Vietnamese Pho Soup

Pho is a traditional Vietnamese soup dish served in households, street stalls, and restaurants worldwide.  It consists of broth, rice noodles, herbs, and meat.  If you’re looking for something quick, warm, and comforting, this might be worth a try!

This umami-flavoured soup will provide satiation (short-term feelings of fullness) from the bulk of the noodles and satiety (feelings of fullness over the long term) from the protein-rich beef.  Additionally, the greens provide a range of vitamins and minerals like vitamins A, C, and K1, along with calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, and potassium.

Low-carbers: don’t hit that back button just yet!  If you’re keeping an eye on carbs, you can use zero-carb miracle noodles made from konjac root. 



One serving provides 455 calories, 28 grams of protein, 18 grams of fat and 38 grams of net carbs.


The Cronometer screengrab below shows the nutrients provided by 2000 calories of this recipe provides relative to our Optimal Nutrient Intakes (ONIs). 


Makes: one serving

  • 1 oz (28 grams) onions
  • 2 tbsp (40 grams) ginger root
  • 1/3 tsp (2 grams) Star Anise  
  • 1 tsp (3 grams) cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp (12 grams) fennel seed           
  • 1 (3 grams) tsp white pepper
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 2 oz (60 grams) rice noodles
  • 2 (7 grams) shiitake mushrooms       
  • 1 tbsp (13.5 grams)     sesame oil
  • 5 cups (240 ml) beef broth (store-bought or homemade)
  • 4 thin slices (37 grams) of roast beef  
  • 3 oz (85 grams) mung bean sprouts
  • 3 oz (85 grams) basil
  • 2 sprigs (5 grams) of cilantro leaves
  • 4 sprigs (10 grams) of watercress
  • 4 slices (7 grams) jalapeno peppers
  • 1 tsp (7 grams) sriracha sauce,          
  • 1 tsp (5 grams) hoisin sauce 


For the Broth

  1.  Purchase low-sodium beef broth or make your own.  Heat it and add traditional spices, onion, ginger root, and shiitake mushrooms.
  • Add sriracha sauce to give it some taste and heat.
  • You can (optionally) add hoisin sauce, too; it’s an option because it contains sugar.
  • For the beef, you can either cook or purchase it pre-made from the deli (rare).  However, most people opt to make it themselves.
  • We recommend using vermicelli rice noodles or very low-carb ‘miracle noodles made from konjac root.  They’re often readily available at your local Walmart or grocery store in the US or your neighbourhood Woolies in Aus.

Choose Your Garnishes  

  • Sprouted mung beans
  • Thai basil or regular basil if you cannot get Thai basil
  • Cilantro (coriander); if you hate cilantro, mint is a great substitute
  • Watercress
  • Jalapeno slices
  • Shiitake mushrooms cooked in the broth, sliced thin, and added on top
  • Additional sriracha and hoisin sauce


  • Cathy Wightman