Mentioning Vietnamese cuisine, sure most of us will think about Pho (phở). Perhaps, no one has ever set foot in Vietnam without trying this special dish, literally. Like Vietnamese people always say, if you have not eaten Pho yet, it means you have not come to Vietnam yet.
Pho is presented in every corner of Vietnam, but the best is always Pho Hanoi. For many people in Hanoi, there is nothing better than a cold windy day, you wander on the Hanoi streets, stop at a small roadside restaurant, order a hot bowl of Pho and a plate of “quẩy” (a kind of snack for dipping into noodles or porridge).
Pho is one of the most popular traditional dishes in this country and even in the world. Just like many kinds of noodles, a bowl of Pho contains: rice noodles (bánh phở), meat, broth, vegetables, spices and herbs. The meat is either beef or chicken. The vegetables are often bean sprouts and spring onions. Spices and herbs maybe salt, lemon juice, vinegar, fish sauce, basil, chili…
However, among them, broth is the most important. The broth is often made by simmering beef bones with spices like cardamom, ginger, star anise, clove, coriander seed, cinnamon stick… Broth is the key for each cook to make their bowl of Pho become different, special.
Pho appeared in northern Vietnam in the early 20th century. There are many different theories about the origin of this dish, but most people would agree the hometown of Pho is Nam Dinh, a province in the Southeast of Hanoi.
With its unique flavor, Pho quickly became popular in all regions of Vietnam and even many places in the world. Depending on the taste and eating habits of each place, Pho in each region has its own distinctive look. However, Hanoi still the place to make this dish became the most special, the most attractive.
The chewy noodles, the sweetness of broth, the tenderness of meat and the aroma of spices… Together, they make such perfect combination that eaters can never forget. If you ever have a change to visit this beautiful country, especially Hanoi, find yourself a small restaurant and order a bowl of Pho. Surely you will want to bring this dish away when you leave.