The Art of Pho: Should You Eat It Cold?

Pho is a popular Vietnamese noodle soup dish that has gained immense popularity worldwide. It’s a comforting and hearty meal that warms you up on a cold winter day. However, many people wonder if can you eat pho cold. In this article, we explore the pros and cons of eating pho cold and provide some tips on how to enjoy it.

What is Pho?

What is Pho
What is Pho

Before diving into the topic, let’s first understand what pho is. Pho is a Vietnamese street food dish that consists of broth, linguine-shaped rice noodles, herbs, and meat, typically beef or chicken. The broth is made by simmering meat bones, charred onion, ginger, and spices for several hours. The resulting broth is rich, flavorful, and loaded with umami taste.

The Perfect Bowl of Pho: Can You Eat Pho Cold?

The Art of Pho Should You Eat It Cold
The Art of Pho Should You Eat It Cold

Yes, technically speaking, it is possible to eat pho cold. Pho is a Vietnamese noodle soup consisting of broth, rice noodles, meat (usually beef or chicken), and herbs. It is commonly served hot, but it can also be eaten cold.

However, the taste and overall experience of eating cold pho may not be as enjoyable as eating it hot. This is because pho broth tends to solidify or thicken when it gets cold, which changes its texture and flavor profile. The solidification of the broth can make it less aromatic and flavorful as the ingredients in the broth become less dispersed and concentrated.

Another aspect that makes hot pho so popular is the warming sensation it provides, especially during cold weather. When you eat hot pho, the warmth from the broth spreads throughout your body, giving you a cozy and comforting feeling. Cold pho, on the other hand, lacks this warming sensation and might not be as satisfying.

That said, there are some ways to enjoy cold pho. One option is to add more herbs, vegetables, and spices to enhance the flavor and freshness of the dish. Another option is to use a spicier broth or add chili oil to give the dish a kick of heat. These additions help balance out the thickened broth and improve the overall taste of the meal.

Pros and Cons of Eating Pho Cold

Pros and Cons of Eating Pho Cold
Pros and Cons of Eating Pho Cold


  • Convenience: Eating pho cold can be convenient, especially if you have leftovers from the previous day and want to avoid heating them up.
  • Low-calorie option: Cold pho can be a great low-calorie meal option, especially if you are trying to lose weight. It contains fewer calories than when served hot.
  • Refreshing: Cold pho can be refreshing, especially during hot summer days.


  • Less Flavorful: As mentioned earlier, cold pho tends to lose its flavor when served cold. The fat in the broth solidifies, leading to a greasy texture.
  • Textural Changes: Cold pho may not have the same texture as hot pho. The noodles and meat may become chewy and rubbery.
  • No Warming Sensation: Eating cold pho won’t provide the same warming sensation that comes from a hot bowl of pho.

Tips for Enjoying Cold Pho

Tips for Enjoying Cold Pho
Tips for Enjoying Cold Pho

If you still want to try cold pho, here are some tips to enhance your experience:

  1. Keep the broth separate: If you’re planning to eat pho cold, it’s best to keep the broth separate from the noodles and meat. This way, you can heat the broth separately before pouring it over the other ingredients. Heating up the broth will help melt the fat solids and improve the flavor.
  2. Add fresh herbs: Adding fresh herbs like cilantro, basil, and mint to your cold pho can make it more flavorful and refreshing. You can also add lime juice and chili sauce to enhance the taste.
  3. Use thinner noodles: Using thinner rice noodles can help prevent them from becoming rubbery when served cold.
  4. Store properly: If you plan to have leftover pho, store the broth, noodles, and meat separately in airtight containers. This way, they’ll stay fresh and can be heated up easily.


So, can you eat pho cold? Yes, you can eat pho cold, but it may not be as enjoyable as eating it hot. Cold pho lacks the flavor and warming sensation that comes from a hot bowl of pho. However, if you want to give it a try, follow the tips mentioned above to enhance your experience.

FAQs After The Conclusion

  1. Can I freeze pho for later use? Yes, you can freeze pho broth and reheat it later. However, freezing the noodles and meat may affect their texture.
  2. Is cold pho healthy? Cold pho can be a healthy meal option as it is low in calories and packed with nutrients. However, it may not be as satisfying as hot pho.
  3. How should I reheat leftover pho? To reheat leftover pho, heat the broth separately and pour it over the noodles and meat. Microwave or stovetop methods can be used to heat the broth.
  4. Can I add other vegetables to pho? Yes, you can add any vegetables of your choice to pho. Popular options include bean sprouts, bok choy, and carrots.
  5. What are some common pho toppings? Common pho toppings include beef or chicken slices, bean sprouts, lime wedges, basil leaves, cilantro, hoisin sauce, and chili sauce.
About Yen Le

Welcome to Bunker Vietnamese, a website dedicated to exploring the diverse world of Vietnamese cuisine. As a proud Vietnamese-American, my passion for cooking and sharing my cultural heritage has led me to create this platform. Join me on this culinary journey and discover the vibrant flavors and textures that make Vietnamese food so unique and delicious.

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