Restaurant pho is one of the few options for a Vietnamese dinner where the ingredients are all prepared in the kitchen.
While the pho can be ordered in restaurants, the most traditional dish of pho, the dumpling, is served in home kitchens and often as an appetiser to accompany the main dish.
While pho often contains beef and pork, the meat is usually chopped or minced and mixed with a combination of spices and herbs, including chili peppers and cilantro.
This combination makes the dish very spicy.
In fact, many restaurants in the US will serve you a bowl of phol che (a Vietnamese chili-chicken soup) with a bowlful of dumplings, along with a salad.
“The main thing is to put the dung and spices in a container and you just stir it in a pot and it just goes into the pot, it doesn’t take long,” says Angela McAllister, owner of The Kitchen, an Australian pho spot in New South Wales.
Her menu includes a bowl-of-dumpling soup and salad, a bowl made from a pho noodle, and a bowl filled with pho noodles.
The pho soup is a popular dish and McAllisters specialises in it, adding ingredients such as dried shrimp, scallions, and peanuts.
“I’ve had it for a while, but it hasn’t been on my menu for a long time,” she says.
“We’ve had to wait for that to be updated, so now it’s on my list of things to try.”
McAllis’ recipe is simple and straightforward, but there are a few changes she’s made to make it taste better.
She has added chicken broth to her soup, which helps the dish to thicken up and adds a crunchy, sweet, and spicy taste.
McAlliser has also added a few fresh herbs to her mix.
“There are lots of different herbs in pho and it’s good to add them to things like salads, too,” she explains.
McEachisters broth is made from coconut oil, coconut water, soy sauce, and vinegar, and the ingredients all come together in the broth to make a creamy, delicious broth.
McAsi has also used coconut oil and soy sauce to make some of her noodles.
“You’re adding all those things together to make something that’s creamy, and then it just kind of melts in your mouth,” she tells ABC Food.
“So, the more you add it to the soup, the better it is.”
McAsil’s recipe calls for two to three bowls of broth, which is the standard for Vietnamese food.
McAula says her broth is similar to a thick-cut vegetable soup, but adds some fresh herbs.
“If you add a few of those herbs, you add some umami, umami flavour, and umami can be really nice,” she adds.
“Some of the herbs can be used for the soup as well, which I love.”
McAuli says her dumplins are also prepared in home kitchen using ingredients like soy sauce and ginger.
“They’re not made of chicken or pork, but they are made from chicken and pork bones,” she said.
“That’s one of our favourite ingredients, because it just tastes so good.
It adds a little bit of umami.”
McEachi says her pho-doujins are made with the same basic ingredients, but add a bit of flavour to the broth and soup.
McTheis also says her chicken-belly noodle dish is a very popular item in the restaurant, and is often served with a soup and a salad on the side.
“It’s a dish that has been a favourite for a lot of people,” she shares.
“For a lot, it’s really a meal of three to four people.”
McAnes has also tweaked her recipe slightly, and added some fresh cilantro to her dang, making her soup slightly more spicy.
“Now I have a lot more fresh cayenne pepper, which really enhances it and makes it spicy, but I still have a little more of the broth in there,” she told ABC Food, adding that the dang was also a popular item.
“A lot of Vietnamese people have used chicken for a meal, and that’s why it’s so popular, because you get this huge, juicy chicken, and they cook it up and throw it on a plate with all the other dishes.
It’s a lot to do with how much of the noodle you eat,” she explained.
McAne’s recipe adds a bit more ginger and garlic to the noodles soup.
“When I cook with garlic and ginger, it makes it more like a Chinese soup,” she added.
McAnnes’ noodle is also made with chicken