How to Cook Banh Pho

by Sarah Bourque

Banh pho are flat rice noodles. Banh pho can also be called rice sticks or chantaboon, and are a common addition to Vietnamese and Thai dishes. Most supermarkets will offer at least one type of banh pho. Asian markets will usually sell a variety of sizes of banh pho, and might even offer bhan pho tuoi, which are a freshly made version. Dried banh pho will work perfectly well in your Vietnamese or Thai recipes.The dried version will look white but will turn translucent and pliable when they are properly prepared. The noodles are nearly flavorless but will pick up the flavors of the dish they are used in.

Place the banh pho in a bowl of cold water. Ensure that the banh pho is thoroughly covered in the water.

Allow the noodles to soak in the cold water bath for 30 minutes while you prepare the rest of the recipe that you will be serving the noodles in. Drain the noodles into a colander.

Bring a large pot of water to a full boil. Place the noodles into a sieve. Lower the noodles into the boiling water.

Use the chopsticks to stir and untangle the noodles for 10 to 20 seconds. Remove the noodles when they are soft but still a bit chewy. Drain the banh pho completely of excess water. Serve immediately.


  • Sizes of banh pho range from .05 inches up to .4 inches larger. Small banh pho are best used for noodle soup like pho, medium works well in noodle soup or stir-frying and large is ideal for noodle dishes like pad Thai.The noodles are not always labeled with a size, but the packages are almost always clear so you can view the size through the cellophane. An alternate method of preparation is to soak the banh pho in warm tap water for 15 to 20 minutes, but the method outlines ensures that your banh pho will be hot and will have a perfect texture.


  • Quick & Easy Vietnamese: 75 Everyday Recipes; By Nancie McDermott and Caren Alper; 2005
  • Pleasures of the Vietnamese Table; Pham Mai; 2001

Photo Credits

  • Quang-Ngo/iStock/Getty Images

About the Author

Sarah Bourque has been a freelance writer since 2006 and is based in the Pacific Northwest. She writes and edits for the local publisher, Pacific Crest Imprint and has written for several online content sites. Her work recently appeared in "The Goldendale Tourism and Economic Development Magazine" and "Sail the Gorge!" magazine. She attended Portland Community College where she studied psychology.