Sunday, March 21, 2010

Pho Variations



Pho Variations

Photos above
Left: Pork/Toufu, fennel, carrots, daikon, spinach.
Right: Beef neckbones, daikon, fennel, spinach.
Bottom: Beef neckbones, pork, toufu, carrot, chayote.

Pho Variations is part of the Pho show and tell with some Pho Stars, so do hop over for the full Pho (I couldn't resist that!) at To Pho Or Not To Pho. You'll find Steamykitchen and Vietworldkitchen's links for their full recipes since I don't write recipes or measure anything. I just use my judgement.

This was a lot of fun to do this blog with other people in many ways. It gave me a deadline, a good thing to light the fire under me. It gave us a chance to get the buzz going about Pho but best of all, I really enjoyed the camaraderie of sharing our Pho creations. You don't need a ton of ingredients to make this, keep it SIMPLE and you'll enjoy it the most. Big TIP, make a big pot so you can freeze the pho broth and make variations with it.

I started off with a traditional Beef Pho, once I got that down, I created 3 variations. This is the same approach I teach about wok cooking, once you get my no-recipe technique down, you can make your own variations.

The first variation:
I added fennel and spinach to the beef neckbone pho, very simple.
This time, I used my Chinese claypot to make my pho as I had less bones.

I added in the spinach leaves right before serving.

The second variation was with pork and toufu together with daikon, fennel, spinach and carrots.

The pork was from a pork butt joint I bought to make a roast. This proved disastrous, meat for roasting is definitely not suitable for pho! No, no, no. The pork was tough and chewy.

TIP: I like to use one big cutting board for all my veggies, saves washing all the dishes! Veggies go straight from chopping board into claypot of broth.

Once the broth was ready, I cooked the pork slices and took them out. Then added in daikon, carrots and fennel.

See how the pork looks chewy and tough.

Toufu went in next. Then spinach, cilantro and scallions right before serving.

I made a traditional Vietnamese dipping sauce: Koon Chun hoisin and Huy Fong chili garlic sauce

Freshly squeezed lime and cilantro gives Pho its distinct flavor!

This third and last variation: veggies were carrot, chayote and daikon. Protein were: beef neckbones, pork and toufu.

VEGAN TIP: Vegans can make a vegetable broth and use a different variety of toufu.

What's the verdict?
I have to say the first traditional pho was my favorite because there were less ingredients so you could really taste the flavors of each ingredient. Lesson learned? Less is more. It's what I'm constantly suggesting when making your one-dish wok meals and a pho is no different.

Remember to stop over for my first Pho attempt, To Pho Or Not To Pho and get the scoop from 5 other Pho Stars' fantastic creations!

Love to hear about your Pho creations and what's your favorite Pho?


Now that I've shown you I don't always cook everything in my wok, here are some dishes I have made in my wok!


One Dish Wok Meals


Malaysian Chicken Curry


Wok Breakfasts



4 comments:

  1. The pho is mouthwatering. I'll be making it soon when the weather cools down.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hmm…the pork one is an interesting take. I would love to try that one day with some pork bones, the kind I would usually use to make slow-cooked Chinese soups. And then maybe add a few slices of roast pork belly à la Momofuku on top! Thanks again for hosting such a fun blog event!

    ReplyDelete
  3. IT IS A VERY NICE SUGGESTION, THANK YOU LOTS! ........................................

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thnx for stopping by Divina, Bonita and Anonymous!

    ReplyDelete

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