I have gotten into countless heated debates about the pronunciation of Pho. Is the “o” long or short? Everyone pronounces it like the word “foe” but the proper way to say it is “fuh”. One of my first restaurant reviews was Loan’s Vietnamese Bistro in the Allentown Farmer’s Market and I had the chance to speak with the owners and chefs and they broke down the whole pho thing. In Vietnam, there are two main types of pho. Pho bo is made with beef brother and pho ga is made with chicken broth. There are of course numerous kinds but these are the two most popular. Most people honestly don’t give the slightest damn (including myself) on how to pronounce it but for the sake of this delicious dish, I just HAD to throw that fun fact out there.
This soupy dish is everything. I still remember the first time I ever had it. It was a little rough-on-the-outside spot and but so amazing. After that, I was hooked. For a good two weeks straight that’s all I wanted to eat. Reviewing Loan’s sealed the deal for me and I became a true fan. I learned about the dish and the culture and it suddenly made it that much better every time I tried it. I always ate it out instead of making it myself because it’s inexpensive and it was always a sudden craving that I did not want to take an hour making. So like any non-stop busy person, I made a quick and easy version with all of the flavor.
The ingredients are fairly simple for this dish. It is the technique that can be a bit tricky. Of course there is an authentic version with a long list of special tricks but I made my own to avoid that. Nothing will ever beat the real deal but you can always come pretty darn close a lot quicker.
- 8 oz rice noodle (I used vermicelli)
- 1 1/2 lb of shredded rotisserie chicken with no bones or skin
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 4 garlic cloves minced
- 6 cups of chicken stock
- 1 tbsp fish sauce
- 1 tsp freshly grated ginger
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/2-1 whole cup of chopped cilantro
- 1/2 cup scallions
- 1 medium yellow onion sliced into thin rings
- more cilantro, jalapeno and onion sprouts for garnish
- In a large pot, cook your rice noodles as instructed on the package. They cook VERY quick so be mindful of them.
- In another large soup pot, add 2 tbsp of olive oil over medium heat. Add your garlic and ginger. Cook about 3 minutes.
- Add your chicken stock, fish sauce and salt and pepper. Let simmer then reduce heat to medium low. Taste for salt and pepper. I used a little less than 1 tbsp each
- Add your onions, cilantro and chicken. Let cook on low heat for roughly 10 minutes.
- Serve and garnish!