What Does Pho Taste Like?


Quick Answer: What Does Pho Taste Like?

Pho is the perfect balance between sweet, spicy, salty, spicy, and citrus. Since many ingredients go into the making of Pho, this makes the taste pretty complex. Pho also tastes like chicken or beef stock (depending on which one is used). It has the flavor of basil and notes of ginger. The rice noodles in the broth are savory and have the fragrance of basil. 

In this post, I will discuss what exactly Pho tastes like.

Let us get started!

What Is Pho?

Pho is a Vietnamese stock-based broth soup. Although originally Pho is served in street stalls, it has progressed and is now served in various fancy Vietnamese restaurants. The name pho refers to the noodles used to make the dish.

Pho is a traditional dish in Vietnam. It is a soup made with bone broth, spices, rice noodles, and particular vegetables. It usually contains thin-sliced meat.

It is topped with herbs and sprouts, add-ons like an onion. They are translucent and light because they are rice noodles.

Pho may seem like a simple soup with noodles and toppings, but it is famous for its looks or tastes and the nutritional value it offers.

What Does Pho Taste Like?

Pho tastes like chicken or beef stock since its broth is made from them. The flavor profile of Pho is a mix of the flavor of chicken or beef stock, hints of ginger, and Thai basil leaves. Pho is an aromatic dish, and the gently spiced beef or chicken soup tastes flavorsome.  

The first thing you will notice about Pho is its aromatic smell. Added bean sprouts give the dish a nice crunchy effect. 

The rice noodles in the broth have the fragrance of basil. The soup is spicy, salty, sweet, and citrusy. The flavors complement each other really well.

The taste mainly depends on your choice of meat, the toppings, and the ingredients. You can always change them, especially if you make them at home, to suit your needs or mood.

Chicken Pho Vs. Beef Pho 

Chicken pho and beef pho both contain similar ingredients. Except for chicken pho having chicken and beef pho including beef, a bowl of Pho contains rice noodles, slices of meat, raw herbs, chili sauces, the soup, veggies for topping, spices like pickled garlic and lime juice.

Certainly, chicken pho tastes like chicken broth.

Chicken pho is a perfect balance of sourness from lime juice, sweetness, and saltiness from the chicken meat and broth, spiciness from the chili sauce or chili pepper, and earthy and pungent taste from the herbs.

Unlike chicken pho, which contains shredded chicken meat, beef in beef pho is usually raw and dipped into the hot pot of stock till it reaches the needed doneness.

Beef pho generally tastes richer and sweeter, just like beef stock, but meatier and more satisfactory.

How Is Pho Made?

Toast the clove seeds and coriander for a few minutes and then add chopped onion and ginger and stir until you get the aroma. Let it cool. Return the pot and add two cups of water, cilantro sprigs, and chicken or beef. Let the water boil and simmer.

In another pan, soak the rice noodles in hot water. Once it is pliable, drain and rinse them. Once the chicken is firm, cool it and cut or shred it.

Pour the broth through a strainer and leave the solids. 

You can add fish sauce and sugar to create a savory-sweet note. Finally, boil the broth over high heat and add the noodles and meat.

Watch the recipes here

Difference Between Northern And Southern Pho Varieties

Pho Nam and Pho bac are two popular Southern and Northern Pho varieties. The differences between these two are:

  1. Texture: the rice noodles of Northern Pho tend to be wider.
  2. Broth: the taste of Northern Pho broth is clear and simple, whereas the Southern pho taste is somewhat sweeter and bolder.
  3. The focus of northern Pho is more on the fat cuts that produce a fatty stock. The southern Pho focuses on the refinement of the stock. Hence, it is less greasy.
  4. Northern Pho mainly uses green onion toppings, while the Southern has bean sprouts and other herbs, like Thai basil and coriander.

Pho Vs. Ramen

Pho is a Vietnamese dish, and Ramen, on the other hand, is a Japanese noodle soup dish. Both dishes are different in various ways. 

  • Pho is made with either chicken or beef broth, but Ramen comes with different broths, including Miso, Soy Sauce, and Tonkotsu (Pork Bone).
  • Pho is prepared with rice noodles, and Ramen is made with wheat noodles.
  • Pho is a very light dish, but Ramen is more filling and hearty.
  • Pho is usually simpler with herbs and sprouts, whereas Ramen has a long list of toppings like roasted pork, boiled egg, seaweed, corn, and narutomaki.
  • The meat in Pho is sliced thinly, whereas, in Ramen, the meat is usually thicker and fattier.

Pho Noodles Vs. Bun Noodles 

Another popular comparison is between Bun and Pho noodles soups, both Vietnamese dishes. 

  • Bun noodle soups use vermicelli noodles, which are dark white and round in shape. In contrast, Pho noodle soups use rice sticks, which are opaque, flat, and translucent when cooked. 
  • Bun noodles are made from maida flour, whereas Pho noodles are prepared from rice flour

In The End

Hope this helped you understand the taste of Pho better!

If you have any queries, please let us know.

Share this with your friends and family and help them know about this delicious and savory dish!

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About Jane Lewis

Jane loves spending time with her family, cooking delicious meals, traveling to explore new cultures and wines, and tending to her backyard garden. She's a passionate home cook who enjoys trying out recipes from all over the world.

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