Now that you’ve had a primer on making Vietnamese pho, what more could you need to know? Luckily, we have more information for your reading pleasure, which will almost certainly lead to your eating pleasure later on. You’ve already read about the cuts of meat that you add to this rich and brothy noodle soup, but there’s more to it than that.
Clarifying the Broth
Whatever beef you choose to use for your broth, and to add to your meal, you have to make sure the broth is clear. After all, a cloudy broth isn’t appetizing. Proteins and minerals from the meat and the bones can cause the soup to cloud up, along with fat that has thickened due to the heat. One method you could try involves straining the broth to clarify it. However, once you’ve refined it, you have to cook it again. To prepare it the second time, you need to add the meat, some vegetables, and freshly-whisked egg whites. Eventually, you’ll come up with a clear soup, but be warned that this method is time-consuming and frustrating.
What’s another way to do it? Try par-boiling. Boil the meat for 15 minutes or so, and then empty out the pot and clean it furiously before starting a brand new batch of broth. You’ll save yourself much time and effort, and then you’ll be ready for the next step.
Adding Flavor and Spices
If you’ve been craving a big bowl of Vietnamese pho, chances are it’s the aromatic flavor that gets your mouth watering.
Check Your Spice Rack: What do you have available in your kitchen? Look for spices such as cinnamon, cloves, and fennel. It might surprise you to find star anise in your soup, but it is another common flavor choice. You could also use cardamom and coriander in your Vietnamese pho. Whatever spices you decide on, make sure you’ve got a fresh supply. Dried spices might be easier to get and quicker to use, but you’ll lose something in the flavor profile when you do.
Use Onions and Ginger: Lastly, you shouldn’t overlook the benefits of onions and ginger. These might contribute two of the strongest flavors in your soup and make the whole thing that much tastier. The traditional method for preparing these ingredients is to char them on a grill or in the embers of an open fire. But if you can’t do this, you could always broil them or cook them over your stove’s gas burner.
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