I’m so excited to share this as my first recipe of 2016.
Remember in the 60s when fondue parties were a big thing? I mean, I don’t. Because I wasn’t alive. But I’ve heard this was the case. I also imagine these to be swinger parties for some reason.
I’m convinced that pho parties are now going to be the fondue party of 2016. I’m certainly going to throw one. You’re all invited! No swinging, though. I promise.
If you’ve never had pho (pronounced ‘fuh’), it’s a Vietnamese noodle soup. Typically when you order it, you get broth with some kind of meat and then a bunch of add-ins. I’m all about the add-ins.
Admittedly, this is likely not an “authentic” pho recipe. And when I say “likely” I mean “definitely.” It’s fake. A faux pho, if you will. But it does the job.
I bought some beef stock and doctored it up with fish sauce, thinly sliced onion, and garlic. Let it simmer for a bit to cook down the onions. It’s one quart of beef stock, 3 cloves of garlic, half a sweet onion, and just a few drops of fish oil- maybe 1/2 a teaspoon. You can always put this out so that people can add more to their soup. I also added a little bit of water (like 2 cups) because I was worried it would be overly salty, but it wasn’t.
Then, and this is the cool part, you actually cook the meat by pouring the broth over it!!
I can’t wait to throw this pho party and observe all my guests’ faces as I present them with bowls of raw meat.
You have to slice it suuuuuper thin. Like shave it almost. You need a really sharp knife (looking at you, Nell!) and cut against the grain. I used sirloin filet because it was on sale, but I think it’s traditionally done with flank steak. You want about the amount of a small hamburger per serving.
So you pour the broth over the meat, and then dump in a bunch of delicious toppings. Lots of green things! Chopped scallions, cilantro, jalapenos, and lime wedges.
Also bean sprouts and rice noodles. The GS and I debated for far too long in the international foods section about which style of rice noodles to get. I was leaning toward the skinny vermicelli style (and preferably the brown rice variety) whereas he wanted a more traditional, thicker rice noodle. We compromised with these- relatively similar in thickness to linguine. Get whatever you want.
Make sure you stir the noodles frequently when they’re cooking- some of ours got stuck together and didn’t cook through all the way.
Look how pretty!
It ended up being really spicy with the jalapenos and the sriracha we dumped on. But this is why it’s perfect for a party- the crazy spice lovers can add as much as they want, or you can leave one or both out.
You can also change up your broth- I thought about adding some ginger to it (after we left the grocery store), or you could do a completely vegetarian version. Vegetable broth with all the toppings, but maybe swap out the meat for mushrooms. The possibilities are endless. I hope it goes without saying that if you use chicken, you need to cook it ahead of time. No salmonella. Please and thank you.
Now I just have to pick an occasion. Here’s some ideas I’ve come up with:
SuperBOWL of PHO Party
MemPHOrial Day Party
CincPHO de Mayo Party
PHOlag Day Party
It’s the PHOreakin’ Weekend Party
or maybe we don’t need an occasion, and it’s just PHO Fun! Okay I’m done.
You can RSVP right here.