Making Pho for the first time. I recorded the entire process  


Kim
Posts: 2
 Kim
Guest
(@Kim)
Joined: 6 months ago

Hi there!

I'm new to this forum. The reason I joined is that I'd like to ask for advice and feedback. Last week I attempted to make a traditional Pho for the first time. I recorded the entire process, so that you would be able to see what I did. I'd love to hear back from you, if you have any advice or if you can point out some of the mistakes I made to help me get better for the next time?
The link to the video is:

Thanks so much!!
Kind regards,
Kim

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2 Replies
chuynh
(@chuynh)
Joined: 11 years ago

Pho Restaurant Consultant
Posts: 346

@Kim: Nice effort. However, I'd consider your use of "traditional" in the title kind of a link bait (or at least misleading) because what you're doing is not "traditional". Not yet anyway. It may be your goal, but until you actually get there, it's just another guy trying to make pho for the first time.

In any case, since no recipe is provided, I'll just make a few observations

- The amount of spices, charred onion and ginger used (hereby collectively called spices for convenience) for the amount of water shown is way overkill. These ingredients are meant to give a "hint" of their flavors to the broth, and not be overwhelming. From the look of the amount of water used (your yield), I'd estimate you only need 1/10 of the amount of spices shown.

- Similarly, simmering the spices for 10 hours is way too long. In combination with using just a proper amount (mentioned above), the timing should just be long enough to achieve the flavor of pho. The actual length of time depends on what recipe you use (assuming it's a good recipe), how much broth you're making (desired yield), and proper scaling from said recipe to your yield quantity.

- The factors above may explain why your broth is too dark. It is akin to making Chinese herbal medicine where dry plants and herbs (and even certain insects and animal parts) are brewed for a long long time to get the very dark resulting brew.

- Both bones and meat should have been blanched and cooked together, then each be removed at individual time/stage.

- Not sure what kind of pho noodle you used (there are many different kinds available on the market) but it looks like you just poured hot water over it and served. From the look of the noodle in your bowl, I'd say the noodle is undercooked. Properly cooked banh pho noodle should be a wet, soft, hot lump (but not overcooked), and not still have separated individual strands in loops as shown on the video.

- Minor point: The broth should be steaming hot for serving. From the look of it, your broth seems lukewarm at best. However, because you're also making a video which requires time for setup and such, it may not have been possible to have everything on cue.

In summary, timing is very important in cooking, especially for good cooking. Lack of timing consideration may be what explains the dark broth (due to spices), the overcooked beef (meat falling apart), and the undercooked rice noodle.

Hope this helps.

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Kim
 Kim
Guest
(@Kim)
Joined: 6 months ago

Posts: 2

Thank you so much for this feedback. Your points are definitely helpful. I think I’ll try to make it again with those adjustments and also make sure to show how much I use of everything to give a clearer picture.
Cheers,
Kim

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P Tran
Posts: 7
Standard Subscriber
(@p-tran)
Active Member
Joined: 4 months ago

I'll give high point for effort and attention to detail. 👍 ❤️ A recipe would be good to help others do what you did, which is the whole point of sharing the video right?

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