Pho is considered to be one of the most popular street food in all major Vietnamese cities and is among the best twenty dishes in the world according to Lonely Planet’s Ultimate Eatlist.
At any time of day or night, a steaming dish of pho is never difficult to find.
It is a noodle soup in a meat broth and today there is no dish that can better represent the essence of Vietnamese cuisine. It is usually accompanied by aromatic herbs, lime and spices and despite the apparent simplicity, pho is a harmonious set of flavors and textures.
The preparation, however, is more difficult than it seems: the mix of spices used (anise, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves) must be expertly balanced, then there are the noodles that make up the main part of the dish and a small amount of meat cut into very thin slices which is prepared separately and added to the broth only at the last moment.
Basil, mint, onion and coriander are then the final touch and the garnish of the dish.
Average cost of all this about 1 euro.
As in all important national issues, claims on the origin of the Pho and on the variations between north and south of Vietnam cannot miss.
Tradition however tells that it originated in the northern areas of the country and then spread to the rest of Vietnam.
The northern Pho (called Pho Bac) has a slightly saltier and stronger taste, the southern Pho (called Pho Nam) is prepared with thinner noodles and the vegetables are served separately.
When you find yourself in front of a steaming bowl of pho (whether you are in the north or south) squeeze the lime and pour the juice (seedless) into the broth, add broken chilli and spicy sauces as you like. We suggest to taste it when it is hot.
So chopsticks in one hand and spoon in the other and … enjoy your meal!