Low Carb Vietnamese Pho Recipe – A traditional beef pho soup recipe with low carb noodle options to fit into keto and paleo diets.
Vietnamese Beef Pho Soup has got to be in my family’s top 3 favorite meals collectively.
Whenever we go out for dinner one or both of the kids always suggests our favorite local Vietnamese restaurant, and one or both parents always agrees.
It’s hard to pin point why Vietnamese noodle soup is so alluring. After all it’s a simple broth with meat and rice noodles.
Yet the depth of spicy undertones in the broth, and the pop of fresh cool ingredients added at the table make it hard to resist.
Although traditional Vietnamese Beef Pho is pretty darn healthy on its own, today I’m sharing a Low Carb Vietnamese Pho Recipe to fit into Paleo, Keto, and Whole 30 diets.
With just a couple small swaps you can make this tantalizing beef soup fit your New Year diet.
Low Carb Vietnamese Pho Recipe Ingredients
For the Broth:
- Coconut oil
- Cinnamon sticks
- Star anise
- Cardamom pods
- Fish sauce
- Palm sugar
- Beef broth
Together these ingredients create a rich complex broth that gets better with age. If fact, making the broth in a crockpot while you are away at work is a fabulous idea!
For ketogenic recipes, remove the tablespoon of palm sugar.
For the Soup:
- Flank steak
- Shirataki noodles
These items are stirred in at the end after the onions and spices have been removed.
Shirataki noodles are grain free and ultra low carb so they fit into all types of low carb diets.
- Mung bean sprouts
These four items are most traditional. Although scallions and cilantro are also great add-ins!
Homemade Vietnamese Beef Pho Soup
- Sauté the vegetables and spices – This help release the flavors in the aromatics
- Slow simmer the broth – The longer the broth simmers the better the flavor! For this recipe, I suggest simmering the broth at least one hour. But you can turn the heat down very low and simmer it as long as you like. You can even make the broth a day ahead (like they do in restaurants) for intensified flavor.
- Skim – Once the broth has simmered, scoop out the veggies and spices.
- Add in the noodles and beef – The noodles and thin-cut beef cook quickly. They can be added into the broth just minutes before serving.
- Serve with fresh garnishes – Don’t forget to set out fresh bean sprouts and basil!
Get the Complete (Printable) Low Carb Vietnamese Pho Recipe Below
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Low Carb Vietnamese Pho Recipe
A traditional beef pho soup recipe with low carb noodle options to fit into keto and paleo diets.
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 2 inch piece of fresh ginger, sliced
- 1 large onion, peeled and quartered
- 5 cloves garlic, smashed
- 5 cinnamon sticks
- 3 whole star anise
- 10 cloves
- 4 cardamom pods, smashed
- 12 cups water
- 2 cups beef broth
- 2 tablespoon fish sauce (gluten free)
- 1 tablespoon palm sugar (omit for keto)
- 1 pound flank steak
- 1 pound shirataki noodles
- 4 ounces mung bean sprouts
- 2 jalapeños, sliced
- 1 cup fresh basil leaves
- 1 lime, cut into wedges
Place a large stock pot over medium heat. Add the onion wedges, ginger, garlic, cinnamon, star anise, cloves, cardamom, and coconut oil. Sauté the onions and spices for about 10 minutes, stirring to brown the onions on all sides.
Pour in the water, beef broth, fish sauce, and sugar. Bring to a simmer. Then lower the heat if needed, and simmer for at least 60 minutes. (P.S. Fish sauce has a funky aroma, but tastes amazing! Don't skip it.)
Meanwhile, flash-freeze the flank steak for 30 minutes. It should be frozen on the outside, yet still mostly thawed on the inside. Then slice the steak against the grain into paper-thin pieces.
Use a skimmer to pull all the onions, and spices out of the broth. Then arrange the mung bean sprouts, sliced jalapeno, lime wedges and basil on a serving plate.
Add in the noodles to the broth and cook for 2-3 minutes, or according the the package instructions.
Turn off the heat and stir in the thin pieces of beef. They should be thin enough to cook in the hot broth without additional heat.
Scoop the pho into bowls and allow guests to add their own veggie garnishes.
A. If you can't find shirataki noodles, you can add raw zucchini noodles instead.
B. If "low carb" is not necessary for your diet, rice noodles are traditional.
C. The longer the broth cooks the better. You can turn the heat down to low and allow it to simmer for 2 hours. Or make it a day ahead for intensified flavor, before adding the noodles and beef.
D. Slow Cooker Pho Soup:
Yes, you can make this recipe in a crockpot. Make sure to sauté the vegetables and spices on the stove top first. Then slow cook the broth up to 12 hours on low, before moving onto to step 4.