I'm very appreciative of Vietnamese eateries- especially a small one near where we live. It offers convenient and reasonable priced healthy food. My favourites of course are the Pho and paper rolls.
While this is not the real deal, it provides a quick and tasty alternative. The real deal says that the stock has to be simmered for hours with the right blend of fish sauce, onions, ginger and cinnamon. I cheated by purchasing beef stock. Where I cheated, I saved time by simmering the stock with the above ingredients for 20 minutes or so.
The rest of it is really quick and easy, just blanching the beef with the stock and then it's ready to serve. I thought I was lucky enough to get my hands on some Vietnamese beef balls from our local oriental shop-but I found them a little too tough with small bits of sinew. Not a good match at all. I spotted another brand- frozen though, and might give that a go another time.
Hubby gave me credit for trying to match the "atmosphere" of Vietnamese eateries, seriving my soup with a dish of bean sprouts, basil leaves, lemon and chopped chili. Hey, that's the least I could do with my cheat's version!
Cheat's Version Vietnamese Beef Pho (Serves 2-3)
100 grams of lean beef fillet sliced really thinly
100 grams of Vietnamese beef balls
1 ltre of beef stock
1 cinnamon stick
1 small piece of ginger peeled
1 red onion sliced
2 tablespoon of fish sauce
1 tsp of sugar
1/4 lemon juice
1/4 pack of rice sticks- soaked in warm water for 5 minutes.
Serve with bean sprouts, basil leaves, lemon quarters and chopped fresh chili.
Fry onions till soft. Simmer stock, spices and sauces for 20 mins. Meanwhile cook noodles and set aside in bowls. Taste and season if needed. Cook beef balls in it till done. Then, quickly blanched sliced beef. Ladle the soup on the noodles straight away. Serve hot with all the condiments.
food brings people together, regardless of culture and country of origin. imagine this space like a huge dining table-filled with home cooked food, with people sharing, loving and eating. eat and enjoy.