Pho is a classic Vietnamese dish that has been savored for centuries and is considered the top food in Vietnam’s ten most popular cuisines. Pho carries immense significance in Southeast Asian cuisine and its noodle dishes have spread far beyond domestic borders.
In this article, I will explore the different types of Vietnamese pho and its roots and origins.You will also learn about how this dish is connected to Chinese pho. As always, I will show you how to make a delicious bowl of pho at home.
Where it come from
Apart from the delectable, classic dish of Pho, Vietnam has plenty more soups and noodles to offer. This includes Hue beef powder, lemon powder, and sour powder. However none can quite top the classic favorite- that is Pho.
Across the world, chefs may add their own unique spin on Pho to accommodate regional ingredients and flavors. Nonetheless, for many Vietnamese people, only traditional Pho is seen as authentic.
The original Pho, the beef version, started in northern Vietnam during the early 20th century. It then rapidly spread to south of Vietnam. As it developed with regional ingredients over time, this Vietnamese delight became a nationwide delicacy.
This eventually crossed international borders as Vietnamese immigrants shared their culture abroad. Even in China today you can find an improved version of southern-style beef pho.
In order to be deemed as true Vietnamese Pho, it must meet a few specific requirements. It can only be either beef or chicken Pho and the noodles used in its preparation should adhere to certain guidelines.
Pho noodles are constructed from rice and share a similar form to spaghetti.
They come in an array of sizes that must all possess either a rectangular or square cross-section. If they are round or oval in shape, they are not acknowledged as Pho noodles.
When it comes to flavor, freshly made Pho noodles are undoubtedly superior. However, if you’re short on time, dried rice noodles can suffice.
The most common widths are 1/16 inch, 1/8 inch, and 1/4 inch, but they can be wider or narrower as well.
Yes, the noodles are an important component of beef pho, but the soup base is the essence of the dish. The flavorful beef pho is more than just a basic soup, but rather an intricate combination of spices that renders its delicious taste.
Pho soup base:
In general, the soup base for Pho is made with beef bones, ox tail bones, sirloin steak, onions, and ginger. To enhance the flavor even further, Vietnamese cuisine often incorporates spices such as cinnamon, star anise, black cardamom, coriander seeds and fennel seeds.
Pho Bac, the Northern version of Pho, contains a thicker and more fatty soup than other variations.
Accompanied by fresh green onions, coriander and onion slices as side dishes, it is often served with either fully cooked or half-cooked beef brisket which adds to its unique flavor profile.
The Southern version of Pho, known as “Pho Nam,” is popular all around the globe.
It involves all the ingredients used in Northern recipes but with a less oily and more refreshing taste.
The beef selection goes beyond brisket to include tendon, tripe, balls, and other options – plus plenty of sides for you to choose from!
It has a lighter broth with an extensive range of meats and accompaniments compared to Pho Bac.
Alongside the standard fresh vegetables that you’d expect to find in “traditional” pho dishes, Southern versions may also include mint leaves, coriander seeds or stalks and sawgrass.
Pho is not just cooked noodles and broth, but also a plate of fresh vegetables that can be added to the steaming soup for an appetizing meal. This is similar to the way that Yunnan Crossing Bridge Rice Noodles are served.
How to make fresh rice noodles (from scratch)
- To make Pho noodles, you should first wash the rice.
- Then, ground the rice into powder and mix it with water to form a paste.
- Afterwards, steam the noodles in a basket until it flakes. When cooled down, cut them into strips and you will have Pho[河粉], an invention from China that was taken to Vietnam!
- Making pho from scratch can be time-consuming, so you may want to consider buying it from a restaurant or store instead.
Tips for Choosing Tripe
Color: It’s best to stick with darker, brown-black tripe. Stay away from the very white and bulky variety of tripe as it is not ideal for consumption.
Appearance: For optimal quality, the tripe should be clean and free of filth or foreign objects. In addition, its glitch should stand stiffly upright instead of being soft.
Aroma: Ordinarily, tripe has a mild smell; however, if it smells strange or of chemical reagents like formaldehyde, then you should avoid eating it.
Elasticity: Tripe ought to be quite elastic and able to easily tear. However, tripe that has been preserved with formaldehyde will become rigid after heating and won’t yield when pulled apart.
Packaging: To ensure its quality, pre-packaged tripe should be clearly labeled with the product name and ingredient list, net content details, manufacturer’s address, and contact information along with a production license number. To maintain the quality of this product, it should be tightly sealed and refrigerated.
How To Make Tripe in Pho
If you’re looking for an extra kick of flavor, add chili sauce – mix well for maximum enjoyment!
Tripe in Pho
- Ginger slices
- Fresh Pho noodles
- Diced tomatoes
- Sesame oil
- Chili sauce (optional)
- Start by heating a wok and adding oil, then toss in the ginger slices until fragrant.
- Add the tripe to the wok and stir-fry for about 1 minute.
- Start by pouring in your desired amount of water and seasonings into the pot. Boil on high heat for 30 minutes, then lower to a simmer for an extra 60 minutes.
- Once the tripe has been cooked to perfection, take it off the heat and set aside for later.
- Bring a pot of water to a boil. Put the fresh pho in the boiling water for 3 seconds. Then drain the pho.
- Combine the tripe, soup, pho and diced tomatoes in a bowl, then drizzle it with a generous amount of sesame oil.
- Sprinkle some coriander to complete the dish and serve.
- If you're looking for an extra kick of flavor, add chili sauce – mix well for maximum enjoyment!
Rich in minerals and low in calories, tripe can be a part of your weight-loss journey as long as it is consumed in moderation. Plus, its cholesterol content is moderate compared to other foods.
Rice noodles have an average of 206 calories per 100 grams. The foundation of these dishes is a combination of starch and some protein, making them an optimal source of clean carbohydrates. Unfortunately, when preparing the food it’s common to add hefty amounts of vegetable oil and meat. This results in an elevated calorie count for the overall meal.
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