Pho Vietnam is famous for all over the world as a representer of Vietnam culinary art. Your Vietnam tour may be not complete fully without a steaming bowl of pho which lots of foreign tourists fall in love with right at their fist time tasting. There is a special truth that many people may not know. Depending on its geographical origin, Pho is cooked and eaten in different ways between the North and the South of Vietnam.
Soup of Pho
The soup is one of the deciding factors of a successful bowl of Pho. However, the North and the South Vietnam people does not cook Pho’s soup in the same way. While Hanoians only use the beef’s bones to boil the soup, Ho Chi Minh city people sometimes use chicken’s bones instead and add dry squids to make the soup more flavorful. Therefore, when looking the soup, it is easy to recognize that the broth of Hanoi’s Pho is clearer than Saigon’s Pho because of more added seasonings. There is an interesting story that Northern people tasting Saigon’s Pho comment the soup flavor is too sweet for them, but in contrast, Southern people tasting Hanoi’s Pho find it too salty for them to finish the bowl. Why don’t you tasting all both two flavor of North and South Pho to make your own experience with different delicious Pho?
The second difference relates to the noodles. Hanoi Pho only use one kind of noodles which is thin in depth and big in width. In a different way, Vietnam tourists wil be asked what kind of noodle they would like to have for their bowl of Pho in Ho Chi Minh city: the primary one (similar with Hanoi’s Pho) or the thinner one both in depth and in width.
Vietnam Pho is served with 2 main kinds of meat: chicken or beef, but the way it is cooked and offered to customer is not the same in regions. In Saigon, when requiring a Pho with beef, the seller will ask you how your meat would like to be cooked: well done, medium or rare, and what kind of meat you prefer: fillet, meat with bones or bone only. However, Northern people do not add beef bone in their bowl of Pho but just meat only.
The last but not least difference in eating Pho is the sauce. People in Saigon often add the Hoisin sauce in their bowls or in a smaller separate dish to dip the meat in before enjoying it while Hanoians do not. If they prefer more spicy, they will add chili sauce instead.
No matter how Pho is cooked and enjoyed, you should try a bowl of Pho at least one time when traveling on a Vietnam tour. It’s almost impossible to walk a block in Vietnam’s major cities without bumping into a crowd of hungry patrons slurping noodles at a makeshift pho stand.