Everything great and wonderful about pho aside, it is a LOT of work to make. Still, the dearth of good pho in NYC spurred me to just invite a few friends over and attempt to make it. Luckily the hard work paid off! I was happy enough with the results that I thought I’d share the recipe. I adapted a recipe from steamy kitchen and made the pho with my 2 favorite meats: well done brisket and rare steak. I also like tripe, and my cousins certainly like fatty flank, but I just didn’t get around to making those this time. Every Vietnamese mother has her own recipe that they boast as the best, so feel free to be creative with your own variations and substitutions. Comments on how to improve my recipe are welcome!
Ga Nuong is Vietnamese grilled chicken, and something that is my version of comfort food. It’s normally found on the streets of Vietnam in skewers being grilled over charcoal. I tried to make a simple marinade and fry the chicken at home in an attempt to mimic the great sweet and salty chicken. It’s usually paired with either rice noodles and shredded lettuce + beansprouts, or over rice; either way, accompanied by nuoc mam aka fish sauce (recipe here) for dipping. The Ga Nuong turned out pretty well – I liked the marinade, although if you can grill it instead of frying it, that’s definitely the way to go.
In the picture, you can see I ripped off a piece of the skin – couldn’t help myself.
Nuoc Mam, aka fish sauce, is a staple of Vietnamese cooking. It has a very fishy (surprise!) and salty taste. It can be used both as an element in the cooking process and as a condiment (this condiment dipping sauce is not the same though!)
In its pure form, as it would be used for the cooking process, fish sauce looks like this: