Vietnamese cuisines for starters - Vol.2 - Pho, comforting and warm


Today, we will dig into the widely recognized beef noodle soup, Pho, the most comforting and warm dish that can be eaten around the seasons. Welcome to Lingo Connector’s first and only, food-dedicated series of Vietnamese cuisine, specially prepared and documented for starters who share the same passion for going around the globe to try out many different dishes.

It is assuring that the reason you go to Vietnam would be that you come to eat the authentic taste of the dish. I can tell you, you will not be disappointing. Pho is not only widely available but there are definitely stores on almost every corner of the street while you travel the three major regions of Vietnam. A warm bowl of beef-flavored soup is guaranteed to start your day just right for anything while keeping you filling till lunch. Now I know, you know, we know how to basically make a bowl of Pho for your family dinner; but just for sure let’s take a quick review on how to make it.

The Ingredients & the Preparations

To make the bowl, there are many steps to remember

Image  2. all the ingredients to prepare a bowl of Pho

You will need:

  • Pho noodles
  • Broth
  • Choices like beef, meatballs, and chicken.

Although pho appears to be a simple meal on the surface, its preparation is not. Because of the many ingredients that go into it, the broth must be clear, slightly brown-ish (if beef) but very smooth and flavorful.

Beef bones, ox tail, ribs, red onions, and spices are simmered to make the broth. The broth for the chicken noodle soup is simmered by boiling chicken meat and bones.

The spices, which often include cinnamon, star anise, roasted ginger, grilled onions, black cardamom, cilantro seeds, cumin, and cloves, are what make pho truly unique.

Image  3. Pho spices: cinnamon, star anise, roasted ginger, grilled onions, black cardamom, cilantro seeds, cumin, cloves, beef bones and different beef cuts

Wrapped inside a cloth bag and left inside alongside the bones and the vegetables. Using the tea bags means that the seasoning can be easily removed after the dish is done. Skim off the top of the broth foam to make it clearer and finally, you can not call this dish Vietnamese until the fish sauce is added. 

Pho is served with various garnishes such as green onion, Thai basil, horn pepper, lemon, bean sprouts, coriander and garlic vinegar, if you are enjoying the dish in the Northern region or an egg, if you feel fancy. The dipping sauce often used with pho is fish sauce, chili sauce, saute chili oil sauce or condensed soy sauce if you are enjoying the dish in the Southern region.

The Menu

I previously mentioned the choices you can have but I was not specific. I’ll be forward… there are a lot more.

There are five types of beef meats and two types of chicken between the meat and the meat with the innards and you can have the choice to mix-match.

Image  5. The rodeo beef Pho from Phu Gia, an old Pho store in Saigon

Some places have their own deviations and combinations but it is all centered around beef and chickens, and the variations get even crazier with these honorable mentions: stir-fry Pho, crispy pan-fried Pho, fish Pho, pork Pho, squid Pho, etc.

Depending on your choice for the day the price can range from forty-five thousand VietnamDong to wobbly one hundred thousand VietnamDong but guaranteed a fulfilling meal. Do not forget a squeeze of lime, chilly sauce or garlic vinegar. See here the deliciousness of Pho.

Continue with Lingo Connector next time on this series for starters. Next time will be the food of unknown origin but nonetheless, no less delicious and enjoyable on any time of the day.


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