INGREDIENTS and PREPARATION
Pho is served as a bowl of white rice noodles in clear beef
broth, with thin cuts of beef (steak, fatty flank, lean flank, brisket).
Variations featuring tendon, tripe, meatballs, chicken leg, chicken breast,
or other chicken organs (heart, liver, etc.) are also available.
The broth is generally made by boiling beef (and sometimes also chicken)
bones, oxtails, flank steak, and spices, and takes several hours to prepare.
Spices include Saigon cinnamon, star anise, ginger, cloves, and sometimes
also black cardamom.
The noodles, called bánh pho in Vietnamese, are traditionally cut
from wide sheets of fresh rice noodles similar to Chinese Shahe fen, although
dried noodles (also called "rice sticks") may also be used.
The dish is garnished with ingredients such as green onions, white onions,
coriander leaves, ngo gai ("saw leaf herb"), mint, basil, lemon
or lime, bean sprouts, and chile peppers. The last four items are usually
provided on a separate plate, which allows customers to adjust the soup's
flavor as they like. Some sauces such as hoisin sauce, fish sauce, and
the Thai hot sauce Sriracha, are popular additions as well.