Monday, November 29, 2004

All About Pho

What does it take for a food to become an obsession? Certain foods come to mind, chocolate, barbecue, oysters, and now pho. Pho is a Vietnamese noodle soup that has gained in popularity with the rise of Vietnamese restaurants specializing in the dish. It is not pronounced "foe" but rather "fuh". Sometimes referred to as the national dish of Vietnam, it is eaten for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

While there are many different versions of the dish from different parts of the country, it is basically rice noodle soup usually with beef and an assortment of fresh herbs added to it at the table. There are versions with chicken and seafood too. I have never had vegetarian pho but I have heard that it does exist. Like chicken noodle soup, it is an amazing comfort food. The smell alone can make you feel better when you're suffering from a cold or a broken heart.

If you want to check out what pho is like in Vietnam without the plane ticket head over to Noodlepie a wonderful blog I discovered not long ago. You'll find reviews, photos and more. Here in San Francisco the local paper did an exhaustive search for the best local pho, and even came up with a recipe. Another source of all things pho is a site that was just mentioned in Saveur magazine, Pho-King. No making fun of the name!