Pho Bo with Green Bean Noodles

I was so excited to find green bean noodles in an Asian grocer the other day. I didn’t know they even existed. They are actually white but are apparently made of beans and they look just like vermicelli.

Pho is a Vietnamese street dish that is usually made using beef – “Pho Bo” but is also found made with chicken – “Pho Ga”. It apparently originated in Hanoi where we stayed only a couple of years ago whilst touring through Vietnam and Laos but I sadly never had any whilst I was there.

The trick to this dish is allowing the broth time to marry with all the flavours. It’s quite a mellow dish but the flavour is in the broth and with all the coriander and mint that you add at the end. Make sure you use the stems of the coriander because that is where most of the flavour comes from when using coriander. They will also give you a lovely fragrant crunch. Just slice them finely. If you want more heat use bullet chillies instead of long ones as the long ones are quite mild.

I like it just as is with the noodles and some vegetables but for a more filling serve you can add tofu, seitan or tempeh.



1.5 litres of “beef” stock (I use Massel brand which is flavoured beef but contains no animal products)

2 teaspoons of minced ginger

2 star anise

½ cup of tamari (or soy if you do not have tamari or don’t need this to be gluten free)

200grams of green bean noodles (if you don’t have these, vermicelli or any rice noodle is fine.)

2 cups of fresh bean shoots

1 bunch of fresh coriander (also known as cilantro), washed well, roots finely sliced and leaves roughly chopped

1 cup of fresh mint leaves, washed and roughly chopped

2 long red chillies, sliced lengthways and then finely sliced (If you like heat then use bullet chilli)

1 cup of frozen peas

1 lime



Put the stock, ginger, star anise and tamari into a large pot bring it to the boil, then turn the heat down to a gentle simmer for about 25 minutes to allow all the flavours to infuse and the broth to reduce.

Combine the bean shoots, coriander, mint and chilli in a bowl and set aside.

Just before the next step throw the peas into the broth.

Prepare the noodles as per the packet. Using tongs put equal amounts into your serving bowls. Check the seasoning of the broth and if desired add a little extra tamari (or soy) and/or “beef” broth. When you are happy with the flavour ladle the broth over the noodles, top each serve with a generous serve of the herb mix and serve with a lime wedge.


Serves: Makes 2 large serves.

Time: Haven’t recorded this yet.

Freezing: Not suitable.

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