Photo of Beef pho by WW

Beef pho

Total Time
37 min
20 min
17 min
This traditional Vietnamese dish is a fragrant combination of beef, seasonings and fresh vegetables. It's served over rice noodles and then covered with rich bone broth. Star anise, cinnamon, and black pepper are three of the spices in five-spice powder, a blend common in Chinese and Vietnamese cooking. The trio of spices here adds exotic notes to this steaming soup. Star-shaped star anise is a brown pod from an evergreen tree related to the magnolia. Each pod contains eight seeds that are slightly more bitter than fennel or regular anise eeds. Star anise pods are commonly used in Asian cuisines and in tea blends. Find whole pods in jars in the spice aisle of the supermarket or in bulk bags in Asian markets.


Uncooked lean trimmed sirloin beef

¾ pound(s)

Table salt

¾ tsp

Black pepper

¼ tsp

Canola oil

2 tsp


1 cup(s), chopped, chopped

Canned beef broth

4 cup(s), reduced-sodium

Cinnamon stick

2 average

Star anise

1 tsp, 2 star anise pods


½ tsp, black, about 10 peppercorn

Fish sauce

1½ Tbsp, Asian

Packaged rice noodles

4 oz, dried, flat


3 medium, white and light green parts, thinly sliced


4 medium, thinly sliced


¼ cup(s), chopped, fresh


1 item(s), cut into 4 wedges


  1. Heat ridged grill pan over medium-high heat. Sprinkle steak with 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper. Place steak on grill pan and cook until browned and instant-read thermometer inserted into center of steak registers 145⁰F for medium, 6−8 minutes per side. Transfer steak to cutting board and let stand 5 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, heat oil in large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until golden, about 8 minutes. Add broth, cinnamon sticks, star anise, peppercorns, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and bring to boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer 5 minutes. Stir in fish sauce.
  3. Cook rice noodles according to package directions. Drain and divide among individual shallow bowls.
  4. Remove cinnamon sticks, star anise, and peppercorns from beef mixture. Slice beef very thinly against the grain into about 20 slices. Layer beef over noodles. Top beef with scallions, radishes, and cilantro. Ladle remaining broth and onions over dishes and serve with lime wedges.