Jessica's Shortcut Pho

My friend Jessica has for years taunted me with her recipe for 'shortcut pho,' so called because of her love for cheap ingredients. A proper pho takes days to make, mostly because of the traditional French approach to making beef stock.

Prep Time:
20 mins
Cook Time:
45 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs 5 mins
8 servings


  • 2 quarts beef stock

  • 1 quart chicken stock

  • ¼ cup lime juice

  • 1 medium onion, sliced

  • ½ bunch cilantro, stems discarded

  • 1 cup chopped fresh basil

  • 2 ounces lemongrass paste

  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes, or to taste

  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin

  • ½ teaspoon garam masala

  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger

  • 1 pinch ground white pepper, or to taste

  • 1 pound T-bone steak, sliced lengthwise into 1 1/2-inch strips

  • 1 pound shelled shrimp

  • 1 pound dried rice noodles

  • 1 pound bean sprouts, or to taste

  • salt to taste


  1. Combine beef stock, chicken stock, lime juice, onion, cilantro, basil, lemongrass paste, red pepper flakes, cumin, garam masala, ginger, and white pepper in a stockpot. Add steak and shrimp; simmer for 45 minutes to 1 hour.

  2. While soup is cooking, prepare noodles about 30 minutes into the process. Bring a separate pot of water to a boil and add noodles. Boil until tender yet firm to the bite, about 6 minutes. Drain, rinse, and add to the soup. Stir in bean sprouts and season with salt.

Cook's Notes:

Use one 14 -ounce can bean sprouts instead of fresh sprouts if desired.

Use any cut of beef you prefer.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

493 Calories
14g Fat
59g Carbs
32g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 8
Calories 493
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 14g 17%
Saturated Fat 5g 26%
Cholesterol 122mg 41%
Sodium 694mg 30%
Total Carbohydrate 59g 21%
Dietary Fiber 3g 11%
Total Sugars 6g
Protein 32g
Vitamin C 29mg 143%
Calcium 80mg 6%
Iron 5mg 28%
Potassium 599mg 13%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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