What to Serve With Pho

Are you unsure about what to serve with your delicious bowl of pho? Well, fear not! We’ve got you covered with a variety of mouthwatering options that will take your pho experience to the next level.

From fresh herbs and sprouts to zesty lime wedges and spicy jalapeno slices, these accompaniments will add a burst of flavor and texture to every spoonful.

And don’t forget the essential hoisin sauce and sriracha for that extra kick.

So, get ready to elevate your pho game and indulge in a symphony of flavors!

Key Takeaways

  • Fresh herbs and sprouts, such as Thai basil, cilantro, and mint, enhance the taste and texture of pho and offer numerous health benefits.
  • Lime and citrus, such as lime wedges, add a burst of tanginess and balance out the flavors of the savory broth.
  • Aromatic spices, like star anise, cinnamon, and cloves, infuse the broth with unique and vibrant flavors, while adding heat with jalapeno slices or sriracha brings a spicy kick to awaken the senses.
  • Rice noodles provide the perfect base for pho, but alternatives like zucchini noodles, bean sprouts, or sweet potato noodles can offer unique flavors and textures. Additionally, condiments and garnishes like sriracha, hoisin sauce, fresh herbs, and a squeeze of lime juice can further enhance the flavors of the dish.

Fresh Herbs and Sprouts

You can’t go wrong with adding a handful of fresh herbs and sprouts to your pho. These vibrant and aromatic ingredients complement the rich and flavorful broth, taking your pho experience to a whole new level.

The fresh herbs, such as Thai basil, cilantro, and mint, add a burst of freshness and a delightful fragrance to every spoonful. As you take a bite, the combination of the tender meat, chewy noodles, and the refreshing herbs creates a harmonious dance of flavors in your mouth.

Sprouts, like bean sprouts and mung bean sprouts, provide a satisfying crunch and a hint of earthiness to your pho. They add a lovely textural contrast to the soft noodles and tender meat, elevating the overall dining experience. With their mild flavor, sprouts enhance the taste of the broth without overpowering it.

Not only do fresh herbs and sprouts enhance the taste and texture of your pho, but they also offer numerous health benefits. Fresh herbs are packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, promoting overall wellness. Sprouts are low in calories and high in fiber, making them a nutritious addition to your meal.

Lime Wedges

When it comes to enhancing the flavors of your pho, a fresh citrus accompaniment is a must. Lime wedges are the perfect addition to your bowl, providing a burst of tanginess that complements the savory broth and rich meat or vegetables.

The balanced taste pairing of the zesty lime with the aromatic herbs and spices creates a symphony of flavors that will take your pho experience to the next level.

Fresh Citrus Accompaniment

For a refreshing twist, try squeezing some lime or lemon over your pho to enhance the citrus flavors. This citrus twist adds a bright and tangy element that complements the rich and savory broth. The combination of the zesty citrus with the fragrant herbs and spices creates a burst of refreshing flavors that elevates the overall taste of the dish.

The unexpected combination of citrus and pho may seem unusual at first, but once you try it, you’ll be hooked. The acidity of the citrus cuts through the richness of the broth, balancing out the flavors and leaving a pleasant tang on your palate.

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So next time you’re enjoying a bowl of pho, don’t hesitate to squeeze some lime or lemon over it for a truly delightful dining experience.

To enhance the citrus flavors in your pho, try the following:

  1. Squeeze fresh lime or lemon juice directly into the broth.
  2. Add thin slices of lime or lemon as a garnish.
  3. Serve the pho with a side of lime or lemon wedges for diners to squeeze over their own bowls.

These simple additions will give your pho a burst of citrus freshness that will take your taste buds on a delightful journey.

Enhancing Pho’s Flavors

To enhance the flavors of pho, try adding a variety of fresh herbs and spices. These ingredients not only add depth and complexity to the dish, but they also help in balancing flavors.

One classic herb to include is Thai basil, with its sweet and slightly peppery taste. It complements the rich broth and adds a refreshing note to each spoonful.

Another popular herb is cilantro, known for its bright and citrusy flavor. Its vibrant green leaves add a burst of freshness to the bowl.

Additionally, don’t forget about the aromatic spices like star anise, cinnamon, and cloves, which infuse the broth with their warm and fragrant essence.

For alternative toppings, you can experiment with bean sprouts, lime wedges, and sliced jalapenos to add crunch and tanginess to each bite.

Balanced Taste Pairing

You can achieve a balanced taste pairing by combining the sweet and slightly peppery Thai basil with the bright and citrusy cilantro. These herbs not only add freshness and crunch to your dish but also enhance the flavors of your pho.

Here are three reasons why this combination is perfect for a balanced taste pairing:

  1. Thai basil brings a unique sweetness to your pho, complementing the savory broth and meat. Its peppery notes add a subtle kick that keeps your taste buds intrigued.

  2. Cilantro adds a bright and citrusy flavor to your pho, cutting through the richness of the broth. Its vibrant taste adds a refreshing element to each spoonful.

  3. Together, Thai basil and cilantro create a harmonious balance of flavors, bringing a burst of freshness and crunch to every bite.

Bean Sprouts

Bean sprouts are a must-have when it comes to enjoying a bowl of pho. These fresh and crunchy sprouts are a traditional topping that adds a delightful texture to your pho.

Not only do they enhance the flavors of the broth and other ingredients, but they also add a vibrant and refreshing element to each bite.

Fresh and Crunchy

For a fresh and crunchy accompaniment to your pho, try adding some bean sprouts and thinly sliced radishes. These crispy vegetables will add a delightful texture and a burst of freshness to your bowl of steaming hot pho.

The raw salad-like combination of bean sprouts and radishes complements the rich flavors of the broth and the tender meat or noodles. Here are three reasons why this combination is simply irresistible:

  1. Crunchy Texture: The bean sprouts and radishes provide a satisfying crunch that contrasts with the softness of the noodles and meat in your pho, creating a delightful textural experience.

  2. Refreshing Flavor: The rawness of the vegetables adds a refreshing element to your pho, enhancing the overall taste and making each bite even more enjoyable.

  3. Vibrant Appearance: The vibrant colors of the bean sprouts and radishes add an appealing visual element to your bowl of pho, making it even more tempting to dive in.

Traditional Pho Topping

Now that we’ve discussed the importance of fresh and crunchy toppings for your pho, let’s dive into the world of traditional pho toppings and flavor enhancers.

These toppings are not only delicious but also add a unique twist to your bowl of pho.

One traditional pho topping that you can’t miss is bean sprouts. They add a refreshing crunch and a subtle sweetness to the broth. Another must-have is Thai basil, which has a distinct aroma and adds a fresh herbal note to each spoonful. Don’t forget about the sliced jalapenos, which bring a touch of heat to balance out the flavors.

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To enhance the taste of your pho, you can also add a squeeze of lime for a tangy kick or a drizzle of hoisin sauce for a hint of sweetness. And if you’re feeling adventurous, a dash of fish sauce can take the flavors to a whole new level.

By incorporating these traditional pho toppings and flavor enhancers, you’ll elevate your pho experience to new heights.

Enhances Flavors

To truly enhance the flavors of your bowl of pho, don’t forget to squeeze a fresh lime for that tangy kick. The combination of the rich broth, tender noodles, and the zesty lime juice creates a burst of flavors that will make your taste buds sing.

But why stop there? Pho is made even more delicious when paired with fresh vegetables. Add some crisp bean sprouts for a refreshing crunch, thinly sliced jalapenos for a fiery kick, and fragrant basil leaves for an aromatic touch. These fresh additions not only add texture and color to your bowl, but they also bring out the umami flavors of the broth.

Thai Basil Leaves

You’ll love the aromatic flavor that Thai basil leaves add to your pho. These vibrant green leaves have a distinct peppery and slightly sweet taste that perfectly complements the rich and savory broth of pho. The fragrance of Thai basil is also incredible, filling your kitchen with a delightful aroma as you prepare your meal.

If you can’t find Thai basil leaves at your local grocery store or if you’re looking for alternatives, there are a few options you can consider. One popular alternative is Italian basil, which has a similar flavor profile but with a milder taste. Another option is holy basil, also known as tulsi, which has a stronger and spicier flavor compared to Thai basil.

Not only do Thai basil leaves enhance the flavor of your pho, but they also come with numerous health benefits. They are a great source of vitamins A, C, and K, as well as essential minerals like calcium, iron, and potassium. Thai basil leaves also contain antioxidants that can help fight inflammation and boost your immune system.

Jalapeno Slices

If you’re craving an extra kick of heat, try adding some jalapeno slices to your dish. These fiery little peppers are a fantastic way to spice up any meal and add a burst of flavor.

Here are three reasons why jalapeno slices are the perfect heat and flavor addition:

  1. Heat: Jalapenos are known for their fiery heat, which can range from mild to hot depending on your preference. The heat comes from a compound called capsaicin, which not only adds a spicy kick but also releases endorphins, giving you a natural high.

  2. Flavor: Along with their heat, jalapenos bring a unique and vibrant flavor to the table. They have a slightly sweet and tangy taste, with a hint of earthiness. When added to dishes like pho, the jalapeno slices infuse the broth with their distinct flavor, elevating the overall taste experience.

  3. Versatility: Jalapeno slices can be used in a variety of dishes, from tacos to salads and everything in between. They can be pickled for a tangy twist or simply sliced and added fresh for an immediate burst of heat and flavor.

Hoisin Sauce and Sriracha

When adding hoisin sauce and sriracha to your dish, be prepared for a burst of bold flavor that will take your taste buds on a fiery adventure. These two condiments are the perfect accompaniment to pho, the beloved Vietnamese noodle soup.

Hoisin sauce, with its sweet and tangy flavor, adds a rich depth to the broth, while sriracha, with its spicy kick, brings the heat that will awaken your senses.

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To enhance the experience, serve your pho with lime wedges and Thai basil leaves. Squeeze a generous amount of lime juice into your soup to brighten the flavors and add a refreshing tang. The citrusy notes of the lime complement the richness of the hoisin sauce and the spiciness of the sriracha.

Thai basil leaves, on the other hand, add an aromatic twist to your pho. Tear a few leaves and sprinkle them on top of your bowl. As you take a spoonful of the soup, the fragrant basil will release its enticing aroma, elevating the entire dish to new heights.

Rice Noodles

Rice noodles are the perfect base for a delicious bowl of pho. They provide a satisfying texture that complements the flavorful broth and toppings. They are soft, yet chewy, and absorb the rich flavors of the broth, making every bite a delightful experience.

However, if you are looking for rice noodle alternatives or need gluten-free options, there are a few options worth considering.

  1. Zucchini Noodles: These spiralized zucchini strands make a great substitute for rice noodles. They have a light and refreshing taste, adding a healthy twist to your pho bowl. Plus, they are low in carbs and gluten-free, making them a popular choice among those with dietary restrictions.

  2. Bean Sprouts: Bean sprouts are a classic addition to pho, but they can also be used as a substitute for rice noodles. They provide a crunchy texture and a fresh, slightly nutty flavor. If you’re looking for a lighter option or want to add more vegetables to your pho, bean sprouts are a great choice.

  3. Sweet Potato Noodles: These vibrant orange noodles are a flavorful and nutritious alternative to rice noodles. They have a slightly sweet taste and a firmer texture, adding a unique twist to your pho bowl. Plus, they are gluten-free and rich in fiber and antioxidants.

While rice noodles are the traditional choice for pho, these alternatives offer a variety of flavors and textures that can take your pho experience to the next level. So, don’t be afraid to experiment and find the perfect noodle substitute that suits your taste and dietary needs.

Condiments and Garnishes

Now that you have your perfectly cooked rice noodles ready for your pho, it’s time to talk about the condiments and garnishes that will take your pho to the next level. These little additions are what make each bowl of pho unique and customizable to your taste.

First up, let’s talk about the condiments. Sriracha and hoisin sauce are the classic choices for adding a kick of heat and a touch of sweetness to your pho. Just a few squirts of these sauces can elevate the flavors of the broth and the toppings. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can also try adding a dollop of chili oil for an extra spicy kick.

Now let’s move on to the herbs. Fresh basil, cilantro, and mint are commonly served with pho. These fragrant herbs add a refreshing and aromatic touch to each bite. Just tear off a few leaves and sprinkle them over your bowl of pho. The combination of the herbs with the warm broth and the tender meat is simply divine.

Lastly, don’t forget the citrus accompaniment. A squeeze of lime juice adds a tangy and zesty flavor to your pho, balancing out the richness of the broth. It’s the perfect finishing touch.


So there you have it, the perfect accompaniments to serve with pho.

From the fresh herbs and sprouts to the tangy lime wedges, these additions truly elevate the flavors of this iconic Vietnamese dish.

And let’s not forget the heat of the jalapeno slices and the rich sweetness of the hoisin sauce and sriracha.

The rice noodles provide a satisfying base, while the condiments and garnishes add that extra touch of flavor.

Now, the next time you enjoy a bowl of pho, you’ll know exactly what to serve alongside it to take your dining experience to new heights.

Happy eating!