Vietnamese Pho Bo

Winter Challenge: lighten up with soup Vietnamese style

Continuing our search for great winter comfort food that we won’t regret in the morning, we’re going to Asia. For those of you who have been with me for a while, you’ll know now much I love Asian food. For those of you who have just joined, a big welcome; it’s not going to take you long to get comfortable with my adoration of all things Asian. It’s the complexity of flavours and textures that gets me every time: sweet, sour, salty, spicy. Well that and the natural leaning towards lighter dishes – big flavour, low fat.

And so as promised last week, we’re doing Vietnamese comfort food dish Pho Bo. Pho Bo (pronounced foe bow) is a soupy bowl of spicy wonderfulness made with beef, stock, vegetables and noodles. All finished off with a fresh spritz of lime (if you can’t find lime, just use lemon). Mmmmmm, it’s making my mouth salivate just thinking about it.

Many will say the secret to a great Pho Bo is in the stock. Some enthusiasts take anywhere between 5-20 hours making a good one. Now I have absolutely no doubt that the broth would be out of this world after cooking down for 20 hours but when I need to eat, I need to eat! I use a beef stock and flavour it with herbs and spices that make it extra yummy.

Consequently, my cooking time is about 20 minutes tops which is a bonus on those week nights when I need something really tasty and comforting but haven’t got the spare 20 hours to cook down beef bones (I’ll save that for the weekend….. maybe).

I’m getting hungry and could just go a bowl of Pho Bo right now. What about you? Do you love a good soup? Do you make your own stocks?

Vietnamese Pho Bo


Indulge without guilt
Eat without deprivation
Cook great food even when you are on your own
Embrace food moods
Eat what you want



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