by: Max M Rasmussen

Pho - Vietnamese soup

Pho is the Vietnamese version of the classical chicken meat soup. The difference is that it is more used as a "pho principle" than as a single recipe. The basic soup itself is very simple, but the content can be varied indefinitely.


2 servings
on the side

  • 2 slices of lemon
  • 1 oz (20 g) chili
  • 3 oz (100 g) bean sprouts
  • 1/3 oz (10 g) Vietnamese basil
  • 1/3 oz (10 g) coriander
  • 3 oz (100 g) noodles
  • 2 cups (6 dl) chicken stock (eg Super Simple Soup Stock )
  • 1 cup (2 dl) water
  • 2 tbsp asian fish sauce
  • 2 oz (50 g) spring onions (½-1 piece)
  • 3-4 oz (100 g) prawns (main ingredient)


on the side 

Start with the ingredients that go on the side. It is quick and there is no stress when the soup is to be served.

Cut the lemon into 4 half slices.

Cut the chilli into thin slices.

Rinse and dry the Basil and Coriander. Plate it with the lemon and chili.

If you prefer, you can chop the herbs a bit, so that they are ready to sprinkle into the soup.

Rinse and dry the bean sprouts well, then place them on the same plate.


Cut the spring onion in thin slices.

Bring the noodles to a simmer. I use 1 quart (1 liter) of water and add 1 tablespoon of salt. Just put the noodles, salt and water into the pot and then turn up the heat. Rice noodles are easy that way. They should boil approx. 5 minutes until they are soft. (look at the package, it's a little different from brand to brand.)

Bring the soup to a simmer. Add stock, water, fish sauce and spring onion. Let it simmer for a couple of minutes so the spring onion get a bit soft.

Add the prawns and simmer on for a minute or two. Prawns should only be heated to approx. 120°F (50°C) to be done. If they are cooked too long they will both shrink and become chewy. It should feel a bit like they are crispy when you eat them. As soon as they are opaque they are finished. It's not all types of prawns that goes pink.

Add the noodles to a bowl, and pour the soup with the prawns over.

Serve with the "on the side" ingredients.


You can use any kind of noodle you prefer. Just follow the instructions on the package.

The rice noodles I prefer are roughly the same size as a thin spaghetti. According to the package, they have a thickness of 1.2 mm (0.05 inch).

If they cook for too long they fall apart. Then you know they need less cooking next time.

The rice noodles are usually gluten free, if you care about that.

You can use whatever prawn or shrimp you prefer. I usually use 6 of the big tiger prawns per person.

Other main ingredients

I have had it in many version instead of with the shrimp as main ingredient. use 3-4 oz (100 g) per serving.

  • thin slices of fish or scallions
  • thin slices of tender veal
  • thin slices of boiled pork
  • pork sausages in slices (yes sausage soup)
  • tofu
  • chicken meat (I often use the bits left on the bones after cooking a stock.)
  • duck breast in thin slices

Pho - Vietnamese Soup - Max M Rasmussen
Ingredients - Max M Rasmussen
Ready to eat - Max M Rasmussen