Tuesday, September 27, 2005
How to eat Pho?
i don't suppose we have any vietnamese specialists among us.i was introduced to pho by a vietnamese co-worker many years ago in los angeles. she taught me to mix my hot sauce and my hoisin in with the broth, throw in everything else and eat. the place that we used to get pho from only ever gave us basil (never cilantro). now, she's just one person so i'm hesitant to formulate any theories about standard pho procedure from any of this but as a result my own pho preferences are set: chilli sauce, hoisin, lime, green chillis, basil, sprouts--all in the broth with the noodles and meat (ideally a mix of brisket, flank, tendon and tripe). i don't know how spicy most people like their pho but i like my broth to be pretty close to battery acid. in this too i am guided by my ex-colleague's example. this is how i like it but i don't raise eye-brows at other people's practices since for all i know mine is farther from the norm than theirs.that being said i can't imagine what it would taste like with plum sauce and i don't want to find out. also: i really don't like it with cilantro; pho places in koreatown in l.a usually serve it only with cilantro. i'd thought this might be a korean take on it but this is also how the local vietnamese place here does it (and i see cilantro in jason's picture 1 above too). my wife likes to lace her broth with dangerous amounts of chilli sauce and then also squeeze some onto a plate to further dip pieces of meat into. but she's korean and what does she know? we're both uber-dexterous in the manner tommy describes though. i like to think it gives us street-cred here in colorado (which is not what you would call chopstick-friendly).edited to add: the woman last night was adamant that she knew the difference between hoisin and plum sauce (there was a squeeze bottle of hoisin right next to the sriracha on their table) and that she'd always been served her pho with plum sauce before (in d.c). i'm more and more inclined to think that this was a face-saving claim and not a commentary on the state of pho in d.c--though there might be a strange symmetry to another assault on vietnamese culture in the capital of the u.s. This post has been edited by mongo_jones: Feb 7 2004, 05:41 PM
Posted by Nam De Cu at 10:25 PM