Vrai ou “Pho”?

Vietnamese-PhoAfter spending two weeks in Vietnam, I fell in love with the Pho. I decided to eat it at home as well. In Brussels there are some great places to eat Pho, among my favourite ones are :

– Feuille de Menthe on the Place des Maïeurs in Woluwe Saint Pierre

and

– Kumquat close to Arts-Loi metro station.

But (there is always a but, isn’t there)… my digestion is really sensitive and in the restaurant, the Pho is often complemented with a good dose of sodium glutamate. Not something I wanted to consume much of, especially when I was pregnant and then breastfeeding.

So I decided to try my own version at home.

At the butchers I bought a big piece of beef (400-500g) and asked and got for free a nice big marrow bone.

At home, I just put in a the biggest pot I had – one onion (with the outer layers) studded with a few pieces of cloves, a few celery branches or a piece of celery, two carrots, a piece of ginger – either entire or in little pieces, depending on how strong you want the taste to be, sometimes I add a stick of lemongrass (I have a little bag in the freezer bought in the Chinese supermarket in town). I add a tiny bit of salt, bay leaves and sometimes a chilli or two. Then I add water up to the level that covers the meat.

I cover the pot and let it simmer on low heat for at least 3-4 hours on the back burner.
When it’s done, I take out the spices, cut or shred the meat (it should be possible to do it just with fingers) dig the marrow out of the bone and cut the vegetables in little pieces. I then boil water and make soba noodles.

In every bowl I put a bunch of soba noodles, add a ladle of meat and vegetables, then cover with stock. I top with a handful of cut coriander leaves, a dash of sriracha sauce and a splash of lime juice.

To enjoy with a big spoon and chopsticks for the noodles.

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