A fresh plate of herbs comes with many Vietnamese main dishes, including pho, the national soup of Vietnam. This version, from Andrea Nguyen, author of The Pho Cookbook (Ten Speed Press; $20), gives you options. You can go super-simple and stick to just mint and slices of chile, or add more herbs if you like. If there's a Vietnamese market near you, it's worth heading there for spicy Thai mint (hung cay); culantro (ngo gai), an herb with a strong, slightly sweet cilantro flavor; and rice-paddy herb (ngo om), which tastes of citrus and cumin. Thai basil is available at farmers' markets, Asian grocers, and well-stocked grocery stores.This recipe goes with: Pressure Cooker Chicken Pho

Andrea Nguyen
This Story Originally Appeared On sunset.com


Credit: Thomas J. Story

Recipe Summary test

10 mins
Serves 4


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • At least 30 minutes and up to 2 hours before serving, refresh herbs: Trim stems. Set mint (and cilantro and regular basil, if using), stem side down in a large bowl of water. Submerge Thai basil, culantro, and rice-paddy herb (if using) fully in bowls of water. Pat herbs dry.

  • Leave bean sprouts raw, or soften them a little so they add just a gentle crunch to pho: When water is boiling for pho noodles (step 10 of master recipe), add bean sprouts, stir around for a minute or so, and lift out with a strainer; set on a paper towel to drain.

  • Put chiles in a small dish and set on a large plate or a platter. Arrange everything else on plate and serve immediately.


The Pho Cookbook (Ten Speed Press; $20).