Authentic Oxtail Pho Recipe (Phở Đuôi Bò)

Oxtail pho


Oxtail Pho, or “Phở Đuôi Bò” in Vietnamese, is a rich and flavorful noodle soup that’s beloved worldwide. This dish is known for its savory beef broth and tender oxtail meat. In this recipe, we will guide you through the process of creating this Vietnamese classic in the comfort of your own kitchen.


For the Broth:

  • 2 kg (4.4 lbs) oxtail, cut into pieces
  • 2 onions, unpeeled
  • 4-inch piece of ginger, unpeeled
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 3 star anise
  • 4 cloves
  • 1 black cardamom pod
  • 2 tsp coriander seeds
  • 4.5 liters (18 cups) water
  • 2-3 tbsp fish sauce (adjust to taste)
  • Salt and sugar, to taste

For Serving:

  • 500g (about 1 lb) dried pho noodles
  • 300g (about 10.5 oz) beef sirloin or flank, thinly sliced
  • Fresh bean sprouts
  • Fresh Thai basil leaves
  • Fresh cilantro leaves
  • Fresh lime wedges
  • Sliced chili peppers (optional)
  • Hoisin sauce
  • Sriracha sauce


1. Char the Onions and Ginger:

  • Over an open flame or under a broiler, char the unpeeled onions and ginger until they are slightly blackened and aromatic.
  • Rinse them under cold water to remove any charred skin, then cut the ginger into thick slices.

2. Toast the Spices:

  • Place the cinnamon sticks, star anise, cloves, black cardamom pod, and coriander seeds in a dry pan.
  • Toast them over low heat until fragrant. Be careful not to burn them.

3. Parboil the Oxtail:

  • In a large pot, add the oxtail pieces and cover with cold water.
  • Bring it to a boil and let it simmer for about 5 minutes.
  • Drain the oxtail, rinse them under cold water, and set aside.

4. Prepare the Broth:

  • In a large stockpot, add the parboiled oxtail, charred onions, ginger, toasted spices, and 4.5 liters of water.
  • Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, for at least 3 hours. Skim off any impurities that rise to the surface.
  • Add fish sauce, salt, and sugar to taste. Adjust the seasonings as needed.

5. Prepare the Noodles:

  • Cook the dried pho noodles according to the package instructions. Drain and set aside.

6. Serve:

  • Arrange the cooked pho noodles and raw beef slices in bowls.
  • Pour the hot oxtail broth over the noodles and beef, ensuring the meat cooks in the hot liquid.
  • Serve the Oxtail Pho with fresh bean sprouts, Thai basil, cilantro, lime wedges, and chili peppers.
  • Allow diners to add hoisin sauce and sriracha to their taste.


Oxtail Pho is a bowl of comfort and warmth, and the oxtail meat adds a unique richness to the traditional pho experience. This recipe allows you to create a steaming bowl of authentic Vietnamese cuisine right in your own kitchen. Enjoy the complex flavors of this classic dish, which brings together aromatic spices, tender oxtail, and fresh herbs.