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What is Yellow Rock Sugar for Pho? 

What is Yellow Rock Sugar for Pho? 

Pho is a tasty Vietnamese soup, consisting of a protein- like beef tripe, tofu, or chicken- in bone broth seasoned with an array of flavorings and spices.

One of these distinct seasonings is Yellow Rock Sugar, which is hard, yellow chunks of crystallized unprocessed sugar cane.

What is Yellow Rock Sugar for Pho?

Yellow rock sugar that is used in making Asian pho refers to crystallized chunks of unprocessed sugar cane. The color is yellow, and it is commonly used in both sweet and savory Asian dishes. The flavor is not as sweet as traditional white sugar and you will find it widely used in soups, sauces, marinades, teas, and even in medicine.

What is Yellow Rock Sugar for Pho?
What is Yellow Rock Sugar for Pho?

What is yellow rock sugar used for in Pho? Keep reading to learn more about this tasty treat!

Vietnamese Pho

Have you ever eaten pho? Did you know that you could make your own authentic pho at home, too?

The basic ingredients of pho may require a trip to the Asian market, but it will be well worth the trip.

Pho is good for you as it contains a lot of nutrients in the bone broth.

These nutrients are good for your joint health due to the collagen and glucosamine inherently in the marrow of the bones.

Be aware that some pho recipes do contain quite a bit of sodium- this may be helpful for those following a keto diet, but not so good for those with high blood pressure.

Some of the ingredients found in homemade pho include these:

  • Fresh ginger
  • Star Anise
  • Cloves
  • Cinnamon sticks
  • Fennel seeds
  • Coriander seeds
  • Fish sauce
  • Yellow rock sugar

When you purchase basic items to make pho, you will have them on hand for many batches of pho to come!

One of the ingredients for Pho is yellow rock sugar
One of the ingredients for Pho is yellow rock sugar

Yellow Rock Sugar for Pho

Have you ever heard of yellow rock sugar? This is a unique ingredient that is most often found in Chinese cooking and cuisine.

While it is not imperative that you have this type of sugar to make pho, it certainly does add to the flavor profile and outcome of your pho.

It is not exactly the same as white sugar, but rather is a more subtle and unprocessed flavor that complements the savory taste and richness of the bone broth found in pho.

If you do track down yellow rock sugar- either at a specialty market or online- know that it will stay fresh in the pantry for quite a while.

This is the beauty of buying these pho spices: buy them once and make many batches of pho to come!

These ingredients are not expensive- they just may be difficult to find on the fly.

When making pho, the sugar is just one of the many ingredients in the broth that give it the distinctive and multilayered flavor that is known as pho.

With the spices, the sugar seems to mute and combine the flavors cohesively.

Don’t leave the sugar out if you do not have yellow rock sugar- just be wary of how much white sugar you add, as it gives the broth a different flavor and sweetness than the yellow rock sugar.

Taste and try your broth when sweetening, to be sure- and always remember that you can always add more sugar, but you really cannot remove sugar once it has been added! If it is too sweet for your liking, try adding an extra bit of acidity, like a couple of squirts of lime or a splash of rice wine vinegar.

Yellow rock sugar is unprocessed sugar cane
Yellow rock sugar is unprocessed sugar cane

Storing Yellow Rock Sugar

Do yourself a favor if you are going to go to the effort of buying these pho ingredients and store them properly!

Congregate your pho spices- including the yellow rock sugar- together in a drawer or on a shelf in a cool, dry area of the kitchen.

Keep the yellow rock sugar in an airtight container or bag to keep out moisture.

If you find that your rock sugar has hardened and is difficult to break apart when you want to use it in cooking, try placing it in the microwave for ten-second intervals to soften, as needed.

Frequently Asked Questions About Yellow Rock Sugar and Pho

What does Pho taste like?

Pho tastes like beef or chicken- depending on the type of broth that you use. It is salty, but also has a depth of flavor due to the spices added to the broth, including star anise, clove, cinnamon, and yellow rock sugar.

What do you put in your Pho?

There are many different things that you can add to a bowl of pho, depending on your own personal tastes. Many people add pickled vegetables or garlic, as well as chili sauce, hot pepper, cilantro, and a fresh squeeze of lime.

Is Pho soup healthy for you?

Pho is hot and soothing, but it may be high in sodium depending on how it is prepared. Some health benefits of pho include better joint health due to the collagen and glucosamine in the bone broth.

What is the difference between white sugar and yellow rock sugar?

Yellow rock sugar is not as sweet as white sugar. Yellow rock sugar has a softer, more subtle flavor, too.

What is yellow rock sugar used for in cooking?

Yellow rock sugar is often used in Chinese cooking. It is found in sauces, soups, marinades, sweets, teas, and medicine.

Conclusion About What is Yellow Rock Sugar for Pho

Visit your local Asian supermarket- or check online- for yellow rock sugar to use in your cooking.

Consider a bag to keep in the pantry for when you do fix pho- as it has a long shelf life when stored in a cool, dry place.

Keep in a resealable bag or container for optimal results.

Daniel Iseli (Head Chef)

Hi, my name is Daniel and I am passionate about cooking and have made it my mission to answer as many open questions related to cooking and food as possible. I am by no means a professional cook. But cooking is a hobby that I have loved for the past 20 years and I am getting better by the day.