles, vegetables, bean sprouts, and hot peppers. The spices can vary from coriander, cloves, star anise, and fennel. As Vietnams unofficial national dish, this delicious soup has taken the world by storm. Traditionally, Pho (pronounced ‘fuh’) is made with beef bones, tendons, tripe, and the lesser quality cuts of meat. But due to its emergence in the United States and its ever-growing popularity, it is now commonly marinated with chicken bones and only lean pieces of meat are chosen. Also, the term Pho is actually referring to the noodle and not the soup. When you find yourself venturing into the vast world that is Pho, consider a few things. ‘Ga’ typically means that the dish contains chicken and ‘Bo’ means that the dish is prepared with beef. The secret to this soup is the broth. Many Vietnamese swear by the fact that the broth in pho is the most judged and most important part of the dish. It should be aromatic and should entice the palate before even taking your first bite. Many people may not be able to even pronounce Pho correctly but in Vietnam, Pho is an essential meal every single day. Some may be surprised to find in Vietnam, the dish is even served for breakfast. So next time you’re scrambling up some eggs before work, consider a savory bowl of Pho to start your day off!




  1. Great article!  I have never tried Vietnamese food but want to try Pho!  Thanks for specific descriptions.

  2. I love Pho! It’s everywhere here in LA and I wish I could have it every day. This article is perfect for the people I try to describe it to who don’t know what it is!

  3. This is a great article, Erin! Very informative and educational. I have eaten Vietamese food and love it! But have never tried Pho 

  4. Erin, very interesting and informative! I love Vietnamese good but have never tried Pho!!!!

  5. Enjoyed your article a lot.  In Vietnam we weren’t sure what to call the soup/broth but now I now.  Thanks for sharing!!

  6. Erin!  Great article, and as a matter of fact, just had it for lunch today with a wonderful vegetable broth and tofu.  Bel Mar has a great little place!  Thanks for the very well-written article that I hope many people read it so I don’t have to try to explain it again!

  7. One of my good friends from high school is Vietnamese and her mom always made us the most amazing pho! This article was very informative and I learned many interesting facts that I was previously unaware of. Thank you for educating me about one of my favorite dishes!

  8. I love pho!  But honestly, I never knew anything about the dish – except that it’s delicious- until this article.  Thank you Erin, for this article. 

  9. I LOVE pho… I have been to a couple different places, and since it’s gaining popularity there are actually even different twists on it depending on where you go! One place I went had a choice of different types of noodles, and a choice of three different types of broths.

  10. Pho is one of my biggest comfort foods. Every time I have enough money and enough stress I will go eat pho guilt free! it’s so good and rather healthy too! I could eat a whole vat of it and still roll around quite happily!

  11. I’ve long pronounced Pho like it’s spelled rather than “fuh” so at least now I know! haha I liked that you included tips like knowing whether the dish will have chicken or beef. I also didn’t know that Pho actually refers to the noodle rather than the soup. Very interesting article!

  12. I had pho for the first time about a month ago!! I’m a fan. I don’t know about eating it for breakfast though.

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