If you are eager to satisfy your craving for Vietnamese food, learning how to cook Pho noodles is a must. This iconic dish is a beloved part of Vietnamese cuisine, known for its aromatic broth and tender rice noodles. This detailed guide will walk you through the process of cooking an authentic and delicious bowl of Pho at home.
1. Necessary ingredients for making Pho noodles
1.1. Flat rice noodles
Making flat rice noodles is the first step on how to cook Pho noodles. You can use either fresh or dry noodles.
- How to make fresh Pho noodles:
- Prepare ingredients: rice flour, cornstarch, salt, cooking oil, and water
- Mix the rice flour, cornstarch, water, and a pinch of salt in a large bowl
- Add a teaspoon of cooking oil, stir evenly, and straighten the mixture
- Wrap plastic wrap around the bowl and leave the dough be for 30 minutes
- Place a pot of water on the stove and put a steaming tray on top
- Brush a layer of cooking oil onto the tray, pour 1/4 cup of the dough onto the tray, and evenly spread the batter into a thin layer
- Cover the tray for 5 minutes, then remove the cooked noodle sheets
- Stack the sheets on top of each other and use a knife to cut them into strips
Besides fresh Pho noodles, dry Pho noodles are also a great choice to make this dish. Here is an easy guide on how to cook dry Pho noodles for a chewy texture.
- How long to cook dry Pho noodles:
- Soak the dry Pho noodles in warm water for 30-45 minutes or in cold water for 1 hour
- Boil a pot of water, add a pinch of salt, and cook the soaked Pho noodles for 5-7 minutes
- Turn off the heat, remove the Pho noodles, and let them drain well
- Handy tip: Soak the noodles in cold water for 10-15 minutes after cooking to make them softer and prevent them from sticking together
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1.2. Bones and meat
Learning how to cook Pho noodles requires you to choose the right ingredients. There are 3 popular types of bones to make the flavorful Pho broth: oxtail bones, beef/pork knuckle bones, and chicken bones.
In addition, when selecting beef for Pho noodles, you should buy red meat that is moist to the touch. You should opt for younger beef as it will yield more tender and juicy meat. There are 3 recommended cuts of beef for the home chef: flank, brisket, and filet mignon.
1.3. Vegetables and herbs
Some aromatic herbs and vegetables commonly used for cooking and enjoying Pho noodles in Vietnam are:
- For making broth: Onion, ginger, and shallot
- For serving: Scallion, lime, pepper, coriander, cilantro, bean sprouts, peppermint, and Thai basil
Condiments play a crucial role in enhancing the flavors of Pho noodles. The most commonly used seasonings include cinnamon, star anise, cardamom, ginger, scallion, black pepper, fennel seeds, cloves, and coriander seeds. These condiments are indispensable ingredients when you learn how to make Pho bo or how to cook Pho ga in Vietnam.
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2. How to cook Pho noodles?
2.1. Step 1: Making Pho broth
Making flavor broth is the most challenging part on how to make Vietnamese Pho beef noodle soup. It is easier when you follow these steps:
- Begin by charring ginger and onion over an open flame until they are slightly blackened
- Add beef bones, charred ginger, charred onion, and condiments in a large water pot
- Boil the pot, then reduce the heat and let it simmer for several hours
- Remove the fat that rises to the surface during the simmering process
- Remove the bones, spices, ginger, and onion from the broth until you have a clear and flavorful Pho broth
- Adjust the seasonings by adding fish sauce and salt to taste
2.2. Step 2: Serving Vietnamese Pho noodle soup
- Cook the Pho noodles and put them in separate bowls
- Top the noodles with thinly sliced cooked beef or chicken, bean sprouts, and sliced onions
- Ladle the hot Pho broth over the noodles
- Serve Pho with a plate of fresh herbs like Thai basil, cilantro, and lime wedges on the side
- Enjoy the aromatic and flavorful Vietnamese Pho noodle soup
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3. Local tips for making the authentic Vietnamese Pho noodle soup
If you are wondering how to cook Pho noodles like a local, below are some useful tips:
- Soak the Pho noodles in cold water before cooking to prevent them from sticking together
- Add a few drops of cooking oil to the boiling water when cooking the Pho noodles to keep them from clumping
- Remove any impurities that float to the surface for a clear broth
- Cook the Pho noodles separately and add them to the broth just before serving
- Avoid overcooking the Pho noodles; they should be slightly firm and chewy. Test their doneness by tasting them before draining them.
Cooking Pho noodles at home is a delightful way to experience Vietnam's culinary treasures. Besides, during your upcoming Vietnam travel, treat your taste buds to other iconic dishes, including Vietnamese broken rice, Vietnamese fish cake, bun dau mam tom, Vietnamese sticky rice, Vietnamese bread, Vietnamese fried rice, Vietnamese summer rolls, etc.
Furthermore, exploring captivating destinations across the country, including Ha Long Bay, Hoi An, Da Nang, Nha Trang, or Phu Quoc, is the ideal way to indulge in the diverse culture and cuisine of Vietnam.
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Mastering the art of cooking Pho noodles is a delightful culinary journey. From selecting the right ingredients to perfecting the broth, our guide on how to cook Pho noodles equips you with the knowledge to create this iconic Vietnamese dish. Are you ready for a memorable adventure filled with cultural wonders and gastronomic delights?