Phở, pronounced “fuh,” is a traditional Vietnamese beef noodle soup. It is probably the most popular and well known Vietnamese dish among foreigners. Originally from northern Vietnam, this noodle soup is eaten for breakfast, lunch or dinner, and as a snack for some of us 😉 (don’t judge, it’s just THAT good). Phở is traditionally made by simmering beef bones, roasted onions and ginger, cinnamon sticks, cloves, and star anise for three to four hours. (Don’t worry, my recipe will only take 30 minutes!) One must also constantly skim the top of the pot to ensure that the broth is completely clear. I used to always watch my mother and grandmother make phở as a little girl. I remember the entire house would be full of its wonderful, fragrant aroma.

There are other variations of this dish, including phở gà (chicken) and phở chay (vegetarian). I, however, like to stick with the traditional beef version, phở bò. There are a few types of beef you could use in phở bò: thinly sliced eye round or flank steak, bò viên (Vietnamese beef meatballs), tendon, and/or tripe. I prefer to use beef eye round because I find it to be tender and lean. The trick is to make sure each slice of beef is very thin because you don’t actually cook the beef in the pot of broth. Rather, you simply top the noodles with the beef and ladle the hot broth over it. The broth’s hot temperature cooks the beef just enough so that it is still soft and tender. Continue reading

Bún Riêu

The first Vietnamese dish I ever made was bún riêu, pronounced “boon rew,” which is a tomato and crab noodle soup. Of all the Vietnamese noodle soup dishes, I think this is the easiest to make because it requires the least amount of time and ingredients. This doesn’t mean there aren’t many ingredients, it just means less. 😉 Vietnamese cooking is all about flavor and finding the perfect balance between sweet, savory, spicy, and sour. So that means a little bit of this, and a little bit of that. Continue reading