Pho often considered the national dish of Vietnam is food harmony in a bowl. Combining the subtle aromatics of star anise, ginger and cinnamon; the deep flavor of a rich broth; the toothy chewiness of rice noodles and the finishing brightness of fresh herbs Pho (rhymes with ‘duh’) is the perfect meal.

While there is no one perfect Pho recipe one of our favorites is from Viet World Kitchen. This link is to a Pho Bo recipe, a beef stock and beef filled noodle soup. (Chicken, pork and vegetarian versions are all equally delicious.)

We tweak this Pho Bo recipe slightly by adding 2 teaspoons of fennel and 5 green cardamom pods to the spice ingredients. To get more flavor out of the spices ‘toast’ them quickly in a pan (just until their fragrant aromatics are released) then bundle them in a cheesecloth and place in the stock.  We also like our beans sprouts crispy (not parboiled as in the recipe) and always refrigerate the stock overnight to skim the fat from it.  Finally, as a finish we load up on the fresh herbs (never optional) and have Sriracha and Hoisin sauces on our tables so guests can add a final finish to their bowls.

Serve this piping hot!