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Unraveling the mysteries of home cooking through science.

From the Archives: Two Ways to Make Pho

It's time for another round of The Food Lab. Got a suggestion for an upcoming topic? Email Kenji here, and he'll do his best to answer your queries in a future post. Become a fan of The Food Lab on Facebook or follow it on Twitter for play-by-plays on future kitchen tests and recipe experiments.

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[Photographs: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt]

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Editor's Note: All month, the soup's on, with over a dozen new recipes coming at you for everything from simple 15-minute meals, to updated homemade versions of the canned classics you loved as a kid, to all-dayers that are hearty enough to eat like a meal. Check out all the recipes right here, and be sure to come back—we'll be updating all month!

Here's a fact: traditional pho bo takes a long time to make. Onions and ginger need to be charred. Aromatics need to be balanced. Beef bones need to be blanched. Broth needs to be simmered and painstakingly skimmed for hours. Noodles need to be cooked. Beef of all kinds needs to be sliced. Condiments and herbs need to be prepared. It's a full-investment, all-day affair. For all that, the steps themselves are actually pretty easy. There just happen to be a lot of them, and if you want to make pho the traditional way, we've got a full guide for you.

But what if it's cold outside, you've got a movie to catch later in the evening, and you want your pho fix in an hour or less? Ok, I suppose you could order take out. But if you want to step up your game a bit, we've got a full-flavored, full-bodied version of pho that comes together in under an hour.

Either way, you'll see the winter cold beating a hasty retreat.

About the author: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt is the Chief Creative Officer of Serious Eats where he likes to explore the science of home cooking in his weekly column The Food Lab. You can follow him at @thefoodlab on Twitter, or at The Food Lab on Facebook.

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