The Ultimate Faux Pho Recipe You Need To Try!

Vietnamese cuisine is renowned for its fresh ingredients, bold flavors, and exquisite balance between sweet, sour, salty, and spicy. And one of the most iconic Vietnamese dishes is pho, a soul-warming noodle soup that showcases the depth and complexity of the country’s culinary heritage.

However, authentic pho is not easy to replicate at home. It requires many aromatic spices (such as star anise and cinnamon), a long simmering time to extract the rich umami from the beef or chicken bones, and a good dose of patience to skim off any impurities that may cloud the broth.

But fear not! As a chef specializing in Vietnamese and Asian cuisine, I have come up with a faux pho recipe that captures the essence of the traditional dish while being quick and easy to make.

This quick faux pho recipe uses chicken broth infused with ginger, cinnamon stick, fish sauce, and other aromatics to create an aromatic and flavorful base. Rice noodles replace traditional pho noodles for a gluten-free alternative, while thinly sliced faux chicken replicates the protein element found in traditional pho.

The spices used in this recipe are readily available at most grocery stores or online retailers so you won’t have to search high and low for them. And with a few simple substitutions and variations, you can customize this faux pho recipe to your liking.

So whether you’re craving a warm bowl of hearty soup on a chilly day or looking to impress guests with your culinary skills, this faux pho recipe is sure to satisfy your cravings.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Faux Pho
Faux Pho

Imagine indulging in a steaming bowl of Vietnam’s signature noodle soup without leaving the comfort of your own home. Are you craving some vietnamese pho but don’t have the luxury of spending all day simmering the broth? Look no further than this fantastic faux pho recipe that will take less than half the time without sacrificing the flavor.

In this quick recipe, chicken broth, mixed herbs, and classic pho ingredients such as star anise and cinnamon stick meld together for rich and savory goodness, creating an enticing aroma to fill your space. The addition of thinly sliced faux chicken brings sustenance and texture that will make you forget about traditional meat options.

You’re probably asking yourself, “Why would I want to replace chicken or beef with faux chicken?” Well, let me tell you, it’s all about a healthier option without compromising on taste. Faux chicken is high in protein without being fattening and it absorbs flavors just as well as regular chicken. With so many options in plant-based products these days, it’s exciting to see that cravings can still be satisfied with these meat alternatives.

Moreover, flexibility is a specialty in this recipe. For those who want some heat in their bowl, add red pepper flakes or hot sauce on top. Sugar and fish sauce give you the sweetness and umami in every bite while lime juice provides a burst of tanginess that ties everything together.

All in all, this recipe allows you to enjoy authentic Vietnamese pho at home in less time with fewer calories while substituting meat with a healthier choice: tofu or plant-based faux-chicken nuggets. You’ll love how easy it is to store and reheat leftovers for future meals. Trust me – after trying this faux-pho recipe once, you’ll keep returning for more!

Ingredient List

 A bowl of comforting warmth
A bowl of comforting warmth

Before we delve into the deliciousness of this Faux Pho recipe, let’s take a closer look at what ingredients you will need to bring this dish to life. Fear not, as most of them can be found at your local grocery store or market.

Recipe Ingredients:

  • 8 oz rice noodles
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 8 cups chicken broth
  • 3 star anise
  • 3-inch piece ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp oil (medium-high heat)
  • 8 oz faux chicken, sliced thinly
  • Mixed herbs, bean sprouts and red pepper flakes for garnish
  • Lime juice (juice of 1/2 lime)

Don’t worry if you can’t find a few items on the list, our recipe allows for substitutions and variations. Now that you have all the necessary ingredients in your pantry, it’s time to get cooking!

The Recipe How-To

 A fragrant and flavorful soup
A fragrant and flavorful soup

To start with, let me just say, making faux pho is easier than it sounds. Trust me on this, I’ve been there before. Let’s get started.

Gather the Ingredients

The faux pho recipe ingredients are as follows:

  • 2 tbsp oil (for cooking)
  • 3 garlic cloves (minced)
  • 1 small onion (diced)
  • 3-inch piece of ginger (peeled and sliced)
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 3 star anise
  • 8 cups of chicken broth
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Rice noodles (cooked according to package instructions)
  • sliced cooked chicken breast or chicken faux pho
  • Mixed herbs (cilantro, scallions and basil)
  • bean sprouts
  • lime wedges
  • Red pepper flakes (if you like heat)

Making the Broth

Heat up your soup pot over medium heat. Add in the oil, garlic and onion. Cook until fragrant, which usually takes about a minute. Then add in the ginger, cinnamon stick and star anise. Stir for another minute.

Next up, pour the chicken broth into the pot and add in the fish sauce as well as 1 tsp of sugar. Increase the heat to high heat until it boils. Reduce heat to low and let it simmer for around 20 minutes.

Preparing the Toppings

While the broth is simmering, it’s time to prepare your toppings! This is where your creativity comes into play. You can choose any toppings that suit your preferences. We suggest sliced cooked chicken breast or shredded chicken faux pho, mixed herbs like cilantro, scallions and basil, bean sprouts, and lime wedges.

Assembling Your Faux Pho

Now that the broth is done and the toppings are ready, it’s time to assemble your faux pho.

In a serving bowl, place a handful of cooked rice noodles. Add your cooked chicken breast or chicken faux pho on top of the noodles. Then pour hot faux pho broth over the chicken and noodle mixture. Finally, add your mixed herbs and bean sprouts. Squeeze a lime wedge over the bowl and sprinkle with red pepper flakes.

Enjoy Your Faux Pho!

You have now made a delicious bowl of faux pho! Enjoy and savor all the flavors of this Vietnamese classic. Don’t forget to keep some extra lime wedges, red pepper flakes, fish sauce and hoisin sauce on the side. Happy cooking!

Substitutions and Variations

 A deliciously healthy twist on traditional pho
A deliciously healthy twist on traditional pho

Cooking is all about experimentation and making recipes your own. If you want to switch up the flavors in this faux pho recipe, there are many variations and substitutions you can try.

For a vegetarian or vegan-friendly option, swap out the chicken broth for vegetable broth and use tofu or mushrooms instead of the faux chicken. You can also add more vegetables like bok choy, snap peas, or even broccoli for some added crunch.

If you prefer beef over chicken, you can use beef broth and thinly sliced steak as the protein. For a richer flavor profile, try adding some pork belly to your pho broth.

When it comes to spices and seasonings, there’s room for creativity too. You can add more red pepper flakes if you like it extra spicy, or omit them altogether if you prefer a milder taste. You can also experiment with different herbs like cilantro, basil or mint. If you don’t have star anise on hand or just don’t like the taste, you can substitute with allspice or cloves.

For a gluten-free option, use rice noodles instead of wheat-based noodles. Additionally, fish sauce is often used in Vietnamese cooking but may not be suitable for individuals with a seafood allergy. If this is the case for you, consider using soy sauce as an alternative.

Remember to always taste as you go when experimenting with substitutions or variations. Pho is meant to be personalized and tailored to your liking.

Serving and Pairing

 The ultimate comfort food for rainy days
The ultimate comfort food for rainy days

Now that you’ve created a flavorful pot of Faux Pho, let’s talk about how to really elevate the dish. First and foremost, dispel any conventional notions of “pho etiquette.” This is your Faux Pho, and there are no rules!

To make your Faux Pho even more enjoyable, consider adding several sides and garnishes. The most common ones are mixed herbs (cilantro, basil, mint) and crispy bean sprouts. Red pepper flakes, Sriracha or other hot sauce can add spice while lime juice adds acidity. Dip these in a small bowl of fish sauce to mellow out the flavors.

For a more substantial serving suggestion, try combining two different noodle varieties like one rice noodle with another wheat-based noodle. Another interesting topping is thinly sliced pork belly if you eat pork or chicken.

Pair your Faux Pho with some light beer or tea for starters. However, if you prefer something stronger, go for light red wine to complement the broth’s richness.

Now it’s time to enjoy your newly created bowl of Faux Pho! Savor the rich flavors and treat yourself to an authentic Vietnamese-style meal right in the comfort of your own home.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 A nourishing and satisfying meal in a bowl
A nourishing and satisfying meal in a bowl

As with most soups, faux pho can easily be made ahead of time and stored for later consumption. When making a large batch of this soup, it is important to consider how you will store it properly. The broth and noodles should be stored separately to avoid the noodles soaking up all the liquid.

Storing Faux Pho

To store the broth, simply cool it down and transfer it to airtight containers before storing in the refrigerator or freezer. Label them properly so that you can easily identify them later for reheating. The broth can last up to 4 days in the refrigerator and up to 3 months in the freezer.

The noodles, on the other hand, should be stored separately in airtight containers at room temperature. These can last up to 2 days.

Reheating Faux Pho

When it comes to reheating your faux pho, there are several options depending on your convenience. If you only need a small amount of soup, simply heat up the broth on low heat, bring it to a simmer and add cooked noodles and protein until heated through.

If you want to reheat a whole batch of soup, bring the frozen broth to room temperature before reheating. The noodles should also be brought back to room temperature before reheating in hot water.

For best results, assemble your bowl with fresh garnishes such as lime wedges, bean sprouts and mixed herbs right before serving to maintain its freshness and flavor.

Keep these storage and reheating tips handy, so that you can enjoy a warm and comforting bowl of faux pho anytime!

Tips for Perfect Results

 The perfect balance of spicy and savory flavors
The perfect balance of spicy and savory flavors

Creating a delicious and authentic Vietnamese dish such as faux pho can be quite the feat. Here are some tips that will guarantee you get the perfect flavors and textures every time:

1. Use Fresh Ingredients: Always use fresh herbs, vegetables, and spices for the best results. The combination of mixed herbs, ginger, fish sauce, and star anise creates the unique flavor of pho.

2. Don’t Over-Saturate with Herbs: While mixed herbs are a vital component of pho; too much herb can overpower more subtle flavors such as fish sauce, cinnamon stick, or ginger.

3. Toast Your Spices: You can enhance the robust flavor of your spices by toasting them in your soup pot before cooking your Pho broth.

4. Spice Infusion: For maximum infusion of spice into your broth, allow it to simmer gently for at least 30 minutes before adding other ingredients.

5. Chicken Faux Pho: If you’re making chicken faux pho, use a whole chicken or at least a combination of bone-in chicken breasts and thighs to enhance the taste.

6. Reusing Your Broth: If you’re reusing your broth from earlier while making pho, skim off any fat and strain it properly with cheesecloth to remove all excess impurities.

7. Noodle Cooking Technique: Parboiling noodles until almost tender separately makes sure that they don’t absorb too much broth when cooked together.

8. Personalize Add-Ons – Feel free to add toppings such as bean sprouts, red pepper flakes, hot sauce or even squeeze lime for extra zing. Don’t forget that authenticity is key- keep it simple!

By following these tips devoutly, you ensure an exceptional faux pho experience that is tasty and healthy- all in the comfort of your own kitchen!


As you set out to make this savoury Faux Pho Recipe, questions may arise regarding ingredients or methods. To avoid any confusion or doubts, below are answers to some Frequently Asked Questions for your reference. Let’s dive in, and clear up some uncertainties you may have while preparing this delicious dish.

What are the secret ingredients in pho?

Dried peanut worms, also known as sa sung, are said to be the key element in making a delicious bowl of pho.

What gives pho its distinct flavor?

Pho has a simple flavor profile, with the exception of meat, which provides the main taste. The broth tastes delicious due to ingredients such as charred onions and ginger, which add a sweet smokiness and pungency. In order to create an alluring aroma, the broth is also infused with spices such as star anise, cinnamon and cloves. Salt and a savory umami flavor are provided by fish sauce, while sugar adds a hint of sweetness. Finally, additional ingredients such as fresh herbs and lime juice can be added to enhance the pho’s flavors.

What makes pho unhealthy?

Pho is a delicious and flavorful dish, but it’s important to be mindful of its high sodium content. Some bowls of pho can contain over 1,000 mg of sodium, which is a significant portion of the daily recommended intake. Consuming excessive amounts of sodium can lead to health issues, such as high blood pressure and cardiovascular problems. Therefore, it’s important to exercise caution when preparing and consuming pho.

What can I use instead of pho?

For those seeking a hearty and flavorful Asian soup, consider exploring two options: Bun Bo Hue and Tom Ka Gai. The former features thicker rice vermicelli noodles while the latter boasts a coconut milk-based broth with a spice kick.

Bottom Line

So there you have it, my dear readers! I hope this Faux Pho Recipe article has motivated you to give this faux pho recipe a try in your kitchen. Whether you’re craving a hearty yet healthy noodle soup, or simply seeking new and creative ways to cook healthy meals, this recipe has you covered.

With its flavorful mix of ingredients, including star anise, cinnamon stick, and fish sauce, this dish packs a punch in terms of flavor and aroma. And let’s not forget the perfect balance of heat from the red pepper flakes and kick from the lime juice. Plus, with its flexibility in regards to substitutions and variations, you can customize it to your liking while keeping its base flavors intact.

As always when cooking any type of dish, attention to detail is key. From prepping the mixed herbs and thinly slicing the red bell peppers to making sure you’re using either chicken or pork belly for that added protein boost, every step has an impact on the final result.

So put on your apron and gather those ingredients! Trust me when I say that once you’ve taken that first slurp of broth and noodle goodness, you’ll never go back to store-bought noodle soups again. This faux pho recipe will be your new go-to for quick comfort food that doesn’t skimp on flavor.

Thank you for reading through this article, and happy cooking!

Faux Pho

Faux Pho Recipe

This "ramen hack" dresses up the packaged ramen with some fresh ingredients and flavors to mimic the Vietnamese soup, pho. This will work with any packet of ramen 3-4 ounces in weight. Adapted from a recipe at Serious Eats.
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Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 5 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Vietnamese
Calories 486.9 kcal


  • 1 (3 -4 ounce) package beef-flavored ramen noodles
  • 1 lime, juice of
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons fish sauce (nam pla)
  • 1 pinch red pepper flakes
  • 1 -2 ounce flank steak, sliced thin
  • 2 tablespoons bean sprouts
  • 2 teaspoons chopped mixed herbs (basil, cilantro, mint, etc)


  • Cook the ramen according to package directions, using only half the seasoning packet. Add lime juice, sugar, fish sauce and red pepper flakes.
  • When noodles are fully cooked, add steak and immediately turn off heat. Transfer to a serving bowl (the residual heat will cook the steak) and add bean sprouts and herbs.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 195gCalories: 486.9kcalCarbohydrates: 71.7gProtein: 16.2gFat: 15.8gSaturated Fat: 7.4gCholesterol: 19.3mgSodium: 2690mgFiber: 2.5gSugar: 15.7g
Keyword < 15 Mins, Asian, Beginner Cook, Easy, Japanese, Meat, Vietnamese
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