Pronounced fuh it is probably the most well known Vietnamese food in the US. We eat it at home and so I thought I'd post about how it's made in our house.
French colonialists importing Vietnamese managers to their colony in Laos also inadvertently imported pho, coffee, and baguette bread. A century and a half later many Vietnamese and their foods are Laotian.
Above a large cow bone has simmered in a couple of gallons of water for a few hours with a quarter a teaspoon each of sugar, salt, MSG, and one star piece of star anise.
I like lean cow bones fresh from the market in Laos better, but options are limited here. We use regular cow and simply skim any oil off the surface. Not that beef fat isn't tasty, it's just that pho is a light dish. Flavorful but light.
After the broth and the noodles next of importance is the meat. I like the meat of the foreleg, a cut I never see in American supermarkets, the name in Laotain is kah lai which I guess translates as "leg very much" which the fore leg really is. The muscle looks like pure strength and speed itself, it lays lies like some sort of super fast tuna in the bowl secure in it's silver skin.
After the backstrap and tenderloin the kah lai is the most expensive meat in the market. It must be cut very thinly across the grain and cooked only briefly, but if done right kah lai is one of the most flavorful cuts of meat on a running grazing animal.
The noodles are cooked in boiling water briefly then placed in a bowl. Kah lai pieces are dipped into the boiling broth until done, (perhaps a minute) then placed on top of the noodles. Boiling broth is added to the bowl and then the optional ingredients.
Bean sprouts, deep fried shallots or garlic or onion, thin sliced tomatoes, thin sliced onion, green onions, cilantro, or my favorite a couple pieces of fresh squeezed lime and fresh ground black pepper. My wife has been playing with carving vegetables of late, that's where the tomato rose comes from.