Vietnamese Noodle Soup with Ham (Pho)

I developed a passionate love for Vietnamese food when I used to work for a popular Asian fusion restaurant in downtown Corvallis. One of the best experiences was when our boss and owner — whose family was from Vietnam — would make a feast for us employees after the evening shift. We got to sample authentic homestyle dishes that were not on the regular menu. It was like a trip to Vietnam! One of my favorites was pho made from ham bone, a recipe that I will share with you today.

Pho is a Vietnamese soup made of broth, rice noodles, herbs, and meat. Pho is considered Vietnam’s national dish and is served in every household, street stall, and restaurant. The broth is flavored with aromatics like ginger, lemongrass, onion, cardamom, cinnamon, star anise, cloves, fish sauce, and soy sauce. This makes for a very sophisticated palette of flavors.

In this recipe I make ham pho using leftover ham bone from some of the other dishes I’ve had on this blog. There are many ways to make pho broth like roasting the bones and aromatics like ginger and onion before making the broth. Mine here is pretty easy, and doesn’t take long to make.

It is hard to explain the complex flavor of pho. I just know that I really like the flavor that you get, and think that everyone should try this at least once in your life! There’s a hint of cardamom, ginger, star anise, and lemon grass. Simply put, it is delicious, and I might have to go warm up some in a cup right now!



Pho broth

  • 1 tbsp. canola oil
  • 2 green onions, washed, cut into 1 inch long pieces
  • 1 yellow onion, washed, peeled, cut into wedges
  • 5 cloves peeled garlic, smashed
  • 1 lemon grass, both ends removed, bruised, cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1/8 cup sliced fresh ginger
  • 2 star anise
  • 1 stick cinnamon
  • 8 green cardamom pods
  • 2 black cardamom pods
  • 1 large ham bone
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup fish sauce
  • 8 cups water


  • Pho broth
  • 8 oz. cooked rice noodles
  • Thinly sliced deli ham
  • Thinly sliced yellow onion
  • Cilantro leaves
  • Thinly sliced green onions
  • Fried garlic
  • chili garlic sauce
  • Hoisin sauce

Chili garlic sauce

  • 1 tbsp. paprika
  • 1 tbsp. red chili flakes
  • 1 tbsp. jarred fried garlic
  • 2 tbsp. canola oil
Broth ingredients
Pho ingredients


Chili garlic sauce

Thoroughly mix all of the chili garlic sauce ingredients in a small mason jar. Set aside for later use.


To start off, heat oil in a large stock pot over medium-high heat.

Add in green onion, yellow onion, garlic, ginger, lemon grass, star anise, cinnamon, both cardamoms to the oil. Cook until the onions are golden brown. This will take around 5-7 minutes.


Slowly add water and the ham bone to the pot, stirring well. Then, add soy sauce and fish sauce to the broth.

Bring the mixture to a boil and cover. Lower the heat and let it simmer for 45 minutes. After you’ve let it simmer, taste for seasoning. You can add salt if needed.

Strain out the broth, discard the solids (ham bones, onions, etc), and reserve the broth.

To assemble

Place a tsp. of hoisin sauce on the bottom of each soup bowl. Top with some noodles and add broth. Then, arrange sliced yellow onion, ham, cilantro, green onion, lime, Thai chili, and fried garlic or as each person wishes. You can follow along with the video for additional guidence.

Pass along some chili garlic sauce and enjoy!

Serves 6

Did you make this dish? I’d love to know how it turns out! Feel free to like this post and comment or use the hashtag #globaldinein on Instagram. If you would to be notified of upcoming posts, please consider subscribing to my blog!


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