Tuesday, 20 April 2010

How to cook Vietnamese Pho - with chicken

Phở is one of the most famous diskes of Vietnamese people. It dated back from long - long time ago and developed together with water rice cultivated culture in Vietnam.
In Vietnam, Phở is such a commol and beloved noodle disk that Vietnamese people can enjoy it for all kind of meals during a day (from breakfast to dinner and even middle night meals for some hard-working students). There is various ways to cook Phở. Phở of Hanoi is different from Saigon, Nam Dinh, Thai Binh. It is because of different taste of people.
Below, I would like to introduce the simplest way to cook Phở of Hanoi with chicken. Some say that we can use the soup of chicken Phở for beef Phở but I don't agree with that. There are significant different in the ingredients between two kind. Thus, the most famost Phở Restaurants in Hanoi use separated soups and some of them just server only beef or chicken.

(For 8 people)

For the soup
Pork bone: 1kg
Chicken : 1
Onion: 2 stuff
Ginger: 200 gam
Black cadamom : 1 stuff
Star anise: 2 stuff
Cinnamomum: 2 stuff

For the Pho (dry rice sticks) - 3 bags : you can buy them in Toko. They are written in Vietnamese as "bánh phở khô"

For the meat: use the meat from chicken legs

For vegetable:
Coriander : 200 gam
spring onion: 200gam
Cut the vegetable to small pieces


For the soup
Step 1 - Clean the pork bone : Boil the pork bone in strong fire so that the water is boiled as soon as possible. Then, wash the bone with cold water to remove the dirty forth which come from the bones.

Step 2 - Stew the bone: put the bones in a pot with 1 table spoon salt and add cold water. Stew for around 4 hours. During this process, add more water if needed.

Step 3 - Grilling onion and ginger. When you start to stew the bone, it's also the time to grill the onion and ginger. Grill them until they are smelled. Then, wash them in the water to removed the dark skins (which is caused by the fire). After that put all of them to the pot with the bone.

Step 4 - Playing with the chicken. The chickens bought in supper markets are clean but they still contain some un-lovely smell, therefore, they need to be washed again by salt. Here is the method: mix a table spoon of salt+ginger (cut to a very small pieces)+ white wine. Rub this mixture both sides of the chicken for half a minute, then wash by water.
Boil the chicken in the pot of the pork bone until done. But how to check if the chicken is done? It's easy. Use a chop-stick to poke the chicken, if the water from the hole is not red, so, the chicken is done.
Cold the chicken.
Remove the chicken meat from its bone. Put the chicken bone to the pot with pork bone while slicing to meat to small pieces.

Step 5 - Remove the fat (optional. Vietnamese people don't like food with too much oil and fat while other nationalities may love to add more). After stewing for 4 hours with chicken and pork bone, you will find that the soup is too fat. Now, turn off the fire and cold the pot until you see the fat cover over the water (about 2 hour). Remove the fat and stew the bones again for another 2 hours.

Step 6 - Adding herbal: Before serving about 20 minutes, add Black cardamom, Star anise and Cinnamomum to the soup.
Seasoning the soup with salt and peper.

Step 7 - Boiling the "Bánh phở khô" (Dry rice ticks) until done (around 10 minute). Then, wash carefully with the cold water so that the rice sticks do not stick with each other.

Step 1: Add boiled dry sticks (Phở) in a large bowl (around 1/2 of the bowl).
Step 2: Add the chicken meat (in the middle)
Step 3: Add the vegetables
Step 4: Add the soup.
Step 5: Serving with chilly source and lime juice (or vinegar)

Enjoy your meal!

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