Pho, Again

Ultimate Fusion Food
High Marks for Flavor, Nutrition

Instant Beef Pho

Beef Pho

Pho is the ultimate Fusion food.  It got started when the Vietnamese were trying to  find a use for the leftover Beef after the cattle were slaughtered to make steaks for the French colonial rulers.  Pho became a national dish, all in less than a century, and eventually came to be served in more than a hundred varieties. Continue reading

Chicken Pho / Phở Gà

Star Anise and Ginger Provide Mystery
Pho without Beef Is Possible

Le’s Pho

Phó bò or Beef Soup, often called the national dish of Vietnam, only has a short history. It’s said to date from Continue reading

Vietnamese Cuisine

Fish Sauce, Nuoc Mam and Sea Ghost  Fingers
The National Dish Is a Soup — Even at Breakfast

“Only the French imposed their own cuisine upon their Asiatic possessions.” — David Dodge [1]

“He was not yet Ho Chi Minh. It was 1917 and he was Nguyen Ai Quoc and he was a pastry cook under the great Escoffier.” — Robert Olen Butler [2]

Cooking with Vietnamese Nuoc Mam Fish Sauce

Three Crabs Brand Fish Sauce

Vietnamese cooking is light and delicate, healthy, and remarkably varied. Its famous dishes can be very unusual and even have poetic names, like one for Crab Claws called Sea Ghost Fingers. Continue reading

Pho

When the National Dish Is a Soup
That Often Appears at Breakfast

Vietnam's national dish, Pho

Beef Pho

The Vietnamese soup called Pho is often said to be the national dish of Vietnam.  Unusually for a country’s main dish, it is a soup.  The soup can be eaten any time of day and is often thought of as a late-night food and a street food.  But it is also popular at breakfast.

I first came across the Pho soup in Ho Chi Minh City – we called it Saigon then – in the 1960s. Guests at the small hotel where I stayed near the Saigon Central Market often had it at breakfast time. I tried the soup and immediately became a fan.. Continue reading