Top Picks: Best Noodles for Pho | Vietnamese Favorites

Want a comforting bowl of pho but not sure which noodles are best? You’re not alone. Choosing the right noodles for your pho can be tricky. Should you pick dried or fresh, narrow or wide? Don’t fret. We’re here to help with this guide on the top noodles for pho.

Key Takeaways:

  • Discover the variety of pho noodle options available, from dried to fresh.
  • Learn about the different types of rice noodles used in pho dishes.
  • Find out which popular pho noodle brands are worth trying.
  • Explore tips on shopping for and storing rice noodles.
  • Get insights into pairing pho noodles with different types of broth and proteins.

Types of Rice Noodles for Pho

Rice noodles are vital in pho dishes, bringing a soft but chewy bite to the recipe. Below are the usual types found in pho:

Banh Pho

Banh pho is the classic flat rice noodle for pho soup. It is available in various widths, from thinner types similar to linguine to wider options like pappardelle. The width affects the texture of your pho.

Rice Vermicelli

Rice vermicelli, known as bun rice noodles, are thin and round. They appear in noodle bowls and spring rolls. These noodles are best with fresh ingredients because of their light texture.

Banh Hoi

Banh hoi are excellent rice noodles meant for enjoying with grilled or roasted meats. As they are super thin, they complement savory grilled food very well.

The size of rice noodles can vary. Always check the labels when buying to ensure they fit your dish well.

Now you know about the rice noodles for pho. Next up, we’ll look at dried rice noodle options.

Dried Rice Noodles for Pho

Dried rice noodles are great for making pho. They’re easy to get and last a long time. Buy them at supermarkets or Asian markets. Look in the dried noodle section for brands like Annie Chun’s, Three Ladies, Caravelle, and Bangkok Elephant. For pho noodle soup, use narrow noodles. For stir-fries, go for wide ones. Make sure to pick undamaged packages. Store them in your cupboard for about a year.

Video Credit: Pailin’s Kitchen

Fresh Rice Noodles for Pho

Fresh rice noodles are vital in making your pho taste authentic and unique. You can buy these noodles from Chinese and Vietnamese markets. They’re usually near the refrigerated aisle with other noodles and dumpling wrappers.

Look for names like fresh banh pho or rice stick noodles. These names tell you they’re what you need. They have a soft and chewy texture. It’s just right with the tasty broth and toppings in your pho.

Choosing the proper rice noodles is important. Go for ones that look tightly wrapped, showing they’re fresh. You can get them either vacuum-packed or in smaller sizes. Freshness matters. Use vacuum-packed noodles within 10 days.

If you pick unchilled noodles, it’s best to use them right away. This way, you enjoy their great taste while they are at their freshest.

There are many types of fresh rice noodles to pick from. Find the one you like best. If you love pho, these noodles are a great choice. They give your dish that natural, chewy feel.

Shopping Tips for Rice Noodles

Cooking Asian dishes like pho noodle soup starts with the proper rice noodles. Here’s how to pick the best ones for your meal.

Consider the Specific Type and Size

First, think about the noodles you need. You can find dried rice noodles in most stores. But, for fresh noodles, you might have to visit a Chinese or Vietnamese shop. These can be more authentic and have a better texture.

Look for Reliable Brands

It’s wise to choose noodles from trusted brands. Annie Chun’s, Three Ladies, Caravelle, and Bangkok Elephant are good choices. They have high-quality noodles in many varieties.

Pay Attention to Size Labeling

Size matters when picking rice noodles. Thin noodles are best for soup, while wider ones are great for stir-fry. Look in the Asian or gluten-free section at your grocery store. You might also find rice vermicelli and rice sticks for a different meal option.

Cooking Tips

Follow the cooking instructions for your rice noodles. Boil them until they’re soft but still have a little bite. Taste them to make sure they’re just how you like.

Best Brands for Rice Noodles

Looking for top rice noodle brands? Annie Chun’s Three Ladies, Caravelle, and Bangkok Elephant are great picks. They’re famous for quality rice noodles, perfect for dishes like pho or stir-fry. Each brand has its style, from thin and light to thick and chewy. It’s fun to try them all to see what you like best.

Choosing the right rice noodle brand depends on what you’re cooking. Consider texture, how long they take to cook, and how well they soak up flavor. Annie Chun’s has an extensive range of rice noodles for any Asian dish.

Three Ladies

Looking for authentic Asian flavors? Three Ladies is a trusted option. They offer high-quality noodles for pho, pad Thai, or stir-fry dishes. Everyone, from home cooks to chefs, loves their noodles.


Caravelle is known for its consistent quality and variety. Their noodles work well in soups, salads, and stir-fries. Caravelle is a solid choice when you need reliable rice noodles for any dish.

Bangkok Elephant

For those who love Thai food, Bangkok Elephant is a go-to. Their authentic Thai rice noodles add a special touch to dishes. From pad Thai to spicy curry soup, Bangkok Elephant noodles make your meals stand out.

These brands, like Annie Chun’s, Three Ladies, Caravelle, and Bangkok Elephant, offer great rice noodle options. Try out different brands to find the ones you love. This is how you bring excitement to your cooking.

Storage and Shelf Life

Keeping rice noodles fresh is critical for tasty meals. This applies to both dried and fresh noodles. Let’s explore the best ways to store them.

Dried Rice Noodles

Dried rice noodles are perfect for long-term storage. Please keep them in a cool, dry spot, like your pantry. After opening, move them to a Ziploc bag or a sealed container to stay fresh.

Usually, you can eat dried noodles within a year. Check the package for the best-by date. Brands like Three Ladies or Annie Chun’s are known for their quality noodles.

rice noodle storage
Image Credit: Midjourney

Fresh Rice Noodles

Fresh rice noodles bring a unique, chewy bite to dishes. You’ll find them in Asian markets near the refrigerated section. Look for them next to egg noodles and dumpling wrappers.

Vacuum-packed noodles should go in the fridge. They remain at their peak for about 10 days. Meanwhile, fresh, unchilled noodles must be used within 5 days for the best taste.

Always follow the storage advice on the noodle package. This keeps both fresh rice noodles perfect until you cook with them.

Storing rice noodles right ensures they’re flavorful and ready to use long after buying. Dried or fresh, the right storage keeps them tasty for all your meals.

Pho Noodles and Broth Pairings

Pho is a tasty soup that comes with different kinds of meat. You can choose from beef, chicken, pork, or shrimp. The key to making it tasty is using the proper noodles with each meat.

Beef Pho Noodles

Beef pho works best with flat rice noodles called banh pho. These noodles absorb the rich beef soup well. They’re also thick, giving each bite a good texture.

Chicken Pho Noodles

For chicken pho, go with a lighter choice – bun rice noodles. They’re a bit thinner than banh pho but still soft. They match the mild chicken broth perfectly.

Pork Pho Noodles

If you’re making pork pho, you have two noodle options – banh pho or rice vermicelli. Banh pho, like beef, is chewy and thick. Rice vermicelli is lighter, letting the pork flavors stand out.

Shrimp Pho Noodles

Shrimp pho is tasty with either banh pho or rice vermicelli. The noodles you pick should be based on what texture you prefer. Both work well to highlight the shrimp and broth’s taste.

Do think about what meat you’re using when you choose pho noodles. The right match makes your meal delicious, mixing flavors and textures.

Tips for Making Pho Noodle Soup at Home

Craving a bowl of homemade pho noodle soup? You’re lucky! Making it at home is easy with a few tips. Plus, it will be a delicious experience in your kitchen. Here’s how to start:

1. Start with Quality Beef Bone Broth

Use top-notch beef bone broth or stock to make your pho broth. The flavor from simmered beef bones makes the broth rich and tasty. This step will make your homemade pho stand out.

2. Infuse the Broth with Flavorful Ingredients

To amp up your pho broth, include charred onions and ginger. Char them for a smoky flavor. This easy trick adds deep flavor to your pho.

Also, toast spices like cinnamon and star anise for a few minutes before adding. This warms up the broth with aromatic notes.

3. Simmer for a Shorter Time

The usual pho broth simmers for hours. But you can get excellent flavor by simmering for just 45 minutes. This cuts down on time but keeps the flavor.

4. Pre-Cook the Protein or Add it Directly to the Hot Broth

There are two ways to handle your protein in pho. You can cook it first, then add it to the broth. Or, you can let the broth cook the protein. Either way, it’ll be tasty and tender.

5. Customize with Toppings and Condiments

Pho is all about making it your own with toppings and sauces. Offer fresh herbs, bean sprouts, and green onions. Don’t forget hoisin sauce and sriracha for extra flavor.

Follow these tips for a fantastic bowl of pho. Use our advice and ingredients, and let pho’s aroma whisk you to Vietnam.

Video Credit: Pailin’s Kitchen

Customize Your Pho Noodle Bowl

Pho noodle soup stands out because you can make it your own. Choose your preferred toppings and extras to enjoy your meal truly.

  • Fresh herbs: Make your pho bowl pop with fresh herbs. Cilantro, Thai, or Vietnamese basil, plus mint, lift every spoonful.
  • Bean sprouts: Want a bit of crunch and light taste? Add bean sprouts. They go great with everything else in the soup.
  • Radishes: Add some radishes for a bit of heat and texture. They give your bowl a spicy flavor.
  • Lime: A squeeze of lime brings a zesty twist. It makes the dish fresh and adds extra flavor.

Ingredients like hoisin sauce and sriracha are favorites. They add a lot to the broth and noodles, bringing more flavor and a hint of heat. Be bold and start mixing to see what you like best. With pho, every bite can be just how you want it.

Identify the Best Rice Noodles for Your Pho Recipe

Picking the top rice noodles for your pho lies in key points. Think about what you like, what’s easy to get, and how you cook. This way, choosing between dried and fresh noodles becomes simpler.

Dried vs. Fresh Noodles

If you love easy and flexible, dried ones are perfect. They’re easy to find and chewy, like fresh noodles. Plus, dried noodles come in many widths. This lets you pick the ideal ones for your meal. For pho, go with the narrow ones. Wide noodles are better for stir-fries.

Yet, for a truly authentic feel, fresh rice noodles are unmatched. They’re soft and chewy in a way that dried noodles can’t match. Find them in the fridge sections of Chinese and Vietnamese markets.

Vacuum-packed ones are tiny, while the unpackaged ones are a bit larger. The size depends on what you like and what you can find.

Reliable Brands

Getting quality rice noodles means picking good brands. Some top picks are Annie Chun’s Three Ladies, Caravelle, and Bangkok Elephant. They make noodles for pho and more. You can find these brands in Asian stores or the Asian food area of most grocers.

Always check the noodle packages for damage. Go for the ones with the fewest broken pieces. This way, your noodles will cook well and taste great.

Experiment and Enjoy

Choosing the best rice noodles is really up to you and your style. Don’t be afraid to try different kinds. Pick what you like for a tasty pho bowl – dried or fresh, narrow or wide. It’s all about making a meal that you enjoy. Have fun trying new brands, sizes, and textures to make your pho perfect.

choosing rice noodles for pho
Image Credit: Midjourney

Rice Noodle Selection Tips:

  • Think about what you like and what’s available
  • Dried noodles are easy and versatile
  • Fresh noodles give a unique, authentic feel
  • Select narrow noodles for pho and wide noodles for stir-fries
  • Try brands like Annie Chun’s, Three Ladies, Caravelle, and Bangkok Elephant
  • Check the packaging for broken noodles
  • Experiment with various types of rice noodles to discover your preference

Tips for Shopping for Rice Noodles

Buying rice noodles can be tricky, especially if you’re new to Asian grocery stores. They come in many types and sizes. It can be hard to know what to pick. But, with some patience and an adventurous spirit, you can find the best ones for your meals.

Asian markets carry a wide variety of rice noodles. Look for popular brands like Annie Chun’s and Three Ladies. If you don’t have an Asian market nearby, don’t worry. Many regular grocery stores also carry rice noodles. You’ll likely find them in the Asian or gluten-free section. Brands like Jovial and Golden Star are worth a look as well.

When choosing rice noodles, pay attention to the package labels. Think about what dish you’re making. For pho noodle soup, you’ll want narrow noodles. For stir-fries, wide noodles are better. This simple tip can make a difference in finding the right rice noodles.


Q: What are the best noodles for pho?

A: Banh pho, also known as flat rice noodles, works great for pho noodle soup. It’s also good for other pho dishes.

Q: What types of rice noodles are used for pho?

A: You can use banh pho (flat rice noodles) for pho. Also, rice vermicelli or bun noodles (the round ones) and banh hoi (super fine rice noodles) are common.

Q: How do I choose the right width of banh pho noodles for pho soup?

A: Banh pho noodles come in different widths. You can find them as narrow as linguine to as wide as pappardelle. Check the package to know the exact size.

Q: Where can I find dried rice noodles for pho?

A: Look for dried rice noodles in supermarkets, natural foods markets, or Asian markets. They’re usually in the dried noodle aisle. Brands such as Annie Chun’s, Three Ladies, Caravelle, and Bangkok Elephant are good choices.

Q: Where can I find fresh rice noodles for pho?

A: Fresh rice noodles are at Chinese and Vietnamese markets in the refrigerated section. They should be near egg noodles and dumpling wrappers. Brands include fresh banh pho, rice stick noodles, pad Thai noodles, and chow fun.

Q: What are some popular brands for rice noodles?

A: Top brands for rice noodles are Annie Chun’s, Three Ladies, Caravelle, and Bangkok Elephant.

Q: How should I store dried rice noodles?

A: Keep dried rice noodles in a cupboard for up to a year. If they’re opened, transfer them to a zipper plastic bag or a tall container to keep them fresh.

Q: How should I store fresh rice noodles?

A: Vacuum-packed fresh rice noodles last in the fridge for about 10 days. Noodles that aren’t vacuum-packed should be used on the day you buy them.

Q: What type of rice noodles should I use for beef pho?

A: For beef pho, choose banh pho or flat rice noodles.

Q: How can I make pho noodle soup at home?

A: Use high-quality beef bone broth or stock for the base. Add charred onions, ginger, and toasted spices. Simmer the broth for about 45 minutes.Pre-cook your protein or add it directly to the hot broth. Serve with fresh herbs like cilantro and condiments like hoisin sauce and sriracha.

Q: How can I customize my pho noodle bowl?

A: Make your pho bowl unique with fresh herbs and veggies like cilantro, Thai basil, and bean sprouts. Don’t forget limes and condiments like hoisin sauce and sriracha.

Q: How do I choose the best rice noodles for my pho recipe?

A: Think about what you like and what’s easy to find. You’ll decide between dried or fresh noodles. Consider the type and width you need for your recipe.

Q: Where can I buy rice noodles?

A: You’ll find rice noodles at Asian markets, regular supermarkets, and online. Look for trusted brands and check the package for noodle size.


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