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Food We Miss – Pho Ba

It’s cold out. I work from home and spend most of my days sitting at our new kitchen table, in our empty apartment (remember how we do not have our stuff from London yet?), typing. The shock of coming back combined with the cold of the New York City winter – and it’s a cold one this year, believe me – makes me really miss what had become a daily occurrence when we were in Vietnam and Laos: Pho Ba.

Pho Ba is a fancy way to say Vietnamese beef noodle soup. While it’s readily available all over the world, we believe that this 13 year-old girl in Hanoi made the best version on earth.

It may have been the ridiculous heat , her smile when I got up and ran to the ice-bucket to show her that we did not need ice cubes in our beer, or simply the contrast between this seemingly dirty hangar/restaurant and the intricate, bold yet smooth flavour of the soup, but I swear this girl makes the best soup in the world.

We recently hung out with Jodi of Legal Nomads and agreed that pho could easily fall in the mysterious category of food that is usually better when someone else cooks it for you. We also included dumplings, empanadas, roti canai and the bacon cheeseburger we were devouring in that category. The next morning, I was up at 7, desperately trying to find the best recipe for all of the above listed items.

Does Pho really belong in that category? Well, I am not sure yet, but finding out definitely is on our list for 2010.

Want to help us figure it out? Try this detailed recipe from Jade’s Steamy Kitchen and then move on to this tempting list of the most authentic Pho recipes on the web, on aptly named LovingPho.com.


Oh and let us know what you think!