Pho is a famous traditional Vietnamese food specialty which has been presented to every corner of Vietnamese’ material and spiritual life. It is also known as delicious Vietnamese Beef Noodle Soup in the English-speaking world. Any travelers that visit Vietnam simply must try this mouth-watering dish.
Every traditional dish has its own customs that need to be followed to fully enjoy and get the most out of it. Pho is a very easy, yet tasty dish to enjoy. A steaming bowl of Pho itself tells so much about Vietnamese cuisine and culture. Both locals and foreigners find the dish complete, nutritious, infinitely delicious and yet so easy to digest that we could eat it for breakfast, dinner or any meal.
Use your spoon and chopsticks to enjoy Pho in an authentic way
What makes Pho so special?
There are many reasons why pho is special. One of them is because it is Vietnam’s national dish that local people take big pride in making and eating. You will find hundreds of restaurants selling Pho, whether you go to the north or south of the country. However, Pho is better in the capital city – Hanoi than anywhere else. The main ingredients of pho are rice noodle, beef meat, chili pepper, lemon, grilled ginger, fish sauce, cinnamon, coriander, and cardamom. Despite its outward simplicity, a delicious bowl of Pho is indeed a sophisticated arrangement of flavors and texture. The secret to a great Pho is the broth – the broth will need to be clear but flavorful.
How is it made?
The broth is often cooked by simmering the beef together with cardamom, cinnamon, grilled ginger, and fish sauce. Then, leave it for up to ten hours to get the special aroma that you can not find anywhere else. Sitting out for ten hours will make the best beef broth. But 6 hours is also enough to create an authentic bowl of Pho.
In some parts of Vietnam, you will find people claiming that secret ingredient for making insanely tasty broth lies in using dried squid arms or dried sea worms. Although these two ingredients may sound too bizarre, they certainly make the broth a lot more tasty and flavorful.
Way of Preparing and Eating Pho
The first step before eating pho is placing the rice noodles inside a deep bowl. Then beef is added together with aromatic fresh herbs and spices. The hot broth is then poured over the ingredients in the bowl and the dish of Pho is finally ready to be consumed.
The boiling hot soup is topped with fresh herbs
You can add chili sauce and lime to your soup, according to your preference. You get to use chopsticks as well as a spoon for eating this dish. You should first eat the tasty noodles with your chopsticks and then use your spoon for sipping the soup. Local people enjoy eating pho with fried breadsticks and raw eggs and usually, their serving comes in a smaller bowl filled with hot broth. If you have doubts or do not know how to proceed, just ask some of the Viet locals and they will be more than willing to show you how to enjoy the dish in an authentic way.
When it comes to price, Pho is very affordable, just like any other traditional dishes. One bowl of Pho costs between 40.000 – 50.000 VND, which is equivalent to between $1.74 and $2.17. A plate of three doughnuts costs less than half a dollar and a bowl of two eggs also costs less than half a dollar.
Places to Eat Pho
You have various options when it comes to where to eat Pho. I would highly recommend:
- Pho Bat Dan – 49 Bat Dan Street
- Pho Cuong – 23 Hang Muoi Street
- Pho Thin – 13 Lo Duc Street
- Pho Suong – 24B Dinh Liet, Hang Bac Street
Pho Bat Dan
Probably the best restaurant for you to enjoy pho is Pho Bat Dan, due to a few good reasons. One thing that makes this restaurant stand out from the others is the fact that the business is inherited from one generation to another for almost one hundred years. The secret recipe of the perfectly balanced broth is the key element that has differentiated this eatery from others. They know how to make good food and that is why people choose them to enjoy “the bowl of heaven”.
Besides their long and rich history, Pho Bat Dan is very well-known for its long queue lines of customers. There are also lots of customers who pay their money a few hours or even days in advance in order to enjoy Pho at this place. There have never been any complaints about the service or the dishes served, which makes Pho Bat Dan become the most recommended Pho eatery. One of the best things about Pho in Pho Bat Dan is that their dish has a beautifully formulated spice mix with traditional flavors. It is salty and sweet, the broth is very clear and tasty, noodles are tough and the beef is soft. All of that makes the dish one of a kind!
Now when you know all about Pho it is time for you to visit Vietnam and all mentioned restaurants to fully enjoy an ultimate culinary experience.
Tell me you don’t find this awesome bowl crazily appetizing