Are You Pho-king Kidding Man?

The last half of my summer has been absolutely awesome! got to go to LA, Las Vegas, san francisco,food touring, hang out with friends before they went off to college, be with family visiting from all over the US. i finally found a job at Target as a cashier, so wish me luck on that! hopefully they can hurry up with the drug testing and background test, so then i can actually start working. nothing to worry about since im clean (as far as i know :O) , but still, i kinda want to start working so then i can get money coming in, and im one step closer to owning a dessert cafe ๐Ÿ˜€ college started, and i have 4 classes, which take up a bunch of time and its been making everything a bit whackled-doodle-doo. not to mention my new role as chauffeur for the family (whoo having a license -_-|||) not to mention being distracted by thoughts of being forever alone (seriously…..there’s someone in mind, but i highly doubt anythings happening in that department) but now its back on track, and back to the norm :S ๐Ÿ˜€

most of my trips were spent eating at the best places in town. in san francisco, i was guided by my cousin, a local san franciscan, to all the best food places. so pretty much, i got a huge variety of different cultures and styles of food. there was an organic cookie store, ramen restaurant, this cute little french diner, a fried chicken joint, different styles of pho, a french breakfast eatery, and so much more! that’s not even the middle of my summer food adventures! LA was full of homemade food at family places and friends parties, jesus christsuperstar, it totally trumped the SF food just because it was homemade. in Vegas, we were steered by the infamous Yelp.com into the best places for buffets, more pho, fattening desserts, drinks (sadly, i couldn’t join in T_T boo being underage) and moreee. i cant even remember all of them >O< ugh my god, i miss it so freaking much :O

 

so lately, ive been getting requests for like a video of some sort like a live action tutorial, but seeing as i’m super camera shy when it comes to video cameras, i dont see that happening with me in the shot…..but seeing as i have tons of friends who are dying to have free food, and justsohappen to be completely photogenic, i can somehow make that work…..maybe…..just maybe…. we’ll see XD

 

some more complaints about my blog not working so hot on other servers and crap, and ive been trying to figure that out, but yeaaaahhhhh it’s not working out so well….ill keep on trying to see if i can keep tweaking it so then everyone can see it perfectly well on every site…..though i dont know about you people with your fancy smartphones, mobile sites, and all that lovely crap (yes im stuck with a dumbphone…..im kinda glad actually)

 

usually, by now, id be waaaaay long onto the topic, but since theres been a long hiatus, i thought id catch everyone up on a few things ๐Ÿ˜€ so bear with me for a minute.

 

if anyone has any requests for a certain recipe or anything, then just zap me a comment saying which recipe you would like to have posted, and i’ll put up your requested recipe as soon as i can!

 

pictures pictures pictures. so the glitches are probably caused by me maybe uploading all of it wrong, or it maybe because your stupid pieces of technology, i mean, connections to your social life, i mean, lifeline to my blog, i mean internet servers might not be dancing the tango with the programs that’s being used for WordPress. the pictures won’t hinder your ability to bake these…theyre just there so then i have it for later on in life…

 

ummm…. have i missed anything else? no? if i did, just shoot me a comment on any page/post, ill read through it, and if i deem it note worthy (which i probably will) then ill take care of it ASAP…NOW ON TO THAT PHO!

 

 

I’ve grown up with pho my entire life…i mean come on…. im freaking vietnamese….my people are the geniuses who invented this food of the gods. its kinda time consuming and takes up a fat portion of the day, but hey, its totally worth it. and if you’ve got the time, then hell yeah its a better choice then restaurant made (i know i say that all the time, but dude… do you seriously have any idea what the hell they put in it)…though the restaurant version still is pretty damn good…… every region in vietnam has a different style of making/eating their pho. there’s huge variations, (yeah im a bit rough on that part of it, but im still learning) the recipe im giving is just a basic bowl of pho that you can tweak to your heart’s content…. if it werent for the fact that its 2 in the morning, id so be craving a bowl…..right now, im just craving more tea…….and someone to talk to….ohwell…..

just so you know, these measurements are only approximate…… i never learned how to make this using an exact measurement….my aunt hated doing that…..she always just tossed stuff into the pot with an guess-stimate on everything….so it might be a little rough ๐Ÿ˜€

what you need:

Broth

  • 2 onions, halved
  • 4″ chunk of ginger, halved lengthwise
  • 5-6 lbs beef bones (the knuckle bones or leg bones are best)
  • 1 lb beef ย (chuck, brisket, or rump)
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 tbs coriander seeds
  • 1 tbs fennel seeds
  • 5 whole star anise
  • 1 cardamom pod
  • 6 whole cloves
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1/4 cupย fish sauce
  • 2 tbs white sugar

take your onions and ginger halves, spear them onto a skewer, or hold them with a pair of metal tongs, and then stick it over a gas flame, turning it, every now and then, until you get a nice even char. or alternatively, you could just wrap all of it into a foil package, and let it sit on your gas burner until its slightly charred…..this will help with the flavoring of your broth…it makes a difference…trust me… the time it takes for you go do this depends on the size of your veggies, how big the flame is, and how long you feel like sitting there and babysitting it….(hey i never said that this wouldnt be tortuous)

 

now, youre going to parboil the bones, meaning youre going to get rid of a bunch of the nasty crap that comes with the bones….take your pot (make sure its a big one….youre using 6 qts water for the broth….and you kinda want double that, seeing as you’re adding in other stuff also…….) dump all the bones in there, and fill it up with water until the bones are completely covered+2 inches. let this come to a complete boil, and then let it sit there and boil on high for a good 10 minutes. youre going to see a whole bunch of scum and nastys come up to the surface. dont worry. its not going to be in your soup.

once its done boiling, then drain everything out. wash that pot, so then you can reuse it, and make sure to wash it well…you dont want that scummy crap in your pho….. does not look good. rinse the bones well, put them back into the pot, and fill with 6 quarts of water. bring it to a boil once again on high heat, but this time, when it hits that boil, then kill the heat to a medium low and let it simmer. scoop out any scum that floats up to the top with a ladle.

take your cinnamon, coriander, fennel, star anise, cloves, and cardamom, and tie it up in a fine mesh or white muslim bag. ย toss this spice bag along with everything else into the pot of beef stock. let this cauldron of beefy goodness simmer for about 3 hours so then all the flavors can start dating, get married, have kids, and become one big happy family of yummers. when the half way point has been reached at 1 1/2 hours, pull out that pound of beef meat…..dont worry, you’ll still eat this later on ๐Ÿ˜€ then continue cooking it. at the 3 hour mark, taste the broth, and adjust the flavors with a few dashes of fish sauce, a few spoons of sugar, or a pinch of salt until it tastes great….what? i wish i could describe it more, but its hard to describe a taste….. if only i could just send you an impression of what it tastes like with telepathy…..oh well…

 

onward to assembling your bowl of pho:

what you need:

  • rice noodles (dried or fresh. follow the instructions on the pack of noodles to prep it)
  • that chunk of beef that you pulled out of the broth earlier, sliced into 1/2 inch slices
  • a raw chunk (at least 1/2 lbs for this size of a pot of broth) of flank, london broil, sirloin or eye of round (ask your butcher to get it sliced as thinly as possible)
  • mint
  • cilantro
  • basil
  • limes, cut into wedges
  • 2-3 chili peppers, sliced
  • bean sprouts (blanched if you so desire)
  • Hoisin sauce
  • Sriracha hot sauce

this is the part where you can put in as much of whatever as you want….hence the part where theres no measurements.

grab some noodles and arrange it into your bowl. arrange the slices of raw and cooked meat around your bowl, and make sure that its just a single layer. ladle in your boiling hot soup. the heat of the soup will cook the raw meat, which is why you want it sliced as thinly as possible. add in a handful of bean sprouts, several leaves of mint, cilantro and basil, a squirt of hoisin sauce and sriracha sauce, squeeze a bit of lime over it all, toss in a few chili peppers, and dig in. enjoy your hot bowl of asian deliciousness ๐Ÿ˜€

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