You can’t beat a bowl of Pho Bo in the early hours of the morning before a day of cycling, they even let you behind the scenes to see how it’s made.
Pho Bo is Vietnamese Beef Noodle Soup. Pronounced as ‘fuh’, pho is renowned as Vietnam’s most popular dish and is often eaten for breakfast and lunch, it’s practically the national dish of Vietnam.
There are two major types of pho: pho bo (beef) and pho ga (chicken). The beef version is fancier than the chicken version, therefore taking longer to cook. The beef version is made and eaten with assorted cuts and parts of beef as shown in this video. The stock is made from beef shank, neck and ox tail, the meaty toppings include thinly sliced eye-round beef steak, flank, brisket, beef balls, tendon and tripe. It’s also spiced with more aromatics than the chicken version: cardamom, cinnamon, star anise, coriander, and cloves.
Both versions are served in a piping hot bowl, topped with chopped green onions, white onions and cilantro. A platter of Thai Basil, lime wedges, bean sprouts and sliced jalapenos also accompany the bowl. If lucky, you may also get the hard to find culantro (ngo gai) herb in your vegetable platter.
As Pho is very popular for breakfast, Vendors shop for the freshest ingredients in the early hours of the morning to make the deep and flavorful stock in time for the morning rush hour. Locals stop by for a bowl before heading to work, oh yes, and the odd cyclists!