Eye Round Steak Pho Recipe, Nutrition, Facts

Pho is one of the best comfort foods that we know of. There are, in fact, different types of beef that you can include in it, such as sirloin steak and London broil. But what exactly is eye round steak pho?

Eye round steak pho is a type of pho with round eye beef. It is traditional Vietnamese street food similar to chicken soup or bone broth. It’s just that aside from including beef, pho has more herbs and spices that make it a nutritious addition to your well-balanced diet.

Read on to learn about eye round steak pho, including several recipes and its health benefits.

Eye Round Steak Pho Recipe, Nutrition, Facts

eye round steak pho

Eye round steak pho is a type of pho that includes round eye beef in its recipe. It is traditional Vietnamese street food similar to bone broth or chicken soup.

It’s just that pho has more herbs and spices besides beef, making it a nutritious addition to your well-balanced diet.

What Is Pho?

Before we talk about eye round steak pho, let’s briefly talk about pho first.

Pho is a traditional soup that originates from Vietnam. It is typically made of beef broth, sliced beef, and banh pho noodles. Often, it is served with fresh herbs and bean sprouts on the side.

This Vietnamese soup is different from Japanese ramen. While pho is made of rice noodles, Japanese ramen is made with wheat noodles.

Also, there are different versions of pho. In Southern Vietnam, the most popular pho is called pho name, while pho bac is the most popular in Northern Vietnam. Pho bac is also referred to as the original pho.

What Is the History Behind Pho?

Vietnamese believe that pho originated from the regions of Nam Dinh and Hanoi of North Vietnam after France colonized the country during the 1880s.

The word “pho” is believed to have been derived from the French word “feu,” which means fire. The Vietnamese people could have taken it from the French dish pot au feu.

Initially, preparing pho bac starts by boiling beef bones first for several days. Vietnamese people also emphasize that cooking is simple and delicate. Then, rice noodles, as well as thinly sliced beef, are added.

Many people from North Vietnam moved to South Vietnam after World War II. This then resulted in the birth of pho nam. Pho nam, unlike pho bac, is seasoned with spices.

Also, it is garnished with fresh herbs, including cilantro, basil, and bean sprouts. This quickly became popular in South Vietnam, and up until now, it is being sold by street vendors.

When South Vietnamese people moved to different parts of the world after the fall of Saigon, pho was introduced to people of different nationalities. That’s why, today, pho is famous worldwide.

Eye Round Steak vs. Brisket Pho

Eye Round Steak

More Flavorful and Contains Less Fat

While eye round steak is a great meat for pho, brisket beef is an ideal ingredient too. Between a flat cut and a point cut, the former contains less fat but is flavorful. It is also the preferred cut for pho.

The eye round steak is called eye round roast or eye of the round. But it is also known as breakfast, minute, sandwich, or wafer steak.

Comes from the Cow’s Leaner Shoulder Area

It is a boneless roast shaped like the tenderloin, but the eye-round steak is tougher. Also, it comes from the leaner shoulder area of the cow.


Comes from the Cow’s Breast

The boneless brisket cut comes from the cow’s breast. It is the area where the cow’s pectoral muscle is found, and it is the muscle that supports most of the cow’s weight.

This breast section that weighs about 3 to 8 lbs contains connective tissue collagen. It is the main reason why this meat cut is tough.

Like the eye round steak, brisket beef is less tender than other meat pieces. However, many people choose brisket because it is more affordable.

Soft and Tender When Roasted, Smoked, or Braised

Besides, it becomes soft and tender if it is slowly roasted, smoked, or braised. Not to mention that it also has such a delectable taste.

The eye round steak and brisket come from different parts of the cow. In essence, eye round steak is leaner compared to brisket.

Also, the former is more convenient to cook than the latter. Both are more affordable than other cow parts. But they can be just as flavorful and delectable!

How Many Calories Are in a Bowl of Pho Steak?

A report released by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) states that a cup of beef pho contains about 215 calories. It also has about 5 grams of fat, 25 grams of carbohydrates, and 15 grams of protein.

Most of the calories found in a beef pho come from the beef and the fat. At the same time, most of the carbohydrates come from the noodles.

Quick Vietnamese Eye Round Steak Pho Recipe

Beef pho may seem like a staple in restaurants that requires complicated cooking procedures. But you can make a quick version of it, especially if you are a busy person living in this fast-paced world:

Ingredients for the Quick Broth

  • Three peeled and coarsely chopped carrots
  • One tablespoon of fish sauce
  • 6 cups of low sodium beef broth
  • One tablespoon of tamari or soy sauce
  • Two teaspoons of whole coriander seeds
  • Three whole cloves
  • Two whole star anise
  • Two whole cinnamon sticks measuring 3 inches each
  • One piece of fresh ginger measuring 4 inches
  • Two large yellow onions

Ingredients for Serving

  • Hoisin sauce, Sriracha, or hot sauce
  • 1 cup of fresh herbs such as mint, Thai basil, basil, or cilantro
  • Three medium scallions
  • 1 to 2 medium limes
  • 8 ounces of dried rice noodles
  • 1 cup of mung bean sprouts
  • 8 ounces of eye-round steak
  • One fresh chili pepper such as jalapeño, serrano, or Thai bird


  • 2-quart or larger saucepan
  • Another saucepan for cooking noodles
  • Chef’s knife
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Baking sheet
  • Tongs


1. Prepare the Ginger and Onions

Peel and cut the onions into quarters. Then, peel and slice the ginger into quarters.

2. Char the Ginger and Onions

Char the ginger and onions on all sides using tongs. You can use a gas stove or place it on a baking sheet under the broiler. Do this for about 5 minutes on each side or until the pieces are charred in spots.

Under cool water, rinse the piece. This will remove overly charred bits. Then, set the garlic and onion pieces aside.

3. Toast the Spices

Place the coriander seeds, cloves, star anise, and cinnamon in a saucepan. Toast them at medium-low heat for about 1 to 2 minutes or until they become roasted and fragrant. Stir continuously to prevent scorching.

4. Mix the Ingredients for Broth

Add the broth, fish sauce, and soy sauce or tamari. Then, add the carrots as well as the charred ginger and onions.

5. Cover the Broth and Let It Simmer

From medium-low heat, increase it to medium-high to bring the broth to a boil. Once it is boiling, adjust the heat to medium-low once again. Cover the pan and let it simmer for about 30 minutes. This will allow the aromatics and spices to infuse into the broth thoroughly.

While doing this, you can start cooking the noodles, preparing the toppings, and slicing the beef.

6. Freeze the Beef for About 15 Minutes

Put the beef on a plate and cover it with plastic wrap. Then, let it freeze for about 15 minutes. Ensure that the beef is not frozen but has firm edges. In essence, you do this only to make it easier to slice the beef thinly.

7. Thinly Slice the Beef

Take the beef out of the freezer. Then, make very thin slices using your sharpest knife. Make sure not to make the slices thicker than ¼ inch. After slicing, cover the beef and refrigerate it until ready to serve the pho.

8. Cook the Noodles

Pour water into the other saucepan and bring it to a boil. Place the rice noodles in it and cook for about 4 minutes if your noodles are thick and about a minute if your noodles are thin. Follow the package instructions to ensure that you cook the noodles perfectly.

The next step is to drain the noodles once they are cooked. Then pour cold water on it so it would stop cooking and prevent the noodles from getting soggy.

Immediately divide the noodles by placing them in several serving bowls. This will prevent the noodles from sticking together after cooking. Another way is by tossing the noodles with oil that is neutral tasting.

9. Prepare Other Pho Toppings

Cut the lime into wedges and slice the chili pepper and scallions thinly. Chop the herbs roughly or tear them using your hands. Put bean sprouts on a serving dish. Arrange all the other toppings on the serving dish and then place them on the table.

10. Strain the Broth

Once the broth is ready, the next step is to strain the solids from the broth. Do this by using a filter and setting it over another saucepan or bowl.

The next step is to put back the broth over low heat. Make sure to keep it below a simmer and not bring it to a boil. The broth, in essence, must be pretty hot to cook the beef.

11. Prepare Pho Bowls

If you have not yet prepared the pho bowls, divide the noodles into several serving bowls. Then, place a few slices of raw eye-round beef on top of the noodles.

Make sure that the raw beef is arranged in a single layer. That way, the slices will all evenly cook in the broth.

12. Ladle Hot Broth into the Bowl

Pour the steaming broth evenly over the beef and into each serving bowl. This will immediately make the beef turn opaque. You can pour broth into each bowl as much as you like.

13. Serve the Quick Vietnamese Eye Round Steak Pho with Toppings

You are ready to serve your guests the Quick Vietnamese Eye Round Steak Pho bowls. They can add as many toppings as they want.

Again, what is eye round steak in pho? Eye round steak or bo tai is an ingredient in beef pho. It is usually served with a bowl of pho, or you can order it raw, then cook it in your hot broth.

Classic Vietnamese Beef Pho Recipe

eye round steak pho nutrition


  • 1 kilo or 2.2 lbs of dried rice stick noodles
  • 200 grams or 7 ounces of eye round steak
  • fish sauce
  • lime wedges
  • finely sliced red chili
  • Thai basil leaves
  • ½ cup of finely sliced spring onion (scallions)
  • ½ finely sliced onion
  • 1½ cups of bean shoots

Ingredients for Pho Broth

  • Two tablespoons of sea salt
  • ⅓ cup of fish sauce
  • One tablespoon of sugar
  • One cinnamon stick
  • Five cloves
  • 4-star anise
  • ⅖ kilos of beef bones
  • 8 cm unpeeled ginger
  • One large unpeeled onion


1. Char the Ginger and Onion Over Flame

Car the ginger and onion over a flame for about 15 minutes or until they blacken. You also have the option to roast them using an oven grill.

2. Scrape off the Ginger and Onion’s Blackened Skin

Once the ginger and onion are charred, transfer them to a chopping board and scrape off the blackened skin. Lightly rinse the ginger and onion, and coarsely chop them. Set aside.

3. Place the Beef Bones in a Stockpot

The next step is to place the beef bones in a stockpot. The stockpot must at least have a capacity of 6 liters. Pour water, making sure that it generously covers the beef. Bring it to a boil and let it simmer for about a minute.

4. Remove the Bones from the Water

Remove the bones from the water and rinse them. Then, discard the water, clean the pot, and place the rinsed bones back into it. Add the onion, ginger, cinnamon stick, cloves, and star anise. Pour about 5 liters of water. Cook it gently for about 2 hours, let it simmer, and skim the surface from time to time.

5. Keep the Eye Round Steak Inside the Freezer

Keep the eye-round steak inside the freezer for about 20 minutes. This will make it easier for you to slice the meat thinly. After 20 minutes, cut the meat evenly into very thin slices.

6. Soak the Noodles in Water

For the dried rice noodles, soak them in room temperature water for 30 minutes or so.

7. Remove the Beef Bones

Strain the broth and transfer it to a clean pot.

Then, add salt, fish sauce, and sugar. You can taste and season it more based on your preference. The broth has to be tasty since all the other ingredients, such as the noodles, will be unseasoned.

8. Cook the Bean Shoots and Noodles in Boiling Water

Before serving, cook the bean shoots and noodles in boiling water. Then, place them in serving bowls. Add spring onion and sliced raw onion. Then, drape the raw eye round steak slices over.

9. Heat the Broth

Heat the broth and pour it onto the serving bowls once it starts to bubble. Make sure to spoon it over the raw meat slices.

10. Serve the Pho with Lime Wedges, Chili, Etc.

Serve them with lime wedges, chili, Thai basil, and fish sauce at the table.

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Frequently Asked Questions – Is Eye Round Steak Pho Good?

eye round steak pho recipe
Beef Eye Round

Here are some frequently asked questions about eye round steak pho:

What Is Eye Round Steak in Pho?

The eye round steak is a meat ingredient in beef pho, also known as bo tai. In restaurants, you can order it raw as a side dish. Then, you will be the one to place it in hot broth to cook.

Is Eye Round Steak in Pho Raw?

Yes, the eye round steak in pho is raw. Aside from being raw, this meat cut is typically round and thinly sliced.

What Is Eye Round Steak?

The eye of round steak forms part of the round primal cut found in the cow’s rump area. This cut from the leg and butt area is typically muscle-y. It is chewier than other cuts of steak, not to mention more affordable.

In Closing: What Is Eye Round Steak Pho?

To summarize, the eye round steak pho is a type of pho that includes round eye beef in its recipe. It is traditional Vietnamese street food similar to bone broth or chicken soup.

It’s just that pho has more herbs and spices besides beef, making it a nutritious addition to your well-balanced diet.

You can use other beef or steak cuts for pho. But the eye round steak is one of the most common of all.

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