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Vietnam’s Classic Soup Is a Whole Meal in a Bowl

Phõ combines an aromatic beef broth with tender noodles, crisp sprouts, hot chiles, and a cool squeeze of lime

by Nguyen Thi Thai Moreland

fromFine Cooking
Issue 17

When Thai Moreland was a child in Vietnam, she remembers phõ being served by street vendors, who simmered huge pots of broth over small wood fires, drawing crowds all day long. Now she makes this soup of fragrant, spicy beef broth, tangled rice noodles, thin slices of steak, and many garnishes at home in New York. Phõ (pronounced FUH with a rising intonation) manages to be both hearty and refreshing, filling and light. The broth is what makes the soup; it must have a beefy flavor and a complex spiciness, but not be greasy or salty.  Also given are a list of sources for Asian ingredients and suggestions for drink choices from Rosina Tinari Wilson. Featured recipe: Phõ (Vietnamese Beef & Rice-Noodle Soup).

Photos: Alan Richardson

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