Dish Spotlight: Pho

With a complex mix of flavor and texture, pho has become a beloved dish by many Americans. This Vietnamese soup has become increasingly popular. Major cities across the U.S. have opened restaurants featuring the dish and replicate the traditional Vietnamese recipes. Even famous food connoisseurs like Anthony Bourdain have gushed about the delicate texture and the bold flavors combined in this broth-based bowl.

Pronounced “fuh,” this popular Vietnamese dish is made from broth, rice noodles, herbs, spices and meat. In its native country, this dish is traditionally served as breakfast. The residents of the crowded city will stop at a street vendor to grab a bowl in the morning to start their day. Although many Vietnamese enjoy pho as breakfast, there are just as many that will happily take a bowl any time of day. The broth is the heart of the dish and is made with care. It is typically made from either chicken or beef with spices that simmer together to bring out the delicate flavors. The impurities of the broth are skimmed off the top to achieve a clear base for the linguini shaped rice noodles to plunge into.

Pho can be garnished with an abundance of herbs and vegetables that give the soup a complexity of flavors. Sometimes the garnishes come on top of the steaming bowl, and other times they come in a basket on the side for you to add at your discretion. But as with any dish, you will want to taste the broth and appreciate its complexity before you go adding in any additional ingredients. Condiments may also come with your bowl of pho, and if you are new to the dish you may think adding condiments with soup is a strange practice – but don’t dismiss it too quickly. Hoisin, fish sauce, lime and a hot sauce like Sriracha may each give an extra burst of flavor to your pho. But as with the garnishes, taste the broth and then decide if the dish needs more flavor. A good bowl of pho will have excellent flavor without needing any additions.

Next time you’re taste buds are craving something out of the ordinary, find a Vietnamese restaurant near you and taste their pho recipe. You will be hooked with the first noodle and pretty soon you will be slurping up the rest of the broth from every bowl.

If you like this post, please be sure to check out the following!

Dish Spotlight: Chicken Pot Pie
Dish Spotlight: Gazpacho
Dish Spotlight: Lasagna



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