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Vietnamese Fish Pho Soup Recipe

Pho is a typical Vietnamese soup recipe. Beef pho is perhaps the most popular although you can also get chicken and vegetarian versions. In the following recipe, we use fish fillets but you could use shrimp if you prefer, or even a combination of meat and seafood. Pho is fragrant with five spice, ginger, and star anise and the mushrooms and leeks add a nice, earthy touch.

You need to get flat rice noodles for this fish soup recipe. Look out for “banh pho” in your local Asian grocery store, since these are perfect for making pho recipes.

This soup is simple to put together and fine for beginners to try. The soup simmers in one pot and the leeks, mushrooms and fish are sautéed in another. Then the noodles, vegetable and fish mixture and soup are layered in serving dishes. You can serve hoisin sauce or chili sauce on the side if you like, so people can flavor their own. Use any firm-fleshed fish for this recipe. Cod, halibut, or snapper would be ideal. Make sure you remove all the bones and skin if you are preparing your own fillets.

How to Make Pho Soup with Fish
Summary: Pho is probably the best-known Vietnamese dish outside Vietnam, and popular with the tourists. This recipe features fish, rice noodles and typical Vietnamese seasonings for an authentic result.
Cuisine: Vietnamese
Recipe type: Soup
Serves: 6
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
  • 1 package dried or fresh "banh pho" rice noodles.
  • 1 ginger bulb
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 1 leek
  • 14 oz vegetable broth
  • 5 star anises
  • Soy sauce
  • ¾ tablespoon Chinese five spice
  • Vegetable oil, as needed
  • 8 oz sliced mushrooms
  • 10 oz cubed white fish filets
  • White sugar
  • Black pepper
  1. Heat the vegetable broth with 10 cups of water in a big pot.
  2. Take the outer skin off the onion and add it to the broth whole. Chop the nubs off the ginger (do not peel it) and bruise it with a mortar and pestle or bash it a bit with a mallet. Add it to the broth.
  3. Add the leek leaves and five star anises to the broth. Boil the soup for 45 to 60 minutes or until the onion is tender.
  4. Remove and discard the leek leaves.
  5. Add the Chinese five spice to the broth and use sugar and soy sauce to season it. Simmer the soup for 15 minutes more.
  6. Thinly slice the stems of the leeks and chop the mushrooms into quarters or eighths.
  7. Sauté the leeks and mushrooms in vegetable oil in a skillet, along with a few tablespoons of water. Season with black pepper and soy sauce. Add the fish and sauté the mixture until the fish is cooked through.
  8. Boil the rice noodles, following the instructions on the package, then rinse them well under cold running water and divide them between 6 serving bowls.
  9. Divide the fish mixture between the bowls and ladle the soup on top.
  10. Garnish with fresh herbs, lime juice, and steamed bean sprouts. Serve with chili sauce and hoisin sauce on the side.

Photo Description:

This aromatic and full-flavored soup has to be tasted to be believed. You can see what it looks like from the photo but to get an idea of the amazing aroma and flavor, you will have to make this pho soup yourself. You can use shrimp, fish, or even tofu as the protein but keep the other ingredients the same to keep the pho in perfect harmony. This is a healthy fish soup recipe which is ideal for lunch or dinner. The recipe is easy to make because you just need to combine the ingredients in the right order and let everything cook. This is a “pho”- nomenal fish soup recipe for Asian soup fans!


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Christine Szalay-Kudra

Hello there, I'm Christine. Welcome to my blog where you will find a comprehensive collection of soup recipes for every season, occasion and palate. There are hundreds of soup recipes for you to try out, those which warm you up during the cooler months, and even chilled soups and dessert soups if you want to try something new.

Try making your next soup in the pressure cooker or crockpot, or prepare it in the conventional way. Choose from classics such as potato and leek soup, beef broth, French onion soup, or chicken noodle soup, or investigate a more unusual dish, like our cabbage bean soup or one of the Chinese soup recipes.

In addition to soups, broths and chowders, I have collected stew recipes, along with low-calorie, low-carb and heart-healthy options, so you can make soups which are nutritious and good for you, as well as fresh-tasting and delicious. Here at Amazing Soup Recipes, there are recipes for every taste, many of which are really quick and easy to make.

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