So What Is Pho Soup Anyway? And Will I Like It?

Everything You Need To Know About Pho

What is Pho?

Pho is a Traditional Vietnamese Noodle Soup.  But it’s not your normal noodle soup–it’s so much more.

Pho is a combination of a rich bone broth, noodles, your choice of protein, veggies, and a few condiments that you add in to taste.

It’s unique, full of flavor, and offers an experience that is unlike other cuisines found around Gastonia!

Now, I should explain that when people say “pho” they usually mean beef pho

Beef pho is the ‘default’ version, but some places serve chicken pho as well.

Which one you like will largely depend on how you like your broth–

The beef broth is full, hearty, and rich.

The Chicken broth is lite and aromatic.

But they’re both amazing!



How is Pho Made?

Pho is a bone broth soup–that means that we have to cook bones (along with other special spices) for a long time in order to get the flavor out.

In fact, it takes us about 24 hours from start to finish to make our pho.

It’s hard work, but the fact is you just can’t make a quality pho without investing the time and doing each step correctly.


Special Seasonings


Beef Bones

Actually, the recipe for pho is relatively new to the world of Vietnamese cuisine–which has a history of some 2000 years.

Pho, on the other hand, originated in the 1800s.

Pho is unique because it is the culinary child of French and Vietnamese cooking styles.

You see, the French colonized Vietnam in the 1800s and they brought with them a French Cookbook, so to speak.  

The Vietnamese, being clever adopters, quickly took some of the characteristically French techniques and made them a part of pho.

That’s why pho is so much different from any of the other Asian soups you might find out there–like Bún Bò (beef soup) or ramen.

Wait, is Pho Like Ramen?

The answer to that is simpleyes and no.

In some ways pho is similar to ramen.  Pho is a hearty, full flavored broth and noodle soup, much like ramen.

But Pho is different because the flavor is more aromatic, balanced, and just has a special something that dances on your tongue.

Another big difference between pho and ramen is that it’s hard to find authentic ramen outside of the big cities.  (There’s a place in Atlanta that does a killer bowl–and it might even be worth the 3 1/2 hour drive).

But you can find authentic pho right HERE in Gastonia!

Will I Like Pho?

People that have never had pho before (and often have never even had Asian food outside of those hibachi or Chinese takeout places) are surprised by how much they love pho!

Eating pho isn’t just a meal.  It’s not just lunch or dinner.

It’s an experience.

It’s fun, flavorful, and foreign.  

But somehow reminiscent. 

And 100% fulfilling.

In fact, it is probably the best dish you can get if you are looking to explore something new, authentic, and exciting.  

Plus, it makes a great dish to share with that special someone, as you can see…

lady and tramp
pho sharing

But don’t take our word for it.  Check out what other people have to say about pho!

How Do I Eat Pho??

Look, everyone needs instructions their first time.

If you want to have the most authentic experience, then follow the instructions in this video.

BUTwhat you put in your pho is totally up to you.

Some people don’t do the veggies, while others don’t do the sauce.

Some other people add soy sauce or sugar.

And still others add peanut butter to their pho!

This video shows you the traditional way to do it.  But it’s really up to you to decide how you want to finish off your pho once it’s served!

OK, I've Got To Try Pho...Where Do I get AUTHENTIC Pho?

Great Question!  And, just to be clear…you definitely want to make sure you are getting authentic pho!

The experience wouldn’t be the same otherwise.

Sadly, there are some places that hawk some kind of soup they call “pho”…

We’re just going to leave it there.

If you want to know if you’re getting the real deal, check this out:

But, to make things easier, you can have your first or next pho experience with the undisputed leader in Pho in Gastonia, found here:

How Should I Order My Pho? Are There Options?

The first choice you need to make is whether you want the beef broth or the chicken broth.

Next, decide which protein.

For beef pho, most people get the combo (thinly sliced rare beef, meatballs, brisket).

But the second most common choice is rare beef alone without the other two meats.

You can also order chicken or shrimp or tofu as the protein.

For the chicken pho, 99% of people choose chicken as the protein (which is the default unless you specify otherwise).

The second most common choice is shrimp.

Each pho will come with the bag of veggies (bean sprouts, basil, lime, jalapeno).

Each pho also comes with a hoisin/sriracha mix.

Plus, Bep-pa’s to go pho orders includes a handy bowl so you can enjoy your pho wherever you happen to be headed!

Pro Tips:

If you want something to make it a little extra spicy, ask for chili oil.

Plus, if you order to go you can request the raw beef to be fully cooked!  This will make your meal easier if you’re headed to the office, park, or just don’t want the hassle when you get home.

But Wait...One More Question...How Do You SAY Pho?

Good question!  And this one that even experienced pho-eaters struggle with!

So we have put together an explanation and video for you to check out HERE: