It wouldn’t be wrong to say pho is the poster child of Vietnamese cuisine in the West. And it is so for all the right reasons.
First introduced in northern Vietnam during the late 19th and early 20th century, this humble noodle soup now transcends cultural and national barriers. For some, it is a staple dish. For others, it is comfort food.
Regardless, we can all agree that pho is one heck of a tasty and wholesome meal. So, in today’s article, I’ll tell you how long does pho last in the fridge.
That’s not all – we will go through the dos and don’ts of storing and reheating pho the right way, so it tastes as good as new!
Table Of Content
How Long Does Pho Last In The Fridge?
Assuming that you’ve separated solids from the soup and stored different components in separate airtight containers, your pho broth can last a week. However, the noodle and meat only last around 2 days even when refrigerated.
There are plenty of leeways here, depending on the ingredients and their quantity.
I scoured through some forums and came across varying answers. While some said they’ve stored pho for more than a week in the fridge without any problem, others claim it went bad after just a couple of days.
I don’t want to sound rude, but I guess the answer depends on how finicky you are with food. 😉
Now that you are acquainted with the general timeline of how long pho can last, let’s learn the correct way to store it.
The saying “a stitch in time saves nine” cannot be any more accurate in pho’s case.
How To Store Leftover Pho?
As soon as you realize you’re not going to finish the entire meal, you need to separate the solids from the soup. Separate the solids using a sieve, keep different components in airtight containers, and refrigerate them.
The rice noodles tend to get soggy and disintegrate soon. So you need to act quickly!
The broth should ideally be at room temperature before you store it. However, don’t let it sit out for too long, as it’ll start harboring harmful bacteria at a temperature above 40 degrees Fahrenheit.
You can add a few ice cubes to the broth to speed up the cooling process. Filling the sink with cold water and putting the saucepan in it is another nifty trick to lower the broth’s temperature.
How To Store Leftover Pho Noodles And Meat?
Once you’ve separated noodles, meat, and garnish from the broth, store them in an airtight container and tuck it in the fridge. Tentatively speaking, the noodles and meat will be safe to eat for around 2 days after storing. You’d want to make sure the noodles are dry before storing them. Otherwise, they will turn soggy before being frozen.
Somebody on a food forum recommended separating the meat from the noodles as noodles can go bad pretty quickly. But speaking from my experience, keeping noodles and meat mixed prevents the noodles from sticking too much.
Also, if the noodles’ texture is too mushy, to begin with, you can get rid of it and just store broth and meat. Mushy noodles will only deteriorate the leftover food’s quality and taste.
You can add fresh noodles later when you reheat the leftovers.
Why Should You Separate Noodles From The Broth?
Separating the solids from the liquid sounds painstaking, I know, but it is the only way you can buy some time. If you don’t separate the components before storing them, the pho will start smelling funky in an hour or two.
The second the noodles are added to the broth, they absorb liquid and become mushy. If you don’t remove them in time, they’ll disintegrate and ruin everything. Yep, really.
How To Freeze Pho?
Once you have separated the noodles, meat, and veggie from the broth, you can transfer them into heavy-duty freezer bags and toss them in the freezer. Using an airtight container would be the more convenient choice here. However, if you use bags, you will save plenty of space.
And don’t forget to leave a bit of space in the bag for expansion. That’s because the broth will expand when it freezes. And you definitely don’t want it to burst inside the freezer.
The broth can be frozen for up to 6 months.
You can also freeze leftover meat and rice noodles the same way. Toss them in a heavy-duty freezer bag and squeeze as much air out as possible to prevent freezer burn.
The solids should last for up to a month in the freezer.
But to be honest, it’s best to discard the leftover meat, noodles, and veggies and just store the broth if you plan to eat it after a couple of days.
How To Reheat Pho?
Pho purists would collectively sigh and look at you scornfully if you ever happen to talk about reheating pho. But I have done so on several occasions, and while it didn’t taste as good as fresh pho, it was more than just edible!
There are basically two ways to reheat pho:
- On the stove
- In the microwave
But before I tell you how to reheat pho, I’ll assume that your broth and solids were stored separately to begin with.
How To Reheat Pho On The Stove?
Pour the pho broth into a saucepan, let it boil, and simmer. Put the leftover noodles, meat, and veggies in a bowl as you wait for the broth to boil. Right after the broth starts to boil, pour it over the meat and the noodles. Next, wait for 10 minutes for the noodle to separate before devouring freshly reheated pho!
Taking the broth and the solids out of the fridge at the same time will ensure they come to room temperature at the same time. While this may not seem like much, it’ll make the entire reheating ordeal easier.
How To Reheat Pho In The Microwave?
Remove the pho broth and the meat/noodles/veggies from the fridge at the same time, so they come to room temperature simultaneously. Next, pour the broth into a microwave-safe bowl and cover it with perforated plastic wrap. Reheat the broth for 2 to 3 minutes. Finally, pour broth over your noodles and meat and wait for around 10 minutes for the noodles to separate.
It’s pretty important to let the broth boil properly before you pour it. So, bide your time. If the broth is not warm enough, it will not separate the noodles and warm other ingredients.
Like I said before, the solids should come to room temperature first before you pour the hot broth over them.
If you pour broth over solids freshly out of the fridge, they will cool down the broth too much and won’t separate the noodles.
And if the noodles are stuck together more than usual, transfer them to a microwave-safe bowl, cover with a damp paper towel, and heat it for 30 seconds.
The steam will help the noodles loosen up.
Wouldn’t it be more convenient to mix everything up and heat them at once?
But I’d recommend against that since broth takes longer to heat up. You’ll risk overcooking meat and veggies.
How To Heat-Up Takeout Pho?
All the components of pho come separately when you’re getting a take-out. The broth, meat, noodles, and garnishes come in different containers. Thus, you only have to heat up the broth. You can either do that in the microwave or on the stove.
Here are step-by-step instructions to reheat take-out pho.
- Get a big ceramic bowl to hold everything.
- Pour the broth into a saucepan and heat until it boils, or transfer it to a microwave-safe bowl and heat for 2-3 minutes.
- While the broth is heating, lay the noodles at the bottom of the bowl.
- Next, lay any meat or veggies on top.
- Once the broth is boiling, pour it over the noodles, meat, and veggies.
- Wait for 30 seconds for the noodles to separate and the meat to cook. Pushing meat to the bottom of the bowl will ensure that it cooks faster.
- Finally, stir the pho to mix all the ingredients and add the garnish of your choice.
While at it, let me give out some information to those trying pho for the first time.
Beef pho comes with thinly sliced raw beef. Don’t be surprised! That’s how it’s supposed to be. But be alarmed if pho comes with raw chicken. Salmonella!
Pouring boiling hot broth over the meat is supposed to cook it. Therefore, if the broth has cooled down or is only lukewarm, boil it before pouring it.
Frequently Asked Questions
Before we go, here’s a quick look at the most frequently asked questions on pho!
Does Pho Broth Go Bad?
Yes, pho broth definitely goes bad if stored incorrectly. However, when properly refrigerated, it can last a week. And when tossed in the freezer, it’s deemed edible for up to 6 months.
But if you let the pho broth sit out at room temperature, it will start smelling funky and harbor bacteria within a few hours.
How To Tell If Pho Broth Is Bad?
The main sign of pho broth going bad is it smelling sour or unpleasant. If you find it smells funny, don’t taste it. If you let it sit out for too long, it may also develop a mold-like texture that can make you sick.
What To Do With Leftover Pho?
Besides storing it in the fridge in an airtight container, here’s what you can do with leftover pho:
- Make pho broth-flavored noodles or soup
- Make pho-inspired vinaigrette for salad dressing
- Substitute it for chicken or beef soup in other recipes
How Long Does Chicken Pho Last In The Fridge?
Chicken pho broth lasts in the fridge for about a week or so, provided that you separate the veggies, meat, and garnish from it. The solids should be stored separately in an airtight container, and they will last you about 2 days.
Final Words: How Long Does Pho Last In The Fridge?
Pho broth can last for around a week, given that it is stored in an airtight container and kept in the fridge. On the other hand, the solids – meat, noodles, veggies, and garnish – only last for around 2 days, assuming they’re kept separate from the broth and in an airtight container.
Although it’s a bit painstaking, you should separate the solids and the liquid using a sieve before storing your pho in the fridge. Make sure you go through the entire article for helpful tips and tricks on storing, freezing, and reheating pho!