Serious Eats: Talk

Pho Failure??

An excerpt from my mother's email last night:

I made Pho soup last night and the Pho noodles that we bought were all wrong. I don't know what they're for - but not for soup. There were no directions, I guess you were supposed to know how to use them. I boiled them and they turned to glue. They were real gelatinous and you could stretch them like silly putty. Really gross!! They all stuck together, too so you couldn't put them in soup since it turned into one solid jelly-like glob of glue. I even tried putting a bit of oil on them to separate them but it didn't work. Fortunately, I had a package of Chinese noodles so I used them instead.

I was with her when she bought the noodles (Asian supermarket, Piscataway), and there were several noodle packages that said Pho on them (but no English anywhere on the bags). Can anyone troubleshoot this for me? I've never made pho, so I don't know if the noodles were supposed to be cooked or soaked. The ones she bought were opaque, not like cellophane noodles, and slightly thicker than spaghetti.

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