The Hanoitimes - If you love Hanoi Phở, you will be amazed when enjoying 5 different variations of the very attractive dishes below.
Phở Chua (Sour Phở)
Sour Phở comes from the northern provinces of Cao Bang and Lang Son. The decisive factor for the success of Sour Pho is the broth. To have the good broth, it requires practicing many steps and specific quantities for onion, garlic, pepper, tomato, vinegar, sugar, fish sauce and ginger. In particular, an indispensable ingredient for making Sour Pho is fruit sugar (special kind of Lang Son vinegar, made from ripe bananas). The thick, sweet-sour broth mixed with other spices creates the very peculiar taste, making you want to eat more than a bowl.
Phở Khô (Dry Noodle)
Phở Khô also known as two bowls of Phở (a bowl of broth and a bowl of dried noodles) is a variation of familiar Phở Nước (noodle with broth). It is difficult to explain the presentation of the dish, but it’s said that the reason for why eaters order this dish is because they want to enjoy the old dish in a new way, instead of the hot broth of Phở Nước.
Phở Cuốn (Fresh Rice Noodle Rolls)
Phở Cuốn is a familiar dish of Hanoi in particular and became widespread in the North. In other regions, even in big cities, this dish can only be found in luxurious Hanoian restaurants and eateries. Therefore, Phở Cuốn features 3 peculiar characteristics including being unheard, strange-looking and having a strange taste.
To make Phở Cuốn, noodles are not sliced into small strings as commonly seen but square sheets. To make it, the seller stir-fries beef on the big fire until just undercooked, then they spread a noodle sheet on the plate, place some raw vegetables into the sheet, top with stir-fried beef or pork and wrap all into a roll.
To have a delicious roll, besides rolling it evenly, the meat and vegetables must be slightly out of the wrap to attract diners and the noodle sheet should be a little tough, hot and sweet beef along with fresh vegetables blended with the sour, spicy, salty sauce.
Phở Chiên Giòn (Fried ‘Pillow Cakes’)
Just like Phở Cuốn, Phở Chiên Giòn (crispy fried Pho or fried “pillow cakes”) is a strange name for customers in the Central and Southern regions, but familiar with people in the North, especially Hanoi. There are many Phở Chiên Giòn eateries using the noodle strings to fry it into a crispy cake. The advantage of this processing method is an equally crispy cake mixed with the fresh vegetables and sweet meat. However, the most impressive and attractive thing is that the fried Phở with each noodle sliced into square piece (pillow cake) are served with beef and choy sum stir-fry.
Phở trộn (Mixed Pho)
Preparing the mixed chicken Phở is not as complicated as traditional Phở, but this dish is delicious thanks to the sweetness of bean sprouts blended well with noodles and the sauce. Mixed Phở usually comprises three types which are mixed Phở with beef, with roasted pork or with chicken.