Friday, March 22, 2013

Free Range Friday ~ How Do You Say Pho?

In my endless quest to eat something different than we can get here, I was reminded of Pho Ga (Vietnamese chicken noodle soup). I probably ate this and other variations of pho a few times a week at one point of my life. There was this wonderful Vietnamese place a friend and I practically lived in; the food was delicious and cheap and the owners and staff embraced us and put up with my terrible attempts to actually say what I wanted to eat in Vietnamese. Languages other than English are not my strong point, to my eternal semi-shame. I don't have red hair or blue eyes either...but I digress. Again.

Just because this racoa looks so pretty in sunrise light
In reading about Pho Ga, I read Pho is your friend, not your foe, so don't pronounce it that way. Then the point was made that pho should be pronounced as if it is has question mark stuck on its o. Truthfully, I have no idea if that is correct, but I've already spent too much time pronouncing it like that. And now, so are you. Sorry about that. 

While looking for a fair use photo of pho? I came across this one. Mine! And found out a whole lot of unpleasant things about how google is presenting photos now. Another issue for another time. I'd share the day I posted this but it doesn't take you to the page (though it says it will). Pho you, Google. Of course, this means I've already done a post on Pho, probably Pho Ga and told you all my Kai stories! But can you have too much pho? No you cannot! And being reminded of a good man isn't so bad either. I'm pretty sure the other time didn't include charring the seasonings. I'm pretty sure. Oops. Forward!
Pho Ga is one of the best things to eat. Period. So I'm going to make it this weekend, with my new cache of herbs and a few things needed to buy (and yes, you can buy star anise on Culebra, one of those weird things...cloves? Not so sure about that). The part of this recipe I like the best is the charring of the spices and onion. Cooking trick I never knew about. How did that happen? What else is super awesome about making food that I don't know? Lots, I bet.
The other thing about this recipe that made me laugh was the call for sawtooth herb. I knew immediately that must mean racao, or Puerto Rican cilantro. Not because I was educated in the term, but because I've felt that sawtooth on far too many occasions to imagine it being anything else. For some reason, racao grows like mad in my yard, a good thing.

And how often do you get to use star anise? Or cardamom pods? Or play with fire directly in your food prep? Here is the recipe. I looked at a lot of them but this one seemed the most interesting and maybe the most close to those wonderful meals I'd share with Chris so long ago. On a happy memory carpet ride, I say I'd like the Pho Ga, please. Kai, our always server, holds his hands out, very far apart, and says, 'Very good. You are this close.' We laugh. We eat. It's good.

Lest you forget Culebra, even for a moment, here is a reminder.

Oh wait, that's Vieques!

Here you go! Around the bend from Melones.
Have a find your pho-zen Friday! Do something phobulous!

No comments:

Post a Comment