With bone broth being all the health rage now, this healthy, warming pho soup (pronounced fer or fur) will be a staple this winter. It’s Vietnamese street food from your very own kitchen.

Serves 4 


For the broth:

• 2 medium onions 

• Thumb-size piece of ginger 

• 2.5kg beef soup bones, including marrow and knuckle bones 

• 2.5L water 

• 5 star anise 

• 6 whole cloves

• 2 sticks cinnamon 

• 600g rump or sirloin, sliced paper-thin

• 400g Thai rice noodles or egg noodles (I used egg noodles, although the authentic version calls for rice noodles)

• 1½ Tbsp salt

• 4 Tbsp fish sauce

• 1½ Tbsp white sugar or palm sugar 


• ½ cup mint leaves

• ½ cup coriander leaves

• ½ cup basil leaves

• 4 spring onions, chopped

• 2 fresh chilies, chopped 

• 1 lime, cut in wedges
• Sprouts 


Chargrill the onions and ginger on the gas part of your stove or on your BBQ, until the skin is slightly blackened and the onions are soft. Wash the burnt bits off the onion and ginger. With the back of a spoon, bruise the ginger. Place bones in cold water and bring to the boil. Once boiling for 5 minutes, empty out the water and briefly wash the bones. Add new water (2.5L) to the bones and bring to the boil. Add the cinnamon, clove and star anise. Add the onions and ginger, fish sauce, salt and sugar. Lightly simmer for 2.5 hours with the lid on. Strain liquid, discarding the bones, onions and ginger. Bring the broth to a rapid boil. Cook noodles in boiling water until tender, but not too soft, and drain. In big Chinese-style bowls, place the cooked noodles in the bottom. Add the thinly sliced pieces of meat. Ladle the broth over the meat; the hot broth will cook the meat. Garnish with spring onion, chilli, lots of herbs and sprouts, as well as a good squeeze of lime.