Pho tai nam

Phở is the name of the most popular Vietnamese noodle soup dish.  Outside Vietnam, it’s anglicised to simply Pho.

This dish is simply the pho noodles in soup with usually beef and topped with onion, spring onions.  Sides that comes with a bowl of pho include basil, bean sprouts, chilli and a slice of lemon or lime.  Hoisin sauce, fish sauce, and sometimes even sugar are added to taste at the table.

Pho is believed to have originated only a century ago in the north of Vietnam.  These days there are noticeable regional differences, with Pho tasting different in the north, central and southern Vietnam.

Many believe it’s relatively young origin mean Pho is a Vietnamese adaptation of Chinese Hu Tieu noodles, which uses very similar noodles, but is less intense in flavour.  Pho is also the name of the the rice noodle used in the dish. 

What comes with Pho?

Beef Pho is by far the most popular form of Pho and offered in a bewildering variety of options – Pho nam: pre-cooked beef, this would likely what you get if you just asked for pho, Pho tai: thin uncooked slices of beef which the customer cooks using the pipping hot soup,  Pho tai-nam: combination of both cooked and uncooked, Pho gan: added beef tendon, Pho sach: with added tripe,  Pho bo vien: even beef balls and of course Pho dac biet: the special with everything.

Chicken Pho is a second most popular form and from my observations seem to be more popular with women.  Vegetarian pho pho is also relatively popular during ram (full moon cycles). While fish pho and prawn pho can be found in some regions of Vietnam, although it is almost impossible to find overseas.

How to eat pho?