Mr Chen’s Beef Pho

Mr Chen’s Beef Pho

I first came across the Mr Chen’s beef pho kit while looking through my mum’s pantry over Christmas. Happily finding that it’s gluten free by ingredients I decided I’d try it out. Besides my mother’s cupboard, you can find the beef pho kit at Woolworths and Coles.

The beef pho kit comes with three items: flat rice noodles, beef broth and a sachet of dried herbs.

The method is straight forward enough, empty the broth into a saucepan, add 500mL of water and bring to the boil. Add noodles and sliced meat and cook for five minutes.

The instructions are a bit odd, five minutes active cooking for rice noodles is overkill given they’ll cook in five minutes if you soak them in a bowl of hot water. Five minutes boiling for beef strips is a lot as well, however they may be suggesting this to ensure food safety.

Needless to say I danced my beef in the hot water for a few moments until just cooked and set them aside while watching the noodles.

Since making it again I’ve actually cooked the noodles separately, soaking them in each serving bowl. This was to maintain the serving size and save the long messy task of pulling the noodles out of the soup and splitting it between two bowls.

Mr Chen's beef pho kit
Image source: Mr Chen’s

The taste

Genuinely delicious. The broth is so rich, all spices you’d expect from a Vietnamese pho are there and it all comes together so smoothly and naturally. It’s really like having pho at a pokey little restaurant where you’re sitting on plastic chairs surrounded by the buzzing noise of customers and the kitchen.

The upgrade

Like many meal kits it could do with an upgrade. Make sure you add some vegetables (traditionally bean shoots but I’ve had trouble finding these) and fresh herbs such as mint and basil. Optional extras include fresh chilli and of course side sauces such as sriracha, hoisin and chilli crisp oil.

A bowl of Mr Chen's beef pho with a plate of green beans and mushrooms and a sauce dish with gluten free hoisin and sriracha.
Mr Chen’s beef pho

THE VERDICT

The Mr Chen’s beef pho kit is fantastic. It retails for $7 a kit (2024 it’s $8.50), which makes two generous servings. During promotions at Coles and Woolworths I’ve see the price go as low as $3.50 (2024, $4.25) which is an absolute bargain. We now make this kit every couple weeks, it’s a regular in our weekly meal planning.

Product details

Gluten free: By ingredient, no may contain for gluten.
Vegetarian / vegan: Vegan, somehow – the ingredients state “artificial beef flavour.”
Allergens: Soy. May contain: Peanut, sesame and seafood.
Serving size: Two.

Want more Mr Chen? Check out the Thai basil chilli kit! There’s also a gluten free ready meal in the freezer – Mr Chen’s prawn pad Thai.


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