Authentic Pho

Perhaps it was seeing a recent Pho recipe posted by my friend and neighbor Alexis in New York City, or maybe the impending visit with my long-lost best friend Arian, otherwise known as my little Pho junkie, or it could have been the nostalgia I have been feeling of our honeymoon in Southeast Asia that has had me craving a good authentic Pho as of late.  Whatever it may have been, I was inspired.

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Dining along the Mekong, the river which divides Vietnam and Laos.

I set out to find a good recipe, but what I found were many!  I would find the cooking method best with one, the selection of garnishes with another, and a variety of broths across the board.  I therefore gathered what I thought was the best from all parts and put them together to create what I assessed as the ultimate Pho.

The origin of Pho is said to have arrived with the French when they came to rule Vietnam.  Taken from the French word “feu” (fire), or “pot of feu” (French beef stew), it is a delicious, spicy soup that is sure to clear your sinuses.  Filled with rice noodles, beef and a variety of garnishes, it is sure to pleasantly surprise those who have never previously indulged, and will continue to satisfy those who have already had the pleasure of doing so.

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Two of the many beautiful children we encountered upon visiting an indigenous village along the Mekong.

 

Authentic Pho

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Prep. Time: 20 mins.

Cook Time: 8 hrs.                                 

Serves: 4 people

Ingredients:

Directions:

  1. Heat the broiler. Line a baking sheet with foil.
  2. Arrange the onion slices and ginger on the baking sheet pan and brush with the oil. Broil until charred in spots, about 10 minutes.
  3. Place ribs, onion, ginger, salt, star anise, and fish sauce in a large stockpot and cover with 4 quarts of water. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to low. Simmer on low for 6 to 10 hours. Strain the broth into a saucepan and set aside.
  4. Place rice noodles in large bowl filled with room temperature water and allow to soak for 1 hour. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and after the noodles have soaked, place them in the boiling water for 1 minute. Bring stock to a simmer.
  5. Slice the meat into bite-size pieces. Portion out the noodles and top with sirloin, cilantro, and green onion among 4 large soup bowls. Ladle the hot broth into the bowls, warming the noodles and meat. Serve with the garnishes.

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    Sailing our traditional wooden boat down the Mekong River along with our guide, a journey which lasted the entirety of two days, stopping at villages and historical sites along the way.