April is zooming by which means that spring is in full swing. But while we try to remind ourselves that April showers bring May flowers a nice hot bowl of pho will go a long way to lifting our spirits on a cold rainy day.
What is pho? Delicious hot bowls of noodle soup with a great do it yourself twist. Pho’s add-to-taste condiment component is not only refreshing and healthy but ensures this dish never gets old. If there’s one thing this Vietnamese dish could be most famous for it might be its seemingly bizarre flavor combinations.
The broth for both beef and chicken pho is generally made by simmering the meat bones, charred onion, charred ginger (used mainly to rid it of the “cow smell” in the beef version) and spices which can include; cinnamon, star anise, roasted ginger, roasted onion, black cardamom, coriander and fennel seeds, and clove. While the broth can be a little labor (read: time) intensive when prepared in advance what comes after is a cinch.
Vietnamese meals are typically served with lots of greens, herbs, vegetables, and various other dipping sauces, hot and spicy pastes, and a squeeze of lime or lemon juice. Pho is no exception- in fact it might be their signature example- garnished with a cornucopia of condiments including; green and white onions, coriander, Thai basil, fresh Thai chili peppers, lemon or lime wedges, bean sprouts and cilantro. Fish sauce, hoisin sauce and chili sauce may also be added to taste as accompaniments. Have it your way!