Photo: Lee Harrelson; Styling: Jan Gautro

Vietnamese Pork-Rice Noodle Soup

Aromatic star anise, fish sauce, and a Thai chile infuse the broth with an intense flavor. When you slice the pork, hold the knife at a slant and cut the pork diagonally into very thin pieces—the meat will be more tender and will cook more quickly.

Oxmoor House JANUARY 2008

  • Yield: 5 servings (serving size: 1/4 cup bean sprouts, 1 cup noodles, about 3 ounces pork, 3/4 cup broth, and about 1 1/2 tablespoons basil)
  • Cook time: 36 Minutes
  • Prep time: 13 Minutes
  • Other: 20 Minutes


  • 8 ounces flat rice stick noodles (banh pho)
  • 1 pound pork tenderloin, trimmed
  • 1 tablespoon dark sesame oil, divided
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 (1-inch) piece peeled fresh ginger, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 medium onion, sliced
  • 4 cups less-sodium beef broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 whole star anise
  • 1 (3-inch) cinnamon stick
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1 small red Thai chile, seeded
  • 1 1/4 cups fresh bean sprouts
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, coarsely chopped
  • 10 lime wedges


Place noodles in a large bowl. Add boiling water to cover; let stand 20 minutes. Drain.

. While noodles soak, cut tenderloin in half lengthwise. Cut each strip into thin slices. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add pork, red pepper, and garlic; sauté 3 to 4 minutes on each side or until pork is lightly browned. Remove pork mixture from pan, and set aside.

. Heat remaining 1 teaspoon oil in pan over medium-high heat. Add ginger and onion; sauté 3 minutes or until onion is tender. Add broth and next 5 ingredients; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer, uncovered, 15 minutes or until liquid is reduced by one-third to about 3 3/4 cups. Strain broth through a metal sieve into a large bowl; discard solids. Keep broth warm.

. Divide bean sprouts among bowls; top with noodles. Place pork evenly over noodles. Ladle broth over pork; top evenly with basil. Squeeze 1 lime wedge over each serving. Serve with remaining lime wedges.

Nutritional Information

Amount per serving
  • Calories: 351
  • Fat: 8g
  • Saturated fat: 2.2g
  • Protein: 23.2g
  • Carbohydrate: 45g
  • Cholesterol: 60mg
  • Iron: 1.9mg
  • Sodium: 899mg
  • Calories from fat: 21%
  • Fiber: 1.6g
  • Calcium: 31mg

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Vietnamese Pork-Rice Noodle Soup Recipe