What are the main ingredients in Pho?
Though there are many types of Pho, the best know is noodle soup Pho. Different parts of Vietnam serve different styles of soup Pho with some regions offering a sweeter broth, different or less herbs, a clearer or richer stock or different sizes of noodles but we can identify four main components to any bowl of noodle soup Pho:
-The broth, filled with layers of aromatic and complex flavors, a hearty broth is made by slowly and patiently simmering previously roasted and blanched marrow and meaty bones with herbs (including onions, garlic, ginger, star anise, cloves, cinnamon, cardamon, fennel and coriander seeds, salt, sugar and of course fish sauce) down into a rich stock. In modern times, cooks started to add MSG to the broth in order to speed up the process and boost flavours. MamaPho does not use MSG and uses only traditional techniques and ingredients patiently simmering our stock for 18 hours to capture the full range of complex flavors
-The noodles, ideally freshly made by grinding rice into a dough and cutting into chewy strips with different thicknesses preferred regionally
-The meat, one or more meat cuts (typically beef or chicken) added either cooked or raw when the bowl is being assembled
-The garnishes typically include a selection of fresh mint, Thai basil, cilantro, scallions, lime, bean sprouts, chillies, bok choy, chili sauce, hoisin sauce and fish sauce
Each bowl of Pho is assembled by first adding the precooked fresh noodles, the meat and then the boiling hot stock which will cook any uncooked meat selections. The garnishes are often served separately and added to taste by each customer.