The best noodles for Pho is Banh Pho, also known as thin rice noodles. It is also possible to use sweet potato, rice vermicelli glass noodles, and mung bean thread noodles as well as tapioca noodles. In terms of soups with noodles, Vietnamese pho has fast become one of North America’s most sought-after food items. It’s not surprising!
The soup is made from the most basic of ingredients: noodles, broth, seafood, and meat However, it is bursting with flavor and has an extremely satisfying texture.
Although pho broth is certainly the main attraction but this soup wouldn’t be the same without the inclusion of delicious chewy, delicious noodles of some sort to absorb this broth, and even the meat and the herbs.
Find out more about what pho actually is and where it originated, the best noodles to make with pho, as well as an easy and delicious recipe for pho!
What Is Pho?
In its most basic form, it’s a meal consisting of hot soup, rice noodles and beef, however Vietnamese chef have been trying out and adapting with various techniques and ingredients for years.
Pho is a Vietnamese dish that was first introduced in northern Vietnam capital city of Hanoi in the late in the 19th century and into early twentieth. It has since been introduced across the globe.
Pho made from chicken appears to have first appeared in 1939, in response to the government’s ban on the sale of meat on Fridays and Mondays. Since since then, it’s become an extremely popular and delicious variant of the beef pho that is a classic.
This delicious, complex and flavorful food is thought to be originated from the mix from French, Chinese, and Vietnamese influences since these three cultures lived within close proximity in the region at the time.
The French are often credited with infusing Beef into their dish. This was not commonplace in Vietnam in the early days.
Chinese culture provided to the spice mix, and the Vietnamese people modified the traditional water buffalo and rice noodles soup to the delicious pho that we have come to know and love to this day.
The most popular spices to see in the pho bowl include:
- Charred onions as well as garlic and ginger (charring these spices will give the broth a remarkable richness of flavor)
- Star anise
- Fennel seeds
- Cardamom pods
- Cinnamon stick
- Full black peppercorns
- Fish sauce
The blend of these herbs and spices is distinctive in flavor, aroma, and delicious.
The tangy sourness that comes from the fish sauce is what makes the broth, and the star anise imparts it with the licorice flavor. The other spices and herbs are balanced, resulting in a an incredibly harmonious and unique broth.
Northern Vietnamese pho is quite simple, with very little condiments , aside from chili and lime slices.
The most popular version we’re familiar with is that from the south of Vietnam which includes basil, mint and lime. It also has chilies, lime hot broth, and a variety of cuts of meat.
If you’re looking for the noodles used in Pho, one cannot surpass rice noodles. They have a different texture than soba, egg or wheat noodles. They are able to absorb flavours of broth an unique manner.
The Best Noodles For Pho
We now know more about what pho actually is and the importance of noodles (they’re part of 3 primary ingredients! ) We can begin to look at the best noodles to make when making your own pho.
These are only suggestions, so please feel at ease to come up with your own ideas!
1. Banh Pho – Flat Rice Noodles
The top spot on this list is the most traditional noodles used in pho dishes across the globe, particularly in Vietnam.
These rice noodles are chewy and long and have a wonderful texture that is well-suited when soaking in broth for a prolonged period for a long period of.
The length of these noodles could differ slightly however you’ll need one that’s small or medium in size so that it will be able to absorb all the flavorful broth of your Pho.
Consider the size of fettuccine or linguine. They are made of rice flour as well as water.
When you purchase them, they appear white, and they change color when cooked. They aren’t very flavorful they’re pretty bland to offer, which is why they’re the perfect noodles to cook in a steaming hot bowl of delicious Pho.
2. Sweet Potato Glass Noodles
They are definitely not traditional as they are usually utilized to make salads, or as the noodle used in hot pot dishes. But, the texture is quite pleasant and they’re very durable in hot soup like pho.
Glass noodles can be made of the sweet potato’s starch, and then water. When cooked they are almost transparent and hence the name “glass noodle” and have the appearance of a firm, springy texture that’s very appealing.
Similar to rice noodles however, they don’t possess any strong flavor on their own. This makes them ideal for eating in a large bowl of Pho.
3. Mung Bean Thread Vermicelli (aka Glass Noodles, Cellophane Noodles)
They are made from the starch of Mung beans Vermicelli or glass noodles are another option to put in your bowl of Pho.
They’re quick and simple to cook. just boil them for 3 minutes and then add them to soup.
The noodles have a similar texture as the glass sweet potato noodles.
They might not appear the most appealing when they’re packaged as they are a little of a grayish hue prior to when they’ve been cooked. But once they’re cooked, they’re beautiful and clear with a slick and flexible texture that is enjoyable to take a bite of.
4. Bun – Rice Vermicelli
Although this noodles aren’t typically used in pho dishes, they remain delicious.
It is common to see rice vermicelli in salad bowls, noodle rolls and cold salads but I’ve enjoyed it in many bowls of homemade pho whenever I’ve ran out of rice noodles that are flat.
The noodles in Pho are thin and round unlike long and flat like flat rice noodles.
They might not be able to absorb more tasty brothbut will stand up to the competition. Many like the feel of thinner noodles, so it all depends on your individual preference.
I like them since they don’t require cooking them for a long time, just a couple of minutes and a tiny amount is enough.
Similar to flat rice noodles they’re not very flavorful by themselves This makes them ideal to be used in Pho. They’re white after drying and cooked.
5. Banh Canh – Tapioca Noodles
They have a distinct texture than other noodles on this list however they are an appealing alternative more chewy, firmer rice, the sweet potato.
Tapioca noodles tend to be slightly slender than the other types and can provide another layer of flavor to the pho you serve. They are usually made using tapioca flour in its pure form with water or a mix of rice flour and tapioca.
In comparison to other kinds of noodles, they’re comparable to Japanese Udon noodles, and they are available in different sizes and thicknesses. I love the vermicelli type however, you can also find flat noodles as well as other varieties for those who want to be inventive.
6. Ramen Noodles
I believe it’s not a surprise to learn that noodles made of ramen are typically consumed in hot bowls of Ramen. But the texture and taste of ramen noodles is perfect accompaniment to the spicy broth of the perfect bowl of Pho.
In the event that you’re in the process of making your own broth for pho and go to the pantry and you only have noodles made of ramen, don’t be worried! These delicious, thin noodles can be replaced to create delicious results.
The pastas are made of salt, wheat, and water. They are more of a soft feel as compared to Italian wheat noodles.
The majority of ramen noodles are made using wheat flour. However, there are now rice flour alternatives too if you’d like to give them a try or if you are unable to eat gluten/wheat.
I like the squiggly, silky texture Ramen and the fact that they absorb flavor very well, which makes an excellent option to add to your bowl of Pho!
7. Mi – Egg Noodles
A different, non-traditional style of noodle that could add a unique twist to your traditional Pho are Vietnamese egg noodles, commonly referred to as mi.
They are like the Chinese lo mein kind of noodles. They are a form of egg-yellow noodle that is made of wheat flour.
They are commonly utilized in stir-fries, however they could also be a great ingredient in pho noodle soup because of their distinct texture and mild taste. They are a little more bite and taste than rice noodles, yet can still be used in a simple manner.
Simply soak with boiling water for five minutes and then wash them in cold water and then toss in a bit of oil to keep the pho from sticking. Put them in the bowl of pho and have fun!
8. Soba Noodles
Another type of noodles that isn’t typically utilized in pho, however, they can provide a wonderful texture and add a twist to an old favorite are soba noodles.
They’re a kind of Japanese-style noodles that are typically made of buckwheat flour and water, but they are available in many varieties currently.
These noodles are fantastic in soups since they are soft and easily drinkable. Additionally, these noodles have a sweet taste due to the buckwheat which is great with the strong spice and aromatics of a well-cooked Pho broth.
They look a bit like spaghetti, in terms of the length and thickness, although there is lots of variations in both size and shape.
If you’re looking to put an alternative to a classic, but you still desire a super-slippy and delicious noodle, consider making soba noodles in your soup!
9. Udon Noodles
Another amazing Japanese noodles, Udon is chewy, thick and fantastic in all soups.
Typically they are served in a basic Dashi broth, however, they can also be used in a large batch of Pho. They are made using grains of wheat and salt and water. They are round or flat.
Their chewy, nutty texture make the perfect companion for an omlette that is stuffed with spices, herbs, and seafood or meat.
How To Make Pho Broth
After you’ve learned which noodles taste like the best in Pho, discover how to prepare a simple and delicious broth that can be customized using different meats, sauces and noodles – not forgetting you could use a noodle board for extra authenticity!
- 1 lb. bones of chicken or beef
- 1 White Onion
- 1 clove garlic
- 6 inches ginger
- 6-star anise bulb
- 1 tbsp. whole fennel seeds
- 1/2 tsp. whole cloves
- 1/4 tsp. ground Nutmeg
- 1-2 tsp. cardamom pods
- Four cinnamon sticks, or one teaspoon. ground cinnamon
- 1 tbsp. whole black peppercorns
- 1/2 cup fish sauce
- 1 tsp. sea salt
- 1 tbsp. sugar
- 8-10 cups water
- Bake the cake in an oven.
- Cut the onion in half, then into quarters, making sure to keep their skins on.
- Split the garlic bulb and smash each clove, retaining their skins on.
- Cut the ginger into smaller pieces and smash them using the blade that is flat.
- Put the bones garlic, onions, and ginger in the large cast-iron skillet and put it in the oven.
- Mix with a spatula once every few minutes. You want to see burnt skins as well as browning of bones as well as aromatics.
- As the aromas cook take your spices out and tie them onto small pieces of tea bag or cheesecloth. Put them in your large stockpot, crockpot, or instant Pot.
- After the aromatics have brown and blackened, around 5-10 minutes according to the oven Add them to the pot.
- Fill the container with water and add salt from the sea, fish sauce along with sugar.
- Put the lid on the Instant Pot and ensure that you have set the vent for “Sealed”
- Click the manual button, and set the timer for 40-60 minutes. The longer it takes to cook, the more intense the flavor.
- Once the broth has completed cooking, let the steam naturally release (unless you’re trying to eat dinner in a hurry and need to eat fast, in which case you’ll be able to let the pressure go).
- Blend the soup, then season it according to your preference. If the broth is very heavy, you may reduce it with boiling water before serving it.
- Turn the heat up to high and let the broth simmer for 6-8 hours. It is possible to add additional water in the next 4 hours to ensure that it doesn’t evaporate completely.
- Strain the broth, and then season it with pepper and salt to your preference. If the broth is thick, don’t hesitate to reduce it a little by adding hot water.
Saucepan On The Stove:
- Place the lid on top of the saucepan, and make sure the water is brought to simmer.
- After the water has been boiled, lower the temperature and let it let it simmer for six to eight hours.
- Strain the broth and add seasoning according to your preference. You can dilute super rich-flavored broth using water until you have the flavor you’re seeking.
Keep the broth inside mason jars that are kept in the refrigerator. If you plan to freeze any broth left over, make sure to leave a quarter inch space on top to avoid an explosion in the jar. Broth can last for approximately one week in the refrigerator.