Quick Beef & Napa Cabbage Pho

Quick Beef & Napa Cabbage Pho

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From: EatingWell Magazine, November/December 2016

Classic Vietnamese noodle soup typically takes hours to make, but this healthy pho recipe gets tons of flavor from cooking the aromatics and spices before adding the broth. Serve with hoisin, Sriracha and lime wedges.

Ingredients 4 servings

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Original recipe yields 4 servings
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  • 1 tablespoon peanut or grapeseed oil
  • 1 medium onion, cut into 6 wedges
  • 1 (2 inch) piece fresh ginger, sliced
  • 2 star anise (see Tip)
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 teaspoon cardamom pods
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 4 cups unsalted beef stock or low-sodium beef broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 2½ tablespoons fish sauce
  • 4 ounces thin rice noodles or rice sticks
  • 8 napa cabbage leaves, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 12 ounces top sirloin or boneless rib-eye steak, very thinly sliced
  • 2 cups mung bean sprouts
  • 1 cup fresh mint and/or Thai basil leaves
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, sliced


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  1. Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add onion and ginger; cook, stirring, until starting to brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Add star anise, cinnamon stick, cardamom pods, coriander and fennel seeds; cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Add stock (or broth), water and fish sauce; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to maintain a lively simmer, cover and cook for 5 minutes.
  2. Prepare rice noodles according to package directions. Drain and rinse well with cold water. Divide among 4 large soup bowls.
  3. Carefully pour the broth through a fine-mesh sieve into a large bowl (discard solids). Return the broth to the pot and bring to a boil. Add cabbage, cover and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in beef and cook for 1 minute. Remove from heat.
  4. Divide the cabbage, beef and broth among the bowls. Top with bean sprouts, mint and/or basil and jalapeño.
  • Tips: Star anise—named for its star-shaped pods that come from a small ever­green tree native to China—lends a licorice-like flavor to many Asian dishes. Look for it with bulk spices in natural-foods stores or at Asian markets.

Nutrition information

  • Serving size: about 2¾ cups each
  • Per serving: 311 calories; 8 g fat(2 g sat); 3 g fiber; 33 g carbohydrates; 26 g protein; 91 mcg folate; 44 mg cholesterol; 4 g sugars; 0 g added sugars; 1,414 IU vitamin A; 26 mg vitamin C; 84 mg calcium; 3 mg iron; 868 mg sodium; 727 mg potassium
  • Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin C (43% daily value), Vitamin A (28% dv), Folate (23% dv)
  • Carbohydrate Servings: 2
  • Exchanges: 1½ starch, 1 vegetable, 2½ lean meat, ½ fat

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