The Secret To The Perfect Chicken Pho Vs Beef Pho

chicken pho vs beef pho

Pho is a traditional and signature dish of Vietnamese cuisine.

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There are numerous variations of pho for you to choose from, but chicken pho and beef pho are the most popular.

So how do these two kinds of pho differ from each other? And is beef or chicken better in pho? Let’s find the answer in this article.

What is chicken pho?

Quoc Viet Foods Chicken Flavored Pho Soup Base 10 oz Cot Pho Ga Brand

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Every Vietnamese dish is an experience, and pho is no exception.

Chicken pho is one of the most common types of this noodle soup throughout the country.

A bowl of chicken pho will typically consist of three main ingredients: rice noodles, chicken broth, and shredded chicken meat.

A topping for chicken pho usually includes some onion, bean sprouts, Thai basil leaves, green scallion, a drop of chili sauce, and a wedge of lime so that you can squeeze the juice over the bowl and mix well just before serving.

Chicken pho tastes just like chicken broth.

It is perfectly balanced with the sourness from freshly squeezed lime juice, sweetness and saltiness from the broth and chicken meat, spiciness from the chili sauce or fresh chili pepper, with an earthy and pungent note from the herbs.

Chicken pho is served in a bowl with a pair of chopsticks to pick up the noodles and other ingredients, and a spoon to drink the soup.

This dish can be easily made at home or ordered from a restaurant to a small street vendor in Vietnam.

What is beef pho?

Quoc Viet Foods Beef Flavored 'Pho' Soup Base 10oz Cot Pho Bo Brand

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Beef pho is a Vietnamese soup with rice noodles, thinly sliced beef, vegetables, herbs, and spices.

To have the best stock, beef bones are simmered with some aromatic vegetables and spices like ginger, onion, black pepper, star anise, clove, and cinnamon sticks for hours or even overnight.

The top choices of beef cut for this recipe can be sirloin steak or round eye.

Unlike chicken pho, in which chicken meat is usually shredded from a boiled whole chicken, beef in beef pho is typically raw, thinly sliced, then dipped into the hot pot of stock until it reaches the desired doneness (cooked, or medium-rare).

Beef pho usually tastes richer and sweeter, just like beef stock but meatier and more satisfying.

Traditionally, Vietnamese will never forget some drops of chili sauce and a squeeze of lime juice before eating pho because these ingredients literally elevate your pho to a whole new level.

The balanced taste from sour lime juice, spicy chili, and sweet and salty broth is just perfect.

There is also contrast in the texture, in which beef and rice noodles are soft while the topping of raw herbs and veggies is very crunchy.

What are the differences between chicken pho vs beef pho?

Chicken pho and beef pho have some key differences that can make some people prefer one over the other.

Check the comparison table below for more details about their differences:

ComparisonChicken phoBeef pho
IngredientsChicken broth, shredded chicken meat, rice noodles, raw herbs, and veggies for toppingBeef stock, thinly sliced beef, rice noodles, raw herbs, and veggies for topping
AppearanceUsually lighter in colorA bit darker in color because the beef stock is dark brown
Cooking methodNormally, the stock in chicken pho is made from the liquid after boiling the whole chicken. After that, the bones are removed and kept simmering in the liquid to make it more flavorful.Beef stock is made by simmering beef bones from scratch.
ServedChicken is already cooked and shredded to top the noodles before servingRaw beef is thinly sliced and dipped into the hot pot of beef stock until it reaches the desired doneness before serving
TasteMilder, balanced  Richer, stronger, balanced
Nutrient value  Have less fat and cholesterol, more phosphorus, niacin, and fatty acidsHave more fat and cholesterol, iron and zinc

What are the similarities between chicken pho vs beef pho?

In fact, chicken pho and beef pho are very similar, despite the main difference between the use of chicken and beef.

Here are some typical similarities between these two Vietnamese noodle soups:

1. Chicken pho and beef pho both call for similar ingredients

We all know that chicken pho contains chicken while beef pho includes beef.

However, basically, a bowl of pho will call for rice noodles, slices of meat, the soup, raw herbs and veggies for topping, spices like pickled garlic, chili sauces, and lime juice to complete the flavor profile.

2. Chicken pho and beef pho are delicious and nutritious

Chicken pho and beef pho are usually served as breakfast in Vietnam.

They are both nutritious to give you full energy for the whole morning.

Each has its own taste, but we have to admit that both taste delicious and satisfying.

3. Chicken pho and beef pho have the same price in Vietnam

Typically, beef is more expensive than chicken.

However, in Vietnam, pho is sold in a serving.

That means you can have several options for chicken pho or beef pho with the adjustment of meat in a serving.

For example, pho sold at $1.5 will have less meat than at $2.

4. Chicken pho and beef pho are both popular in authentic and overseas Vietnamese cuisines

The last thing in common between beef pho and chicken pho is their popularity.

Both are staples in Vietnamese cuisine, not only in Vietnam, but also in other countries across the world that have Vietnamese communities, such as American Vietnamese cuisine, French Vietnamese cuisine, or Australian Vietnamese.

Which one is better?

Product ComparisonQuoc Viet Foods Chicken Flavored Pho Soup Base 10 oz Cot Pho Ga BrandQuoc Viet Foods Beef Flavored "Pho" Soup Base 10oz Cot Pho Bo Brand
Product ImageQuoc Viet Foods Chicken Flavored Pho Soup Base 10 oz Cot Pho Ga BrandQuoc Viet Foods Beef Flavored 'Pho' Soup Base 10oz Cot Pho Bo Brand
Latest PriceCheck Current PriceCheck Current Price

Pho is considered the national dish of Vietnam.

Beef pho and chicken pho are two different outstanding variations of the traditional Vietnamese dish.

If you’re looking to make a choice between beef or chicken for pho, we think the best way is to try both because they taste quite different, but also similar to some extent.

This Vietnamese noodle soup is very budget-friendly, so why not give beef pho and chicken pho a try now and you might love both.