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Apr 23, 2008 08:59 AM

Calories in a bowl of PHO in this area [moved from DC/Baltimoreboard]

I am posting this in the DC area board because I have seen sizes vary in other regions. How many calories do you think are in a regular bowl of pho in this area? I keep readin around 200 on the internet but that just does not sound right at all.

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  1. 1750 calories for the large bowl with beef flank/tripe/tendon. This is excluding all the
    extra stuff that you throw into the soup, such as the sauces and bean sprouts.

    10 Replies
    1. re: OaktonWhitney

      WHOA! I have never had pho (a problem I had thought I needed to remedy but now....), and I always understood it was a thin-brothed soup. What the h-e double hockey sticks is in it that makes it so high in calories?!?

      1. re: charmedgirl

        It has to be all the noodles. There may not be a lot of fat in Pho, but there are definitely a lot of calories!

        1. re: jrl2929

          I have ordered pho without the noodles to avoid the carbs. Pho is all about thr broth and meat for me.

            1. re: bylinemjf

              A cup of rice noodles has just under 200 calories. So, say you even have two cups of noodles, there's just not that many calories in beef broth, and I guess the calories in beef vary by cut. I would guess that it would be closer to 750 than 1750.

              1. re: baltoellen

                I think that's a good estimate for a regular bowl of pho. Perhaps Oakton said 1750 because some of those big bowls are like two regular bowls of pho -- and if you add in lots of fatty pieces of meat and very oily broth, it may be close to his estimate.

        2. re: charmedgirl

          Charmedgirl, you should understand that a large bowl of Pho is something eating competitions are made of. Where I come from (Denver) a large has like 5-6 cups of broth, close to a pound of noodles, more than a pound of meat, plus all the fixins. I am 150lbs and run 4 miles a day, so I can really put in the food, but is VERY rare that I am able to even get near finishing a Med bowl. A small is probably just over 500 calories. Since it is a complete meal, that is not tipping the scales. Also, I get my noodle on the side, it is all about the meat and broth for me, just a little noodles cuz they are fun to slurp!

          1. re: Jezebhell

            That must be a special Denver version! A bowl of pho (of any size) with "more than a pound of meat" doesn't sound traditional at all. Like many Asian dishs, the meat in a traditional bowl of pho is almost more of a garnish.

            1. re: Jezebhell

              Dang, wish they made 'em like that here in NYC. Generally it's 2-3 cups of broth, 5-6 slices of very thin eye round steak (very lean), a good handful of thin rice noodles (maybe 1/4-1/2lb before cooking). The rest is onion, sprouts, cilantro (0 pts/0 cals). I can't imagine it being 1750cals. Maybe if you have a lb of tripe or tendon (fattier cuts). Flank is also very lean. I've heard 2.25pts per cup but honestly I think that is a low estimate. Heck, for pho, I just go for it! Can't count calories for everything and it's definitely lower cal than a cheesburger and fries!!

          2. re: OaktonWhitney

            I don't think that's right. Any support?

          3. Methinks 1750 is a wee bit high, judging what I know about the caloric value of a typical bowl of pho. Most articles cite between 600-700 calories, very little of that from fat, which is a more realistic number. What is high is the typical sodiom level of restaurant pho.


            7 Replies
            1. re: Ellen

              Is there really regional variation in the size and calorie content of a bowl of pho? Is a bowl of pho in DC that much different than one in San Francisco?

              1. re: JonParker

                I think 1750 is way high, wow!

                1. re: JonParker

                  I didn't say there was and can't imagine there would be. Philly and DC area phos are pretty comparable.

                  1. re: Ellen

                    Sorry, I meant to respond to the original poster.

                    1. re: JonParker

                      Jon, I have had pho bowls much smaller than what we are served in this area so yes- reason why I prefaced my question.

                      1750 sounds really high to me. I would have thought no more than 700. Oakton, where are you getting the stats from- we all may be completely wrong.

                      1. re: xena1441

                        Yes, I would have guessed 500-700 calories. Most of is broth, veggies and noodles, and it's not 'that' heavy on the noodles. As for regional size variations...I'm pretty sure that size varies between restaurants in this region. While most serve two sizes, the large being fairly large, the sizes certainly aren't standard around here any more then they are between here and across the country.

                2. re: Ellen

                  I agree... even thinking of French style soups.... the greatest masters of sneaking in Calories into food..... there is no way you could get a 1750 Calorie Soup.... I mean an 800 Calorie Soup will make you feel extremely full & sick...

                3. Beef Pho is about 9 WW points, if that helps...

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: debit

                    In my old WW book, it says a bowl of pho is 2 pts! I always knew that was wrong, I think the writer of the "ethnic" foods section thought pho comes in a measuring cup or something.

                    1. re: luckyfatima

                      Most of the bowls I've gotten have been "2 pts" as in TWO PINTS! A good solid quart of broth, noodles, assorted cow parts and hot and cold running vegetables. Two POINTS would be maybe a half-pint of broth and three noodles, with maybe a slice each of lean beef and brisket. Lots of luck finding that...

                      1. re: Will Owen

                        Yep the whole "ethnic food" section in WW is pretty dubious because a lot of stuff isn't taken into account...I have strong thoughts on the Indian food section, but anywayz...I ask for pho dac biet and tell the wait person no fatty brisket, only lean. So I get the tendons (0 pts I think), bo tai, tripe ( 0 pts I think) and the other lean meats. Then I only eat half the noodles (I guess I eat 2 pts of noodles). I only eat at places with fabulous broth so I never add hoisin sauce (lots of sugar). I also don't finish all of the broth. Maybe half. I guesstimate my total as 8 points, most points for the meat. Do you think I am fooling my self? I eat A LOT of pho. At least a couple times per week these days.

                    2. re: debit

                      assuming a WW point is around 50 cals that would be 450 calories.

                    3. I believe that DC-area pho has around 12-14% fewer calories than Philadelphia pho, but 8 or 9% more than Californian pho.

                      1. I would say the estimate of 1750 is about right for the Pho with all the different beef pieces in it. Recently I put a whole container of Pho with fatty beef in it minus the noodles in the fridge and I got well over 3 table spoons of hardened fat off the top. That’s not including the fatty pieces that were left. Now plain Pho with lean beef is much leaner

                        4 Replies
                        1. re: Trazom

                          What a great idea! I think I am going to get it to go and try that myself. I am just THAT curious. But really? 1750 still sounds extremely high.

                          Also to clear up- I am asking about jst Pho Tai (no tripe etc and lean meat)

                          1. re: xena1441

                            Yea I was shocked at the amount of fat. I Think Ill stick to the regular Pho with just lean beef. The one I was referencing had round eye steak? Which was really fatty .

                          2. re: Trazom

                            The stuff at the top of the container was not fat but gelatin. Pho broth is made from beef bones and tough cuts of beef, both of which contain large amounts of the collagen. When low heat is applied, the collagen converts in to gelatin. Gelatin is responsible for much of the flavor and mouth feel of the broth.

                            1. re: Atticus Fresh

                              Gelatin does not separate out of liquid as it cools, it binds with water. A stock high in collagen/gelatin will thicken or solidify uniformly as it cools - ever made Jell-o?. A hard layer on top definitely sounds like animal fat.