What Does Pho Taste Like?

by Charlie
Vietnamese beef pho

Pho is a dish that is associated with the street stalls of Vietnam. In the streets of Vietnam, it is served primarily as breakfast and is a dish that many foreigners associate with the country. Although Pho is originally served in street stalls, it has evolved and is now being served in various fancy Vietnamese restaurants.

If you ever find yourself in Vietnam, and you find yourself diving into a bowl of pho at 9 pm, as a tourist, that is normal. Pho is not a dish that is restricted to just being a breakfast meal. It is not the same as ramen even though they are both bowls of noodles swimming in broth. The noodles used in pho are not the same as the wheat noodles used in ramen.

What does pho taste like? A lot of ingredients go into the preparation of pho, this makes the taste quite complex. A wide range of spices can be used in the preparation of pho, it can be seasoned to the taste of whoever is making it. The taste of pho is the perfect balance between salty, spicy, citrus, and sweet. 

Pho tastes like chicken or beef stock, with the flavor of basil and a note of ginger. Sometimes, bean sprouts are added to the bowl of pho, to create a contrast in texture and give the dish some crunch.

Ramen is Japanese and comes in several varieties. The taste cannot be compared to pho because their ingredients don’t match. Let’s get right to why a steaming bowl of pho is not a bad idea whenever you visit Vietnam.

Nutritional Benefits of Pho

Pho is the national dish of Vietnam. It may seem just like a basic soup with noodles and toppings. It is not just known for how it looks or tastes but also the nutritional value that it has to offer. 

The first advantage that pho has is that it is gluten-free, because of the rice noodles used in it. While this might not necessarily be a nutritional value, it is great to know that you can try it out without worrying about gluten.

The herbs used in pho are very nutrient-rich and that itself is something. When making pho, you have to make use of spices and herbs like basil and cilantro. These two are high in polyphenols. These compounds might be able to prevent chronic diseases like cancer and heart disease and other related ailments from occurring. 

It is hard to tell if the amount of herbs and spices used in pho is enough to constitute any sort of nutritional value but in the long run, eating pho can contribute to how much of these compounds we take.

When making pho, you make use of a bone broth and ginger, and these two have their nutritional value. Bone broth might be able to help the development of joints in the body. It contains collagen, glucosamine, and chondroitin; all of these compounds may be able to promote joint health even though you have just small volumes in the broth. 

Ginger contains gingerol, this compound has been known to have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. It can also help to reduce joint pain and inflammation.

Pho is a good source of protein, a serving of pho (1 cup) contains about 15 grams of protein. Protein is important to the body as it serves as a building block and is used in the development of muscles, tendons, the skin, hormones, and some organs.

Culinary Uses of Pho

The way cereal or oats is traditionally served as breakfast in our homes, this is the same status that pho holds among the Vietnamese people. It is how you start the day. You can park your bike at the side of the road and buy a bowl of steaming pho from a roadside stall.

The name pho refers to the noodles used to make the dish. Anybody could make soups and there are different varieties of soups in Vietnam. The noodles used in pho are light and translucent because they are rice noodles. The rice noodles are known as banh pho

The other ingredients that go into the making of pho are ginger, herbs & spices like basil, cilantro, garnishes like bean sprouts, chilies, radishes, then onions, coriander seeds, chicken, beef stock, and water.

There are different variations of the pho dish. You have, pho ga which is chicken pho, there is also pho chay (pho for vegetarians), pho bo (beef pho). These are different variations of the pho dish that you can have. However, not all Vietnamese noodle soup dishes are called pho. We still have several other noodle soup dishes that have no relation to pho.

What is the History of Pho? How to Procure It?

Pho is pronounced as fuuuuhhh. According to HuffPost, it is one of the most mispronounced foods in the world. The origin of pho is somewhat controversial, some believe that pho originates from North Vietnam in the 1880s. It can be argued that the name is derived from a French word “feu” which means fire.

Pho Bac which is the original pho is prepared by boiling beef bones for a couple of days then, including rice noodles & other ingredients. 

The origin of pho is poorly documented; villagers from Van cu claim that they were already eating pho, long before the French came to colonize them. But the modern, well-known version of pho did not emerge until 1900 -1907. If you cannot travel to Vietnam to enjoy a hot bowl of pho, you might be able to find it in Vietnamese restaurants back at home.

Does Pho Taste Like Licorice?

There are two ingredients in pho that can bring about that licorice-like flavor; star anise and fennel seeds. The presence of these two ingredients can lend the flavor of licorice to pho.

Facts You Don’t Know About Pho

  • Slurping a bowl of pho is highly acceptable, to the chefs, it is a sign that you are enjoying the meal and complimenting them.
  • During special occasions or gatherings in Vietnam, families will make a bowl of pho to celebrate.

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