Viet Nam is a small country but it has a variety of tasty food which gives a deep impression on foreign tourists when coming to Viet Nam and try it on. It would be a great mistake if we do not mention Pho when talking about Vietnamese food. In fact, it is the most famous food of Vietnam that is listed to “must-try food” when foreigners visit Vietnam. Because of its unforgetable delicious flavor, Pho is considered as the essence of Vietnamese cuisine.
Pho appeared the first time in the North of Vietnam and became popular in Hanoi which has the most various Pho restaurants from small to big ones. Vietnamese people do not know exactly when Pho appeared but now it is available everywhere in Vietnam. Pho of some areas in Viet Nam is somewhatsomething different from Pho of others but in general, it has the same main ingredients including rice noodles and stock. Rice noodles in Vietnam is called “Banh pho”. As its name, it is made of rice. Banh pho is long tender threads which is milky white in colour and has good smell of rice as Vietnam is the country having advantages of rice. Banh pho is the main ingredient but what makes Pho become unique is the stock. Stock of Pho is the result of stewing cow’s bones in several hours. It is important to add cloves, cinammons, coriander seeds, gingers, cardamons, star anises…into the stock when stewing to get rid of a bad smell of cow’s bones. Beside Banh pho and stock, beef is also carefully prepared. It is sliced thinly and can be well-done beef or half-done beef depending on what eaters like. A bowl of Pho also has green onion and maybe even some slices of onion. The combination of all the above ingredients creates a special food of Vietnam. But the different tastiness of Pho depends on the experience and recipe of people who cook. Therefore, Pho brings alternative taste between the north and the south of Vietnam. Pho of the North of Vietnam is a bit more salty and Pho of the South of Vietnam is a bit sweeter. Pho is usually eaten with “quay”, a kind of fried- bread and it is common for the restaurant to serve with pepper, chilli and lemon.
Nowadays, Pho is created into many forms including fried Pho, mixed Pho, rolled Pho…which is called Pho xao, Pho tron, Pho cuon…in Vietnamese.
But Pho with stock is still the most popular food to Vietnamese people as well as to foreign tourists. It is so popular that there are even Pho restaurants in Western countries.
If you come to Viet Nam, one thing you should firstly do in the morning is enjoying a bowl of Pho. It is not simply the morning meal but it is the essence of Vietnamese cuisine which will make you miss Viet Nam a lot when leaving Viet Nam our country
Nguyen Thi Dieu Linh