sambal

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Sunday, February 2, 2014

Discovering Pho Ga and Pho Bo

My pho bo creation
You can say pho ga and pho bo are like siblings. No, they're not people's name. Pho ga is Vietnamese chicken noodle soup and pho bo is Vietnamese beef noodle soup. Ever since our trip to Hanoi 2 years ago pho ga became my favorite. The beef version of the Hanoi style also became our favorite ever since we tried the wide noodle version of that noodle soup.

Last weekend due to our coming down with cold I was craving noodle soup. We went out on Friday night already for pho and no way we could afford going out eating noodle the whole weekend. So I decided to look it up and make it myself.

Andrea Nguyen's Viet World Kitchen and a few sources on the internet were my sources to deciphering the pho broth. One week and a few tries later I have come up with my own short cut version.



Pho Ga (Vietnamese chicken noodle soup)

Broth :
1 game hen - remove skin and fat as much as you could
1 onion, peeled, halved
2 inch length of ginger, peeled, sliced
1 quart chicken broth
1 quart water
1 tbs Better Than Bouillion chicken bouillion
Salt to taste

Other Ingredients :
1 pack fresh rice noodle - either hu tieu or pad thai version (the difference is the width)
Mung bean sprouts
Roughly chopped cilantro
Roughly chopped green onion
Sriracha chilly
Wedges of lime
Slice serrano chillies
Boiled chicken cooling off in the ice bath

Preparation :
Bring the chicken broth and water to boil and put in the chicken. Boil for about 15 minutes. Take the chicken out and cool it off in a bowl of ice water to prevent overcooking the chicken. When it cooled off, shred the chicken meat. Set aside.
A package of rice noodle. This one came in sheet, so I had to cut it smaller.

Put in onion and ginger into the chicken broth and bring it to a boil then let it simmer for about 15 minutes. I used a thermos pot so I just set it aside.

Peel and separate the rice noodle. Rinse it off quickly in a pot of hot water to remove the oil from the noodle. Put enough noodle on a serving bowl, top with the chicken, sprouts and chopped cilantro and green onion. Bring the soup to a boil and pour on the noodle. Serve immediately.

Pho bo (Vietnamese beef noodle soup)

Broth :
1 quart beef broth
1 quart water
1 onion, peeled, halved
2 inch length of ginger, peeled, sliced
4-5 cloves
4-5 star anise
1 tbs chicken bouillion
Salt to taste
Onion, ginger and other spices for my pho bo

Other ingredients :
1 lb of flank beef, slice thinly and tenderize it with a meat tenderizer
1 bag mung bean sprouts
1 pack of fresh rice noodle
Basil leaves
Half onion, peeled and sliced thinly
Roughly chopped green onion
Roughly chopped cilantro
Wedges of limes
Sriracha and sliced serrano chillies

Preparations :
Bring all broth ingredients to a boil and let it simmer for about 15 minutes.

Peel and separate the rice noodle. Rinse the noodle off in a pot of hot water to get rid of the oil. Put enough noodle in a serving bowl.

Bring the soup to a boil, put enough sliced onion and mung bean in the soup. Quickly fish them out and top on the noodle. Same goes with the beef. Quickly dip the beef in to the hot soup and take it out once they turned less pink and top them on the noodle.

Arrange basil and chopped green onion and cilantro on the bowl. Bring the soup to a boil again and laddle the hot soup onto the bowl. Serve immediately with wedges of limes.