Traditionally, pho is based on a broth made of long-simmered roasted beef bones, oxtails, browned onion and spices, or a lighter broth made with chicken bones. While nothing beats a homemade broth, you can make delicious pho by using a good-quality prepared unsalted stock and infusing it with aromatics followed by a 20-minute simmer. 

Homemade Pho Broth Ingredients

1 star anise

½-inch piece of cinnamon stick

6 whole cloves

4 slices fresh ginger

4 garlic gloves

1 onion, cut into chunks

1 Tbsp. Sugar

½ tsp. black pepper

2 Tbsp. fish sauce

5 cups beef or chicken stock


  1. Preheat your broiler or preheat your oven to 450 degrees. On a foil-lined sheet, cook the garlic, ginger, onion and spices until charred.
  2. Put into a pot with the remaining ingredients (except the fish sauce). Cover and let simmer for 20 minutes.
  3. Strain twice—ideally, pho broth is clear.
  4. Add the fish sauce. Let cool for later use or pour it back into the pot to stay hot while you prep the rest of the pho.
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