10 Ways to Make Pho Taste Better

Hey there!

Are you a fan of pho but feel like the broth could use a little extra oomph? Well, you’re in luck because I’ve got 10 fantastic ways to make your pho taste even better.

From enhancing the aromatics to experimenting with different simmering times, we’ll explore all the tricks to take your pho to the next level.

So, get ready to tantalize your taste buds and elevate your pho game with these simple yet effective techniques.

Let’s dive in!

Pho Broth

Enhancing the Aromatics

To enhance the aromatics in your pho, you can add more onions and garlic. These ingredients are essential in creating a rich and flavorful base for your broth.

I personally love the strong and fragrant aroma they bring to my pho. When I’m making my broth, I always make sure to use a generous amount of onions and garlic.

I chop them up and sauté them in a bit of oil before adding them to the pot. The heat helps to release their natural oils and intensify their flavors.

As they cook, the kitchen fills with the enticing smell of onions and garlic, making my mouth water in anticipation of the delicious pho that awaits.

Using High-Quality Bones

Using high-quality bones can greatly enhance the flavor of your pho broth. When it comes to making a delicious and flavorful broth, the quality of the bones you use is key. Opting for bones from grass-fed, organic, or free-range animals can make a noticeable difference in the taste of your pho.

These bones tend to have more collagen, which gives the broth a rich and velvety texture. Additionally, high-quality bones have a deeper and more robust flavor, resulting in a more satisfying broth.

Whether you choose beef, chicken, or pork bones, investing in good quality ones will ensure that your pho broth is packed with flavor and will take your homemade pho to the next level.

Incorporating Toasted Spices

Incorporating toasted spices adds a depth of flavor to your pho broth that can’t be replicated. When I make pho at home, I always take the extra step of toasting my spices before adding them to the broth. It’s a simple technique that makes a world of difference.

I start by toasting a combination of cinnamon sticks, star anise, cloves, and coriander seeds in a dry pan until fragrant. This process intensifies the natural flavors and releases their aromatic oils. Once toasted, I add the spices to my simmering broth and let them infuse for about an hour.

The result is a rich and complex broth that elevates the entire dish. Trust me, once you try incorporating toasted spices into your pho broth, you won’t go back.

Adding Fresh Herbs and Vegetables

Fresh herbs and vegetables are essential for adding brightness and crunch to your pho. When I make pho broth, I always make sure to include a generous amount of fresh herbs like cilantro, Thai basil, and mint.

These herbs not only add vibrant flavors but also bring a refreshing aroma to the dish. I love the way the herbs complement the rich and savory broth, creating a perfect harmony of tastes.

Additionally, I like to add thinly sliced vegetables such as bean sprouts, sliced onions, and jalapenos for added crunch and texture. These vegetables not only add a fresh element to the dish but also provide a nice contrast to the tender meat and noodles.

Overall, incorporating fresh herbs and vegetables into my pho enhances the overall experience and takes it to a whole new level.

Experimenting With Different Broth Simmering Times

When experimenting with different broth simmering times, you’ll notice how it affects the depth and richness of flavors in your pho. I’ve found that the longer I let the broth simmer, the more intense and robust the flavors become. It’s like magic happening in my pot!

The longer simmering time allows the ingredients, like the beef bones and spices, to release their essence into the broth, creating a more complex and satisfying taste. On the other hand, if I simmer the broth for a shorter period, the flavors are still there, but they’re more delicate and subtle.

It’s all about finding the perfect balance for your taste buds. So go ahead and play around with different simmering times, and discover the pho broth that satisfies your cravings the most.

Balancing the Flavors With Fish Sauce or Soy Sauce

Using fish sauce or soy sauce is a simple way to enhance the flavors of your pho broth.

I always reach for fish sauce when making my pho broth because it adds a depth of umami flavor that complements the aromatic spices and herbs. Just a few tablespoons of fish sauce can make a noticeable difference in the overall taste of the broth.

If you prefer a vegetarian option, soy sauce can be used instead. It adds a similar savory note and helps to balance out the flavors.

I like to add a splash of fish sauce or soy sauce towards the end of simmering the broth to ensure that its flavors are well incorporated. It’s a small step that makes a big impact on the deliciousness of your pho.

Incorporating Umami-Boosting Ingredients

To enhance the umami flavors in your pho, try incorporating ingredients like mushrooms or seaweed.

I absolutely love adding mushrooms to my pho broth. They have a rich, earthy flavor that really elevates the overall taste. I usually go for shiitake mushrooms because they have a deep umami profile. Simply slice them and let them simmer in the broth for a while to infuse their flavor.

Another great option is seaweed. It brings a subtle oceanic taste and adds complexity to the broth. I like using dried kombu or wakame, which you can find at most Asian grocery stores. Just soak them in water before adding them to the simmering broth.

These umami-boosting ingredients will take your pho to a whole new level of deliciousness.

Trying Different Broth Seasoning Techniques

One option for enhancing the flavor of your pho broth is by experimenting with different seasoning techniques.

When it comes to seasoning pho broth, there are endless possibilities to explore. Personally, I like to start with the basics and then get creative.

One technique I enjoy is adding a touch of fish sauce for a savory kick. The umami flavors it brings to the broth are simply delightful.

Another option is to play with spices like star anise, cinnamon, and cloves. These aromatic spices add depth and complexity to the broth, making it more flavorful and enticing.

Lastly, don’t forget about fresh herbs like cilantro, basil, and lime. Adding them right before serving brings a burst of freshness that elevates the overall taste of the broth.

So go ahead, get adventurous, and have fun experimenting with different seasoning techniques to make your pho broth truly outstanding.

Infusing the Broth With Ginger and Onion

Why not try infusing your broth with a combination of ginger and onion to add a fragrant and savory element? It’s a simple technique that can elevate the taste of your pho broth.

I love using ginger because it adds a subtle heat and a unique earthy flavor. Plus, it has many health benefits too. And when combined with the sweetness of onion, it creates a perfect balance of flavors.

To infuse the broth, simply peel and slice a piece of ginger and a medium-sized onion. Add them to the pot while the broth is simmering and let them infuse for about 30 minutes. The result is a rich and aromatic broth that will take your pho to the next level.

Give it a try and taste the difference!

Enhancing the Broth With Citrus Zest or Juice

Adding citrus zest or juice to your broth can provide a refreshing and tangy twist to the overall flavor profile. I love experimenting with different citrus fruits to enhance the taste of my pho broth.

Whether it’s the zingy aroma of lemon zest or the vibrant punch of lime juice, the citrusy addition brings a delightful brightness to the dish. The acidity of the citrus also helps to balance out the rich and savory flavors of the broth.

Just a squeeze of lemon or a sprinkle of orange zest can make a world of difference. So next time you’re making pho, don’t forget to add a touch of citrus to take your broth to the next level of deliciousness. Trust me, your taste buds will thank you!


In conclusion, I have discovered a world of tantalizing possibilities after exploring various ways to enhance the flavor of pho broth. Each element, from the intoxicating aroma of toasted spices to the vibrant freshness of herbs and vegetables, adds depth and complexity to this beloved Vietnamese dish. By infusing the broth with the zing of ginger and onion or the bright tang of citrus zest, the taste buds are transported to a realm of pure culinary bliss.

So, go forth and elevate your pho experience, one sip at a time.

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Ben, a culinary enthusiast and owner of RelishedRecipes.com, shares his passion for food and cooking through delectable recipes and valuable tips. Ben delights in exploring international cuisines and inspiring home cooks on their culinary journeys.

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