Many families have a signature dish. An old favorite that’s enjoyed by one and all and looked forward to with great anticipation. For special occasions at the farm, a friend bakes her highly regarded cheesecake and one man brings his Aunt Joanne’s deliciously decadent dip. Another friend makes hundreds of tamales at Christmas and shares them with family and friends. What a grand tradition! For years my sister-in-law enhanced family events with her heavenly homemade bread.
Pho: A Vietnamese Tradition
Last weekend Tom’s mother-in-law made Beef Pho, the hearty, flavorful soup that’s the centerpiece of Vietnamese cooking. (Pho is pronounced both “faux” and “fuh,” though I tend to say “fuh” because most of my Vietnamese friends say it that way.)
We started with homemade egg rolls and followed up with steaming bowls of broth, beef, noodles and herbs. It’s no surprise that the aromatic broth was listed 20th among the “World’s 50 Most Delicious Foods” compiled by CNN Go in 2011.
In parts of Vietnam, Pho is eaten for breakfast and lunch and in other areas it’s served all day long. The broth is made from beef bones simmered for hours with seasonings, including cinnamon, star anise, and cloves. The measure of a good broth is not only its fragrance and balance, but its its clarity and this one is crystal clear. After the lean, thin sliced beef is cooked slightly, all is joined in the pho bowl and topped with bean sprouts, cilantro, cinnamon basil and a squeeze of lime or lemon. It even smells healthy.
If you want more inPHOmation on this enjoyable dish, look here. For best results, I suggest finding a local Vietnamese restaurant like Mai Lee’s, Bahn Mi So, or Pho Grand. Better yet, find a Vietnamese friend who likes to cook.