Pho is a delicate rice noodle soup made with ginger, onions and lots of aromatic spices and herbs. And this G?i cu?n or summer roll is filled with shrimp or meat, vegetables, rice noodles and wrapped in rice paper.

This virtual cooking demonstration is in partnership with the Ellsworth Public Library. The library’s Spring 2022 Big Read is, “The Best We Could Do: An Illustrated Memoir”, in which Thi Bui shares family experiences eating Pho. Read the book and then learn to cook the aromatic rice noodle along with Chris!

Chris Toy is a man of many talents and experiences. Cooking is one of his passions. He’s a highly skilled cooking instructor and author of best-selling Asian cookbooks. He just published his sixth cookbook, Complete Wok Cookbook, which is available for sale at Now You’re Cooking.

Vietnamese Pho

Pho and Summer Rolls With Chris Toy

Pho (makes 4-6 servings)
2 quarts beef broth
1 teaspoon five seasons powder
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 lb shaved steak or thin sliced deli roast beef at room temperature
8 ounces dried thin rice or bean noodles
1 cup bean sprouts
1 small onion sliced into strips
4 scallions cut into 1/8 pieces on the bias
1-2 jalapeño peppers sliced thinly, discard seeds
1 lime cut into wedges
1/2 cup chopped mint, cilantro, basil, or parsley
coffee filter

  1. Simmer the broth, five seasons powder, fish sauce, soy sauce, and sugar together in a sauce pan for 15 minutes.
  2. Filter the broth through a coffee filter and bring to a boil.
  3. Cook noodles separately in boiling water for 20-30 seconds until al dente. Drain and distribute into bowls
  4. Prepare bowls by laying sliced meat, bean sprouts, onions, scallions, and peppers on top of the noodles.
  5. Pour boiling broth into each bowl, just covering the toppings.
  6. Garnish with chopped herbs and lime juice.
  7. Slurp!

Chris Toy with Vegetable Stir Fry Cookbook

Summer Rolls

12 round rice paper wrappers

1 pie plate half-filled with water

1 dozen lettuce leaves

1 cup bean sprouts rinsed with rice vinegar and drained

2 cups coarsely chopped mixed herbs, cilantro, mint, basil. parsley

4 ounces rice or bean vermicelli cooked, drained, and cooled

1-2 shredded or julienned carrots

3-4 dozen small cooked salad shrimp


Dipping sauce

1 tablespoon fish sauce

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1 tsp hot sesame oil

¼ cup ketchup

1/4 cup honey/maple syrup


  1. Dip a wrapper a third of the way water, rotating it to wet it all. Place on work surface.
  2. Working on bottom third of rice paper, spread a bit of lettuce, noodles, carrots, herbs and and shrimp. Fold up bottom edge to cover, then fold in the sides. Roll tightly. Continue with remaining ingredients.
  3. Cut each roll into 2 or 3 pieces, then serve with dipping sauce and lime wedges.