Tina: Recently I have had the opportunity to take cooking lessons from Mama Le’s Kitchen (a.k.a. my mom). She taught herself how to cook the Vietnamese dishes by remembering all the wonderful flavors in food that she ate when she lived in Vietnam 34 years ago.
Vietnamese food takes a lot of preparation and everything is sliced to perfection. Pho (pronounced “fuh”) is a traditional clear noodle soup from Vietnam. The soup is traditionally boiled with either chicken or beef bones, and served with meat, rice noodles, bean spouts and herbs.
The distinguished flavor in the pho broth comes from the star anise, cassia bark and fish sauce, but the extra depth in flavor comes from charring the onions, ginger and garlic. This method adds a touch of smokiness to your pho.
My mum advised me that the stock tastes even better if you let it sit for another day in the fridge. The fat in the stock will rise to the top and harden. I like to skim the fat off the stock, but it’s a matter of preference.