The ubiquitous Vietnamese noodle soup, it’s omnipresent, especially in the north, available from early morning until late in the night. The variations on Pho are many, the main differences I can notice are the type of meat and the meat used in the broth.

Pho Ga in Hanoi, this lovely soup was served in a hole in the wall eatery, one of the ones that serve only a few things. The fixed tables offering a height of dining deemed a luxury as opposed to street side dining.

A sign for beef Pho

Into a bowl goes a ladle from the massive pot of steaming sock, a bundle of thick rice noodles get a quick dunk to cook them, some magic salt (MSG), a few herbs and some meat.
With Pho Ga, the Ga indicates the thinly sliced poached chicken, with chewy rice noodles, light crystal clear chicken broth, some spring onion slices and coriander. I add a little fresh chilli, lime and sweet garlic vinegar to my pho on the occasion.


Usually there is an array of condiments on the table to add and amend your soup to your liking. Fish sauce, fresh chilli, sweet garlic flavoured vinegar, lime or other tiny kumquat like citrus are the usual suspects

I feel it important to add that there are other noodle soups that look quite similar to the untrained eye. Like this Bun thang, with thin rice noodles a slight fish flavour to the chicken broth, shredded chicken and Vietnamese mint.

Bun thang, not Pho!