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Mar 21, 2007 06:58 PM

Pho- is it .. good for you??

Is the typical bowl of pho healthy, like low fat? I am just curious of the preperation of it..

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  1. That's a complicated question.

    You can definitely say that pho is not bad for you in moderation, but there aren't many dishes that you definitively qualify as healthy. Pho is generally low in fat, but that depends on what cut of beef you get and how much of it there is. Also, the broth might be high in sodium, depending on where you get it. If you get a lot of veggies with your pho (sprouts, cilantro, basil, etc.), that's good, but how much you get depends, again, on where you get your pho. Also, some might argue that the noodles, which are might of refined white rice flour, are not good for you. Some pho places might add MSG to the broth, which could also be a bad thing, depending on your views on MSG.

    There are certainly a lot of things you could be eating that are worse for you.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Humbucker

      Pho is very healthy, compared to other foods for dinner/lunch that you can get. I would compare it with fast foods, since phos are prepared quite quick, and its waaaaaaaaaay healthier. You get bean sprouts and herb, noodles that fill you up, soup thats hearty, and meat which is good protein! I always feel good after a good hearty bowl o' pho.

      1. re: Humbucker

        Dont add anything to the broth other than the herbs and vegatables ie: soy sauce, it it will be lower in sodium.

      2. thanks for the info guys! Always kinda good to have an idea of what I'm eating.

        1. Here's links to several Pho recipes and the calorie/nutrition facts. The recipes vary greatly as do the fat and calorie counts.

          Personally I think that pho is very healthy. The broth is light and doesn't have much in the way of oils or fat. The meat is usually lean and a good source of protein. The herbs, bean sprouts, lemon/lime juice, chilis are full of vitamins and minerals like A, B, C, E, Calcium, Iron, Potasium, Manganese, Magnesium, Niacin, Phosphorus, and more. The rice noodles are even pretty good too, they have quite low calories by weght depending upon the type and decent amounts of fiber.

          1 Reply
          1. re: JMF

            thanks for these links, youve inspired me to make my own now too!

          2. things to be wary of:

            fried noodles (ever checked the fat content in your typical ramen? outrageous!)
            overly salted commercial broth

            that said, if you can find a place that makes their own stocks, fills it with lean meats and vegetables, and uses unfried noodles, it's great for you.

            3 Replies
            1. re: C70

              Who has ever had pho made with fried noodles???

              1. re: C70

                LOL someone obviously doesn't know their pho. Pho noodles are never fried only dried (or fresh)

                1. re: asiandelectables

                  not-uhh. pho is a type of noodle so you can definitely get fried pho, or more like stir-fried pho. pho xao. it's delicioussss.

              2. How do you pronounce this dish? I used to say 'fo' rhymes with dough but my Cambodian friend laughed out loud at me. Now I try to say something like 'fur' but leave off the 'r'

                20 Replies
                1. re: mnitchals

                  remember that your Cambodian friend laughed, not your Vietnamese friend. They have a similar dish, not sure what it is called, but could be what they are telling you. Ask a person that speaks Vietnamese. My friends taught me to say it like fuuh, kinda rhyming with duh, but the u is prolonged. LOL

                  1. re: justagthing

                    The "Pho King" restaurant down the street makes more sense to me now :P

                    1. re: Eater92115

                      Yep, It is Phở-King Good! The change of ownership seems to have had little effect, though it may be slightly cleaner.

                  2. re: mnitchals

                    it's not FOE, it's more like FOH


                    1. re: mnitchals

                      Yeah fuuh. That's a good way to describe the pronunciation they told me to use.

                      1. re: mnitchals

                        That's a good way to describe it. Also, it is spoken rising tone.

                        1. re: raytamsgv

                          Right... Fuh? Like asking a question.

                          1. re: JMF

                            that would be correct...or you can always do what another friend of mine does..Hey, you want to go and get some P. H. O. tonight?

                            1. re: justagthing

                              There is a pho place up in the SF Bay area called "What The Pho...?", if that helps any.

                              1. re: Will Owen

                                There's one in HB on PCH as well...haven't been, have you?

                                1. re: justagthing

                                  We have one called Pho King around Seattle.

                                  1. re: LaureltQ

                                    there's a pho king in new orleans i went to last time i was there. all the writers i was hinging out with were raving about it. i thought it was pho king bland

                        2. re: mnitchals

                          I've heard that's the right pronunciation but I feel silly saying it, and none of my non-Asian friends know what I'm talking about. With my great friend "foe", we're all on the same page.

                          1. re: mnitchals

                            it's just like word "phonetic" (with a soft O ) other words..."fuh". But say stretched out, like it's a question.


                            That's how I was told and haven't had any funny looks yet.

                            1. re: rilkeanheart

                              not at all like foot minus the "t". I don't think you will get the little question mark and hook diacritic tone right when you say it unless you are familiar with Vietnamese tonal pronunctiation. To approximate in English with no tone but at least the closest sound, it is like the -uh in no duh!

                              1. re: luckyfatima

                                It's pronounced like the french dish "pot au feu", just the last word of course.

                                1. re: gourmet wife

                                  I have a friend who believes that pho is the vietnamese version of pot au feu and that is why the pronounciation is the same. Considering the French influence in that country, she may be right.

                                  1. re: lilmomma

                                    That is my understanding as well, based on two Vietnamese books from which I have cooked.

                                    1. re: lilmomma

                                      One, you're likely right about the pot au feu connection. There's so much literature to support it, and the similarity of the dishes (pho and pot au feu) is difficult to deny.

                                      Two, the pronounciation is NOT the same (though, to be sure, within context, most people aren't stupid enough to not know what you're talking about). There's a similarity, to be sure, but "same" is not true. I had to search a bit to find a good pronounciation but here is it:
                                      (Really, though, as long as it's good, I guess it doesn't matter much how it's "supposed" to be pronounced.)