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Pho with Matzoh Balls

Matzoh Ball Pho

  • Author: Sharon Matten
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 4 hours
  • Total Time: 4.5 hours
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Cooking
  • Cuisine: Gluten Free
  • Diet: Kosher


Pho with Matzoh Balls is an insanely rich and flavorful fusion dish that is a whole meal in a single bowl. The fragrant whole toasted spices and rich beef stock are combined with smooth, luscious matzoh balls for the perfect warm welcoming Vietnamese and Jewish soup. The brisket used to make the stock is finished with a hoisin sauce glaze for the perfect main dish for your Shabbat, Holiday or Purim Seudah Meal.

The recipe for the Vietnamese Pho comes from RecipeTinEats.  The only change I made was substituting the whole onion for green onion.  My dear Vietnamese Manicurist said that was fine and didn’t change the authenticity at all.


Units Scale

For the Vietnamese Pho (taken from Vietnamese Pho RecipeTinEats)


  • 1 1/2 large bunch green onions, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 5 ounces fresh ginger, sliced down the center


  • 10 star anise
  • 4 cinnamon quills
  • 4 (black) cardamom pods
  • 3 whole cloves
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons coriander seeds


  • 3 pounds beef brisket (I used second cut)
  • 2 pounds meaty beef bones
  • 2 pounds marrow bones, cut to reveal marrow
  • 15 cups water


  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoons vegetarian fish sauce (see note)

Noodle Soup

  • 1012 ounces dried rice sticks
  • 1/2 pound thinly sliced roast beef


  • Beansprouts, handful
  • Thai basil, 3-5 sprigs
  • cilantro, 3-5 sprigs
  • lime wedges (optional)
  • finely sliced red chili or crushed red pepper
  • Hoisin sauce
  • Sriracha sauce (optional)

For the Matzoh Balls

  • 1 package gluten free matzoh ball mix
  • additional ingredients required to prepare the mix

To Finish the Cooked Brisket

  • Hoisin Sauce


For the Vietnamese Pho (taken from Vietnamese Pho RecipeTinEats)

Aromatics & Spices

  1. Heat a heavy based skillet over high heat (no oil) until smoking.
  2. Place onion and ginger in pan cut side down. Cook for a few minutes until it’s charred, then turn. Remove and set aside.
  3. Toast Spices lightly in a dry skillet over medium high heat for 3 minutes. 

Remove the beef impurities

  1. Rinse bones & brisket then cover with water in large stock pot.
  2. Boil for 5 minutes, then drain.
  3. Rinse each bone and brisket under tap water.

For the Broth

  1. Wipe pot clean, bring 15 cups of water to boil.
  2. Add bones and brisket, onion, ginger, toasted spicessugar and salt.  Water should just barely cover everything.
  3. Cover with lid, simmer 3 hours.
  4. Remove brisket (should be fall-apart tender), cool then refrigerate for later.
  5. Simmer remaining soup UNCOVERED for 40 minutes.
  6. Strain broth into another pot, discard bones and spices. Should be about 2.5 litres / 2.65 quarts (10 cups), if loads more, reduce.
  7. Add fish sauce, adjust salt and sugar if needed. Broth should be beefy, fragrant with spices, savoury and barely sweet.
  8. (Optional) Refrigerate the broth, covered, overnight.  Discard the layer of fat on top of the broth, then simmer until hot.

For the Matzoh Balls

  1. Prepare matzoh balls according to package directions.
  2. Set aside.

To Finish the Matzoh Ball Pho

  1. Prepare rice noodles per packet, just prior to serving.
  2. Place noodles in bowl. Top with roast beef.
  3. Ladle over about 14 oz hot broth.  Add bean sprouts and matzoh balls.  Sprinkle with crushed red pepper and drizzle hoisin sauce over the top.
  4. Serve with the rest of the toppings on the side.

For the Hoisin Sauce Brisket

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Grease a large casserole dish then place the brisket inside the pan.  
  3. Pour hoisin sauce to completely cover the brisket.  Bake for 30 minutes until the glaze has thickened.
  4. Allow the brisket to rest for at least 10 minutes then slice.
  5. Serve with pan juices.


I peeled and sliced the ginger rather than having a large chunk.

One thing to consider when looking at the nutritional information is that you are not actually consuming the bones and by refrigerating the stock you remove a significant amount of the fat and calories.  The nutritional information also includes the brisket.

You can use another Pho recipe if you like, however I strongly recommend this one.  Not only is it simply outstanding, you also get a whole brisket to serve your friends and family.

You can make this recipe for Passover if your family eats Kitniyot.

You probably could make the Pho stock in an electric pressure cooker.  I haven’t tried it, but if you do please let me know how it turns out.


  • Serving Size:
  • Calories: 519
  • Sugar: 9.5 g
  • Sodium: 4585.3 mg
  • Fat: 31.3 g
  • Saturated Fat: 9.7 g
  • Carbohydrates: 24.3 g
  • Fiber: 4.4 g
  • Protein: 35.8 g
  • Cholesterol: 112.1 mg

Keywords: Pho, Fusion Cooking, Jewish Fusion, Matzoh Balls, Meat, Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Purim Seudah, Holiday, Passover

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