Best Pho Bo in Hanoi!

After a long morning of exploring the bustling crooked streets of the Old Quarter in Hanoi, feet screaming, bellies growling, we decide it’s time for the best Pho Bo (beef) Noodle Soup, local style.
Tucked away in a tiny storefront on Bat Dan St (#49), we discover Pho at it’s finest.
Pho Gia Truyen . My peek into the kitchen reveals the makings of this essential base for Pho Bo, a rich, silky, robust broth made fresh each day and simmered for hours in vast pots over a small inferno of wood in the open kitchen storefront next door.

shiny fresh peppers for Pho

Shiny bright orange and red peppers are chopped with lightning speed and shallots minced with a lethal steel cleaver on an ancient looking round block awaiting their plunge into the stock pot.  For, as any local connoisseur of Pho will tell you, it’s all about the stock.

Master stock chef!

The noodle wizard

Sublime stock for Pho Bo

 

At Pho Gia Truyen their closely guarded family secret recipe creates lines down the block each day during the lunch rush and jockeying around the sidewalk crammed with scooters to get a spot in line is a normal daily occurrence.

Simple the best… yep you have to slurp 🙂

 

At my first slurp of this sublime deliciousness I instantly understood, this was perfection. Despite my doe eyed plea for the recipe I was turned down flat, Drat! ( I’ll give the  re-creation of the recipe my best shot when I return home so stay tuned)
At the restaurant we started with a soup bowl of silky, hand made rice stick noodles as the Pho Bo is layered up with tender thin slices of beef, and your choice of a delectable array of toppings. Fresh herbs are a must in Vietnamese cuisine lending a wonderful fresh aromatic essence to their dishes. Pho is no exception so cilantro, fresh spearmint, butter lettuce, scallions, thai basil, razor thin sliced local chilies and a squeeze of lime and topped with my personal favorite the crunchy tang of the pickled green mango, all layered into my bowl, then that rich, savory steaming hot broth is poured over the top allowing all of those heavenly scents to mingle and tickle my nose as I tuck into my bowl. For an extra hit of heat, a splash of thick orange chili sauce tops off this local lunchtime ritual of delight.
March 3, 2017

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