Pho has become the go-to dish for many Asian food lovers because of its base of warm broth and plethora of topping options - from beef, chicken, seafood and even tofu. It also satisfies those looking to get their share of vegetables for the day and those who are counting their calories as it uses minimum oil.
While there has been a debate about whether the dish was a result of French influence on Vietnamese cuisine or locals were making similar noodle and soup based delicacies long before the French arrived, the dish has currently developed a Asian identity.
Lily Hoa Nguyen, who is head chef and co-founder of Vietnamese Foodies, a restaurant specialising in Vietnamese cuisine in Dubai, is a believer in sticking to tradition.
She serves the dish at her outlets in Dubai and has made sure UAE residents get an authentic experience.
"We made it a point to ensure that our dishes remained true to original as possible and as a result, people who dine with us are getting a true authentic taste of Vietnam," Nguyen said.
Nguyen shared her authentic recipe with Gulfnews.com for home cooks looking to make a warm bowl of pho for their families.
For bone broth:
1kg beef bones
1 large brown onion
20gm of fresh ginger
3 star anise
2 black cardamoms
2 sticks of cinnamon
1 tsp salt
3 litres of drinking water
1. Peel and wash the onion. Chop them roughly into big chunks.
2. Charbroil the onion and ginger. Peel off the ginger's burnt skin and crush it lightly.
3. Roast the star anise, cardamom and cinnamon.
4. Roast the beef bones in the oven for 1 hour at 200C.
5. In a medium pot add the roasted beef bones, water, onion, ginger, star anise, and cardamom, bring it to a boil then reduce the heat to low.
6. Add salt then simmer for 6 hours. Let cool and strain before use.
For the noodles and garnish:
1kg boneless beef shank
3litres of beef broth
2 cinnamon sticks
1 tbsp coriander seeds
1 tbsp sugar
2 tsp salt
2 tbsp fish sauce
0.5kg dry rice noodle (rice sticks)
2 tbsp green onions chopped
200gm bean sprouts for garnishing
Handful of Thai basil
Handful of sawtooth coriander
1. Add the beef shank in the beef broth for 1 hour on medium heat until just cooked but not too soft. Remove the meat and slice it into 3mm thin slices.
2. Roast the cinnamon and coriander seeds on a cooking pan on high heat for 2 minutes, to bring out the flavour. Put them in a tea bag and place it in the bowl of broth. Note: You should do this step just 30 minutes before serving.
3. Season the broth with black pepper, salt and fish sauce.
4. Blanch the rice noodles or cook them as instructed on the package.
5. Once ready to serve, warm up the noodles by blanching them again quickly.
6. Place the meat slices on top and then pour boiling broth over it.
7. Garnish with chopped green onions, bean sprouts and serve piping hot with Thai basil on the side.
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