This oxtail pho recipe is authentic. This is the way my husband's family has always made it and it is delicious. My kids have grown up on this comforting noodle soup, which is especially good on a cold rainy day. Garnish with hoisin sauce and sriracha as desired.


Recipe Summary

20 mins
6 hrs 5 mins
6 hrs 25 mins
8 servings


Original recipe yields 8 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Bring water and oxtail to a boil in a pot. Skim the foam and oil off the surface. Add 1 onion, fish sauce, star anise, cinnamon, and salt. Stir in pho flavor paste; cover loosely with a lid. Reduce heat and simmer broth for at least 6 hours.

  • Cut the remaining onion in half and slice very thinly. Place in a bowl with scallions and cilantro.

  • Place noodles in a large bowl and rinse. Cover with warm water and let soak for 1 hour.

  • Drop meatballs into the soup 20 minutes before broth is done.

  • Bring a small saucepan of water to a boil. Drain noodles and dip into the boiling water for 30 seconds. Transfer noodles into 8 large bowls.

  • Top each bowl with sliced sirloin. Ladle in broth, meatballs, and oxtail. Taste and season as needed. Squeeze 1 or 2 lime wedges into each bowl and mix in 1/2 teaspoon sugar. Top with the cilantro-onion mixture, bean sprouts, basil, and shallots.

Cook's Notes:

You can use 1 large pack of oxtail or 2 small packages.

You can find beef pho meatballs and crispy fried onions in most Asian stores.

Nutrition Facts

567 calories; protein 30.4g 61% DV; carbohydrates 69.7g 23% DV; fat 18.3g 28% DV; cholesterol 91.8mg 31% DV; sodium 743.8mg 30% DV. Full Nutrition