Soups & Phở

What is Phở?

Phở, or pho (variously pronounced /fɜːr/, /fʌ/, or /foʊ/) is a Vietnamese soup dish that was invented in the early 20th century, and spread to much of the world with refugees of the Vietnam War. It is typically a beef or chicken broth, served with medium-width rice noodles called bánh phở. From there, the definition gets a little more hazy. Variations on phở are as numerous as the chefs who prepare it. Typical preparations will include herbs like fresh basil or cilantro, sliced jalapeño peppers, sliced steak, beef tripe, beef meatballs, and seafoods like shrimp, artificial crab, and scallops.

The best part of phở to many people is the second half of the preparation: the person eating it gets the opportunity to make it their own! Phở is often served with a collection of condiments including fish sauce, sugar, chili paste, hoisin sauce, and fresh bean sprouts. It’s up to the person eating how they want to flavor the phở, so eating it is both delicious and fun!