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Beef Noodle

If you love Vietnamese food, no doubt you have tried Vietnamese rice noodle soup, Pho. Pho is served in practically every Vietnamese restaurant here in the States, so much so that people think Vietnamese food is mainly pho. It is just the tip of the iceberg in Vietnamese cuisine but it’s the most iconic of them all.

There are two major types of pho: pho bo (beef) and pho ga (chicken). The beef version is fancier than the chicken version. Therefore, taking longer to cook. The beef version is made and eaten with assorted cuts and parts of beef. The stock is made from beef shank, neck and ox tail. The meaty toppings include thinly sliced eye-round beef steak, flank, brisket, beef balls, tendon and tripe. It’s also spiced with more aromatics than the chicken version: cardamom, cinnamon, star anise, coriander, and cloves.

Both versions are served in a piping hot bowl, topped with chopped green onions, white onions and cilantro. A platter of Thai Basil, lime wedges, bean sprouts and sliced jalapenos also accompany the bowl. If you’re lucky, you may also get the hard-to-find culantro (ngo gai) herb in your vegetable platter.

In Vietnam, Pho is very popular for breakfast. Vendors shop for the freshest ingredients in the wee hours of the morning to make the deep and flavorful stock in time for the morning rush hour. Locals would stop by for a hearty and delicious breakfast-in-a-bowl before heading to work.

Vietnamese Beef Noodle Soup is labor intensive and all the components take up a lot of space in the fridge. So when I crave for pho at home, I make a large pot and pretty much have it for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Because the taste is simply un-pho-gettable, I don’t mind having it several times a day.

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