Recipe: Cheat’s Pho

Pho, a Vietnamese soup that's a street food classic in its home country, is both nourishing and delicious. Here's a version you can make at home with ease.

Nic Gossage/

Cheat’s Pho | House and Leisure

Pho – pronounced 'fuh' – is a Vietnamese soup that is a street food classic in its home country – and a definite contender for the planet's 'most nourishing but also delicious' award.

And although the soup frequently features sliced beef and a rich beef broth (definitely part of its appeal to the meat-lovers among us) it can also be made, as in our recipe below, without any meat at all. 

Pho is also sometimes regarded as complex to make, but it isn't really – this is a recipe that you can make at home with ease. Simply assemble all your ingredients, prep them before starting to cook, and the results are bound to be simply delectable.

Cheat's Pho


  • 1t extra virgin olive oil 
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely grated 
  • 5cm piece ginger, peeled and finely grated 
  • 2 litres vegetable stock 
  • 2 star anise 
  • 1 cinnamon quill 
  • 2t fish sauce 
  • 1t caster sugar
  • Sea salt, to taste 
  • 400g flat rice noodles 
  • 150g mixed mushrooms, such as shiitake and enoki, sliced if large 
  • 1 cup bean sprouts, to serve
  • 2 spring onions, thinly sliced, to serve
  • Lime wedges, to serve
  • Red chilli, finely sliced, to serve
  • Fresh herbs, such as Thai basil, Vietnamese mint and coriander, to serve


Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.

Add the garlic and ginger, and cook for 1 minute or until just starting to soften. 

Add the vegetable stock, star anise, cinnamon, fish sauce, sugar and a pinch of salt, and bring the broth to a simmer. 

Add the rice noodles and cook according to the packet instructions, adding the mushrooms 2 minutes before the noodles finish cooking.

Remove the star anise and cinnamon from the broth and discard. 

Divide the pho among four bowls, topping with the remaining ingredients.

Serves 4
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