Star Anise and Ginger Provide Mystery
Pho without Beef Is Possible
Phó bò or Beef Soup, often called the national dish of Vietnam, only has a short history. It’s said to date from the 19th century, as a way of utilizing the beef bones left over when the French began slaughtering cows for steaks. As a dish it might date back a century or less. Star Anise and Ginger provide a unique taste to this soup, which has numerous variations, like this one for Chicken.
Chicken Pho / Phở Gà
6 whole Str Anise, lightly toasted
1 teaspoon Black Peppercorns
2 quarts Chicken Stock
2 cups Wter
1 finger fresh Ginger, about 3 inches long, cut lengthwise, bruised and charred
2 Yellow Onion
3 tablespoons Fish Sauce
1 tablespoon Sugar
¼ teaspoon Salt
2 Chicken Thighs or Breasts
For Noodle Assembly:
1 pound Rice Noodles, 1/16th inch wide, cooked
½ Yellow Onion, sliced paper thin
2 Green Onions, cut into thin rings
3 tablespoons chopped Cilntr
½ pound Mung Bean Sprouts
3 thai small green chillies
1 lime, ut into wedges
Grated Black Pepper
Put the Star Anise, Cloves and Pepperecvorns into a spice bag.
Put the Chicken Stock, Water, Ginger, Onions Fish Sauce, Sugar and Salt as well as the Spice Bag in a large pot and bring to a boil.
Put in the Chicken and cook for five minutes. Reduce fire and simmer 15 minutes more or until well done.
Remove the Chicken nd set aside as the soup continues to simmer. When the Chicken is cool enough to handle, shred it into strips about half an inch thick.
`To serve the soup, place cooked Noodles in preheated bowls. Add slices of Yellow Onions and Shredded Chicken. Ladle the boiling hot soup on top. Finally garnish with any combination of the Green Onions, Bean Sprouts, Cilntro, Basil, Chillies, Lime Wedges and Black Pepper, or all of them.