7 Essential Herbs To Elevate Your Vietnamese Pho To Perfection

7 Must-Have Herbs That Elevate Vietnam’s Best Vietnamese Pho (Phở Việt Nam) To Perfection

Vietnamese pho (phở Việt Nam) is an extremely familiar dish to Vietnamese people, imbued with traditional flavors that have captivated countless diners. Eaten along with Vietnamese pho are many different types of herbs, and each region has its own unique way of enjoying them. The flavor of Vietnamese pho not only retains its traditional characteristics but is also elevated to a new level. But there are certain herbs that are a must-have when eating Vietnamese pho, and do you know what those herbs are? Let’s find out through the following article by An Bang Beach Village restaurant.The essential herbs to eat with Vietnamese pho (phở Việt Nam):

  1. Scallions

    Scallions can be considered an essential herb that cannot be missing when eating Vietnamese pho. Their absence will significantly change the flavor of the broth. According to traditional Chinese medicine, scallions have a spicy, pungent taste, are slightly sweet when eaten, and have a warm nature. Therefore, they have the effect of relieving colds and treating diseases such as bloating due to flatulence and indigestion. In addition, scallions are also added to effectively mask the strong smell of beef in Vietnamese pho.

    Scallions, An Bang Beach Village restaurant
  2. Cilantro

    Cilantro, also known by another name, coriander, has its roots often used as a spice to cook the Vietnamese pho broth. Meanwhile, the tops are chopped together with scallions and sprinkled on bowls of Vietnamese pho noodles. Besides, cilantro is also used in other traditional Vietnamese dishes such as spring rolls, added to various soups, etc. This herb has a mild aroma, so it is very easy to combine with other ingredients in Vietnamese pho.

    Cilantro, An Bang Beach Village restaurant
  3. Thai Basil

    In reality, quite few people eat Thai basil with pho. For the most part, you will often encounter this herb in Bun Bo Hue. However, that is for Northerners. When eating Vietnamese pho in Southern restaurants, a basket of fresh herbs will be served on the side, which definitely includes Thai basil. Some scientific studies have shown that Thai basil has the effect of dissolving kidney stones, treating headaches, reducing stress, etc.

    Thai Basil, An Bang Beach Village restaurant
  4. Culantro

    Culantro, also known as sawtooth coriander, is also a type of herb that is often chopped together with scallions or cilantro to sprinkle on bowls of pho. You can easily encounter this flavor when eating dishes such as roasted duck, Peking duck, or bamboo shoot soup, etc. They have a very distinctive aroma; you only need to try a sip of pho broth to recognize it. Culantro also has the effect of reducing cholesterol in the blood, treating coughs with phlegm, boils, etc. The two sides of the leaf margins have sharp serrations but are quite soft.

    Culantro, An Bang Beach Village restaurant
  5. Vietnamese Balm

    Vietnamese balm (húng láng) is more common than in the North. Its name is also derived from the name of the local area where it has been grown abundantly since ancient times, which is Lang Village in Hanoi. The herb has a mild aroma and goes very well with pho. If you look from the outside, you will see that the Vietnamese balm plant is quite short. The stem is purple in color, with small leaves evenly distributed from the stem to the top.
    In fact, Vietnamese balm and húng chó (a different variety) are often mistaken for each other, even though their flavors are 100% different. Only professional market-goers can distinguish these two types of herbs with just a glance.

    Vietnamese Balm, An Bang Beach Village restaurant
  6. Bean Sprouts

    Usually, when eating pho in the North, it is not eaten with bean sprouts. However, depending on the preference of each diner, the restaurant owner will still add a basket of vegetables including bean sprouts to eat on the side. Meanwhile, Vietnamese pho in the South cannot be without this vegetable. Before being added to the bowl, the bean sprouts will be briefly blanched in boiling water to soften them. Bean sprouts have a cooling nature, so they are very suitable to eat in the summer. In addition, they also have other effects such as making skin smooth and radiant, supporting weight loss, improving health, etc.

    Bean Sprouts, An Bang Beach Village restaurant
  7. Spearmint

    Spearmint is often mistaken for peppermint leaves. Moreover, the aroma of this herb is quite strong. However, many people really like that spicy flavor. They always request spearmint whenever they eat pho. It is very difficult to distinguish it from peppermint leaves. Perhaps, all you need is “experience to tell”. For those who are new to spearmint and are learning to eat it with pho, you should chop it finely. That way, the strong flavor will be reduced and easier to enjoy.
    In addition, there are countless other fresh herbs that can be mentioned such as Vietnamese balm, lemon balm, Vietnamese coriander, piper lolot, etc. Depending on each person’s preference, you can combine different types of herbs if you cook Vietnamese pho at home.

    Spearmint, An Bang Beach Village restaurant

Benefits of eating herbs with Vietnamese pho (phở Việt Nam)

  1. Enhance the deliciousness of the dish

    It can be seen that eating pho with additional herbs will be much more delicious. If you don’t like raw vegetables, you can ask the restaurant owner to briefly blanch them and then put them on the side. That has also greatly increased the flavor of Vietnamese pho.

  2. Create more unique flavors

    Each type of herb will have its own distinctive flavor. Thanks to those rich aromas, pho will become much more attractive, retaining diners for longer.

  3. Cool the body

    You probably already know that green vegetables always have a lot of fiber that helps regulate body temperature. Not only that, the herbs mentioned above almost all appear in traditional herbal remedies from ancient times. They have the effect of supporting and treating diseases very effectively. In addition to cooling the body, they also affect the bones and joints, digestive system, skin, and stabilize cholesterol levels.


In addition, there are many other types of vegetables that can be eaten with pho such as lettuce, perilla, Vietnamese balm, etc. which are all very fragrant, delicious, attractive, and stimulate the taste buds when eating. But the above herbs are still the essential ones that must be present when eating  pho. Diners can completely choose for themselves a suitable type of vegetable to eat with pho, creating their own unique flavor. Besides, for those who do not know how to eat fragrant herbs and raw vegetables with pho, they can learn to eat gradually by dipping the vegetables in the pho broth or in boiling water before eating. That way, the herbs will have their strong flavor reduced and will be completely easy to eat even for those who do not like to eat vegetables.

A bowl of Vietnamese pho with herbs, lime and chili
Vietnamese Pho at An Bang Beach Village

To make a reservation at An Bang Beach Village Restaurant:

✤ Reservations: m.me/anbangbeachvillage
✤ Inquiries: 0903542613 (whatsapp/ Zalo)
✤ Website: www.anbangbeachvillage.com
✤ Location: Head to alley 174 Nguyễn Phan Vinh, follow the seaside path, and you’ll find the sign for An Bang Beach Village Restaurant.

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