Lamb Pho: Vietnamese Noodle Soup
Prep time
Total time
Traditional Vietnamese receives a slight twist by using lamb instead of chicken or beef. A deliciously light broth that will warm you right up.
Recipe type: Soup
Cuisine: Vietnamese, Fusion
Serves: 4
Broth Ingredients:
  • 500 gms or 1 lb. of lamb stewing bones with bits of meat*
  • water for boiling
  • 1 medium onion, cut in half but not peeled
  • 1 large piece of ginger, un-peled
  • 1.5 tsp whole coriander seeds
  • 3 whole green cardamom, bruised
  • 1 whole star anise
  • 1 large cinnamon stick
  • 6 whole cloves
Additional Ingredients:
  • vermicelli rice noodles
  • fresh cilantro
  • fresh mint
  • sliced green onions/scallions
  • lime wedges
  • slice chili peppers and/or hot sauce
  • bean sprouts
Start the broth:
  1. Place lamb bones in a pot with enough water to cover. Bring to a boil. Use a colander to drain the bones and discard the broth. Set the lamb pieces aside. Rinse/wash the pot out or have a new clean pot ready to use. Next rinse off the lamb pieces then place back inside the pot.
Charring the onion and ginger:
  1. The ginger and onion need to be charred. Place them both over an open flame/gas stove flame, or on top of a very hot griddle, or they can also be charred under the broiler setting in the oven. Turn the onion and ginger to char evenly throughout. (I used an open flame and it took me about 8 minutes.) Set aside to cool down.
Toast the spices:
  1. In a clean pan dry roast the spices to bring out the scents and flavors. Roast for 2 minutes stirring often to prevent burning. Remove from pan and set aside to cool.
Now back to the charred ginger and onion.
  1. Peel the onions, and using a knife gently scrape away the charred ginger skin. Cut the ginger into 4 chunks and use the flat edge of the knife to bruise the ginger.
The final broth:
  1. Place the ginger, onions, cooled spices into the pot with the lamb pieces. (Alternatively the spices may be placed inside a spice bag before putting in pot.) Add 2 liters or about 8 cups of water to the pot. Then add the 1 tsp granulated sugar and 2 tbsp. fish sauce. Cover and bring to a boil, once boiling reduce heat down to medium low and leave a small crack to allow steam to escape. Simmer the soup for at least an hour, longer if time allowed. I simmer my pho for about 2-3 hours. The longer the better.
  1. Once the soup has finished simmering, strain and discard the spices — NOT THE BROTH. Gently pull away any lamb meat from the bones. Add some cooked rice noodles to the soup bowls then ladle the broth over the noodles and add any bits of lamb meat to the bowls too. You can either serve the additional garnishes on the side so everyone can add their own or top the soup with them.
*Please notice that I used only extra bones and bits of lamb meat. My soup was not heavy on the meat, if you would like to add more lamb meat for a heartier soup please do so.
Recipe by Spicie Foodie ™ at