Pho: quite simply, an utterly captivating dish – simple in execution yet enormously complex in flavour. This Vietnamese noodle soup, pronounced “fuh,” is upon first glance, just noodle water with tiny bits of greenery – snooze. But once inundated by the aromatic steam rising from the clear yet strikingly rich broth of boiled down marrow and bone nectar, you become intrigued… and must know [taste] more.
Set in a deep bowl with rice noodles, served with a mini soup ladle and chopsticks, Pho primarily consists of broth, noodles and thinly sliced raw beef that cooks in the temperature of the hot soup. Traditional garnishes include: basil, shallots, lime leaves, lime juice, bean sprouts and peppers, added at your discretion.
In most cities, just like most Pho restaurants, you will discover several variations (e.g. tendon, tripe, chicken heart) of this classic Southeast Asian staple. If you live in an area with a heavy (or even a merely existent) Asian population, you will undoubtedly find Pho restaurants peppering city streets, tucked along side roads, at Asian market centres, or in China Town. And if Pho is not in your area, you can always pick up a copy of one of the best Southeast Asian cookbooks in print or hop on a flight to Hanoi and slurp a bowl from the motherland.
Warning: This Vietnamese treasure is extremely addictive.
Stefanie Payne | Executive Editor, CityRoom Inc.