Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Food for farmers, fit for kings.


pho.jpg

It's Vietnamese hot noodle broth with beef or chicken, and it's called the "pho".

No, it's not pronounced "po", or "fo", or even "fur", and it's impossible to learn how to say it, without someone sitting in front of you to instruct the intonations and inflexions. (Yes, there are more than one intonation/inflexion just in that one brief word!)

It's soup is made with home-made beef or chicken stock. No fat or oil is added to that already drawn from the meats.

Herbs and spices include basil leaves, cardamom, cinnamon, fennel seeds, ginger, lemongrass, nutmeg, sawgrass, scallions, shallots, sriracha and star anise.

The noodles or koay teow are immersed shortly before serving the broth, so as to retain the firmness of texture.

Fresh bean sprouts, chilli padi, lime, and fish sauce are served on the side.

Pho is, by any reckoning, humble food.

If you're in Saigon, try it at a small halal restaurant with the inappropriately grand name of "Four Seasons". I did, yesterday.

And it... was... DIVINE!

25 comments:

alhariesz said...

that looks....GREEN.. :D

what a sumptuous meal...not only fit for the king, but also for the mind & soul...hehe

CT said...

aspiring to be food food blogger now, Kak Yasmin?

yes, the rich meaty broth complemented by those greens and a squeeze of the lime.... divine, indeed.

tried to pomelo salad? or their bbq meat around sugar cane sticks? yum!

kruel74 said...

Nyumss....

abi said...

I had my first experience of "pho" sometime ago! It looks very simple but complex .Then i was tough how to setup my meal and consume it :)

Different cultures are awesome isn't it :)

GUiKP said...

We have Four Seasons in Kota Bharu. Same owner or family perhaps?

jejaka anggun said...

hi kak min....

tried in vietnam (not sure plak which part) and also in melbourne.

verrrryyyy niceeeee...... i tell u!

Jane said...

The Divine line, macam familiar? Hm I mean, it was used somewhere.. Lupa lah. Or was it your movies? Hmmm

ZARA 札拉 said...

Salam Kak Min..=)

waw!!

it's really looked great!!

yasmin said...

salaam, zara. memang sedaaaaap!

chico said...

wow, a halal restaurant in saigon!

yasmin said...

actually there are many halal restaurants here, chico, what with petronas being here since 1991.

afams-chan said...

Wahhh!! Sedap!

I actually pronounced 'pho' as 'po'. Now i know it is not the correct way to pronounce it. Thanks

Tapi sedap kan 'pho'? I tried once in one of vietnamese restaurant here. Is the taste same as in Vietnam?

yasmin said...

look similar, and probably have similar ingredients, but it tastes much, much better here. they say the most important aspect of pho making is the freshness of the leaves and herbs. i think the quality of the fish sauce also makes a huge difference.

coy360 said...

Wahhh... thanks for sharing the info. I'm going to Saigon next month. I'll try to find the place.

Btw, Kak Yasmin, I saw u @ the airport a couple of years ago on the way to Chiang Mai. We were wearing the same (M&S) sandals tapi masa tu tak berani nak tegur... :-P

coy360 said...

Oops, silap. Bangkok kot, not Chiang Mai. Sorry, long time ago.

classyadele said...

Amusingly, my 1st experience with the Vietnamese pho was in Melbourne - along this particular street laced with dozens of Vietnamese restaurants (for the life of me, I can't remember the street name).

Picking up on the different intonation/inflexion in just 1 word - Isn't it wonderful how diverse the Vietnamese language is? Heck - even our Malay language is complex - just out of curiosity Yasmin (and I know this is off-topic but stick with me here) - can you think of a word in English that has the equivalent meaning as the Malay word "geram"? "Geram" not in a negative sense...I mean in the "ooh comel la bayi ni. Geram nya...!" :)

Ponder over it for a moment. I'd be interested in your response :) I find it hard to explain or even describe this word to the orang putih here. LOL

Cheers.

orangrawa said...

Kak Min....there is a small Muslim gerai about 20 minutes from town centre also has a delicious 'pho'. But the surroundings a bit horrorlah....hehehe!! Makan sambil mencangkung like locals too!!

Anonymous said...

Now this is copywriting about would be proud of.

Made me hungry.

Barbara Nokes here. Remember me?

The Envoy said...

Hmm...pho is actually available at one of the KLCC foodcourts I believe, or was that Pavillion?

yasmin said...

the klcc one is a far cry from the original vietnamese, envoy

kekure said...

Barbara Nokes..miss you like crazy :P

ikanbilis said...

Yasmin! I could have bumped into you in Saigon! haha. I was there from 20th until 23rd. Unfortunately the locals I met, friends of a friend didn't know where the halal ones are so they brought us to the famous one anyway which is surprisingly cheap and scrumplicious. So good, I reckon to eat it more often.

Sangat sedap, kan?

Colin said...

Four seasons is owned by a Cham lady who was married to a Malaysian but has since passed on.(the husband that is) The remarkable thing is she has never been to Malaysia but speaks Malay fluently. The Cham language is similar to Malay

Nadia said...

I had pho in "Four Seasons" as well! I agree, it was divine :). Did you try the Vietnamese coffee as well?

Mana la nak dapat pho sedap macam tu kat KL? Mouth is watering as I type...

yasmin said...

nadia, i'm flying to saigon again tomorrow! four seasons here i come!!!