Phở (pronounced Fuh: with a heavy h) isn't a Chinese delicacy or of decent. However, its roots dig deep within eastern Asian cuisine. It is a noodle-soup dish that is widely eaten in Vietnamese cuisine and many others. My friend is the true victor in introducing me to his favorite form of the dish that he has had for his whole life, I was left shocked by the years that went by, in my life, without this truly magnificent creation. The broth, the rice noodles, the spices, the many types of different meats that I had never knew existed, and the root-backbone-staple product-the best sauce that is now running through my veins -Sriracha Sauce, all of it melds together and agrees to make my most favorite food. It seriously keeps me on a strict 3 day schedule of reporting to my nearest Vietnamese restaurant and indulging my taste-buds on a flavorful ride, like they haven't ever been touched there ever before.
If what I explained doesn't tickle your sense of adventure or it just doesn't seem like your particular hay ride. I highly recommend going to your nearest Vietnamese restaurant and just uttering that one syllable word and see the reactions that are returned to you.
My mission is to show you and ring you into a popular dish that the world is just beginning to delve into. What follows is my take on the dish and it shouldn't be your "resorted" tasting, even if I think I did very well and I'm patting myself on the back as I type this. I again highly recommend that you enjoy this dish in a true Vietnamese setting, like a restaurant in that part of town with a couple of Asian markets on the corners or if your heart can take the explosive reality, go to Vietnam and do what I have not.
The equipment you will need are as follows:
1 Large Sauce Pot
1 Measuring Cup
1 Pair of Tongs
1 Soup Ladle
enough Cheese Cloth or something to hold herbs in the boiling process.
1 Plastic Bag for seasoning the meat or not if you so please.
Utensils or Chop Sticks
The ingredients invoke:
.5-1 lb of Flank Steak
4 Pints of Beef Broth or if you want just make your own with some other broth recipe.
1 Small Onion
Cooking Wine (or some of the good stuff)
Fresh Thai Basil to Garnish \ (I couldn't find in local grocery stores,
Bell Sprouts to Garnish / you will have to go to an Asian market) ~(:^<)
Jalapenos to Garnish (I didn't) Heeeeeeaaaat!
Cilantro to Garnish
Mint Leaves to Garnish or to add too Spice Bag.
The Spice Bag will flavor your broth to pretty much whatever Asian-y herbs you can find (at the Asian Markets they have these already prepared but you can follow mine).
Dried Thai Basil
Chopped Red Onion (stronger than white)
Red Pepper Flakes
1-2 Mint Leaves (very little)
Chopped Green Onion
Salt (to taste)
For some stronger flavors you can roast some garlic over an open flame and also throw it in the spice bag. I haven't tried this but my friend says it brings out a lot of the flavors, don't hold it against me. Just keeping your options open ;^)
This work is in the Public Domain.
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Step 1: Preparing the Flank Steak
FLAVOR INTENSITY TIP
**If you so choose you can intensify the flavors by preparing the meat a few hours before you add it to the dish.
But I only waited about an hour and a half, and loved it.**
Cut the flank steak against the grain of the meat to reduce toughness and since this is an Asian cuisine after-all we have to cut the meat into slices simple enough to chew on. I cut mine thin so it wouldn't have much toughness at all and it would cook all the way through. I'd say you can cut as thin as you want but to be safe, keep it at or under half a fingernails length.
When your done cutting throw the meat in a plastic bag with the soy sauce, teriyaki sauce, slice of lime, and cooking wine.
Throw it in the fridge and let it absorb those flavors for at least 30-45 minutes.
Step 2: Preparing the Base
Okay now get out that sauce pot and pour in the broth. I just bought two box/bottle things. I also added a little water to douse out the intense beefy flavor, but you don't have to (I ended up adding about 6 cups).
Now for the spice bag chop up some red onion and roast that garlic (if you want). Then add in the dried herbs and dunk it and let it sit in the broth.
Keep it boiling but keep checking for the taste you want. I like mine herby so I let it boil with it in their for about 20 minutes.
Step 3: Pre-Dunk the Noodles
All I do in this step is dunk the rice noodles in the water and let them loosen. Don't cook them and leave them in the base! They'll get real fat, real fast. I used tongs to pull them out after 1 minute of hard boiling.
Step 4: Cook the Meat!
This is the easiest step. You know how earlier I told you to cut the meat thinly, well were going to let the broth cook the meat in the bowl. Trust me.
First, put the semi-limp noodles into your bowl you will serve.
Second ,put in the meat with as little seasoning dripping off it as you can.
Third, throw in the white or red onion and some more Thai basil if you so please.
Fourth, add the lime juice and the lime if you're so bold.
Finally, pour the boiling broth base over your bowl and watch as you just made Phở!
**If your meat is really red still or very raw, pour the broth back in the batch, bring it back to a boil and pour back over your noodles and beef.**
Step 5: Garnish. Garnish to Your Heart's Content!
For garnishes, I used cilantro and plenty of Sriracha Sauce as you can see.
Next is for you to sit down and enjoy the wonderful aromas you just expertly perpared!