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Pho Vietnam – Everything You Need To Know

13:29 | 25/08/2022

Pho Vietnam – Everything You Need To Know


Pho Vietnam, widely known as Vietnamese noodle soup, is a highlight of Vietnamese culinary. Pho is also considered as one of the most popular street food in almost all big cities of Vietnam such as Hanoi, Halong, Nam Dinh, and Ho Chi Minh City. Up to now, there has been no dish that can represent the essence of Vietnamese cuisine like pho.

I. Pho, Vietnam – Top 40 must-try food of the world

Despite looking simple outside, Pho has the fascinating complexity of textures and flavors. Normally, pho Vietnam is made of rice soft noodles called “banh pho”, some slices of meat, traditional herbs and is served with consommé which is made by the simmering bone of the chicken, pork or beef. Vietnamese people love eating pho for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Thanks to its nutrition, reasonable price as well as wonderful taste, Pho Vietnam now appears in many corners all over the world. Especially in 2014, pho Vietnam was recognized as one of the best must-try 40 dishes on the planet by the famous magazine Business Insider. In addition, 12 years earlier Pho Vietnam was named as the “next Asian dish of the day” by the Los Angeles Times.

II. History of Pho, Vietnam

1. Where did Pho, Vietnam really come from?

Up to now, there have been a lot of arguments about the history of Pho Vietnam. The most popular one believes that pho Vietnam came out at the beginning of the 20th century. Some people think that pho Vietnam came from Nam Dinh City. Meanwhile, many people insist that pho Vietnam appeared for the first time in Hanoi where this dish made it a golden reputation. In terms of origin, there are two different opinions. The first one believed pho Vietnam originated from a Cantonese food in Guangdong Province, China. The other opinion asserted that it was a successful variant of French beef stew which was combined with Vietnamese traditional herbs. Pho is also believed to be a variant of an old dish called “xáo trâu”. Despite such arguments, pho was widely believed to appear to be a major part of the culinary life of urban people in the French colonial period.

In conclusion, Pho Vietnam is a harmonious harmony combination of features of three different culinary including French, Cantonese, and Vietnamese culinary. And the Vietnamese factor plays the major part. Vietnamese people didn’t create Pho for themselves. However, it’s Vietnamese people that have inherited, modified Pho, and then brought it such a golden reputation all over the world. 

2. Pho, Vietnam has inherited & developed the traditional cuisine

At the beginning of the 1950s when the French Colony divided Vietnam into 2 parts, Pho made its way to Saigon in South Vietnam. Then, Pho started to have a lot of variants. Up to now, there are three distinctive pho cultures which shaped by the Vietnamese turbulent history including Phở Bắc (Northern Recipe), Phở Huế (Central Vietnam Recipe), Phở Sài Gòn (Southern Vietnam Recipe). Generally, Pho Bac is characterized by the taste of salty. Pho Bac remains purity and rusticity that reflects the sensibilities of the Hanoian. Meanwhile, the Pho of South Vietnam often tastes sweeter, spicier because the South people prefer sweets sweet. The rice noodle of Pho Saigon is thinner that of Pho Bac. When making its way to the South, Pho became more customizable with the special condiment, variant sauces, and piles of fine herbs and vegetables. Therefore, Pho looks more polished and colorful which is more like the capitalist city is being a rising star.

In the beginning, there was only beef Vietnamese noodle served with beef brisket, beef plate, beef shank, tenderloin which were done to a turn. After that, people enjoy pho with rare beef tenderloin, chicken, and pork. Besides, there are many delicious dishes made from the Vietnamese rice noodle which are popularly welcomed such as stirred noodle, fried noodle ( phở xào), deep-fried noodle (phở chiên), browned noodle (phở rán), and so on. 

III. Pho – The indispensable beauté of Vietnamese people’s life

1. Pho reflects the essence of Vietnam – an agricultural country

The main ingredient of pho is the soft noodle which is thoroughly made from the rice. Vietnam is an agricultural country for a thousand years; therefore, rice plays a vital part in the normal life of people as well as the development of the country. Eating rice and cuisines made from rice such as noodle soup (phở),  bun (bún), steamed roll rice pancake (bánh cuốn), and sticky rice cake (bánh chưng) becomes a highlight of Vietnamese cultures. In addition, pho is a typical cuisine due to its purity and its harmonious harmony combination of many traditional ingredients which is characteristic of Vietnamese cuisine. Pho is also served with many special herbs which can be hardly found anywhere but Vietnam. Last but not least, when enjoying pho people often drink some small cups of rice wine which is also a specialty of the agricultural countries.

What’s more, it’s the ritual thing that eating pho in the early morning gets the foreign visitor to the groove of what Vietnam is about. Vietnam is a morning country. It’s also a country of hard-working farmers who wake up early in the morning to grow rice and contributing to the development of Vietnamese agriculture.

2. Vietnamese people eat pho all day long

Thanks to its delicious taste, nutrition, and reasonable prices, Pho is a favorite of Vietnamese people all day long. Vietnamese people eat pho as breakfast, enjoy pho at noon, choose pho as a snack after the hard working day, and drop in a small restaurant to enjoy a hot bowl of Pho with their friends when the night has fallen. 

Pho is cooked and sold in every corner of Vietnam. From the busy city to a peaceful village can you find a vendor of pho. Pho is served in both luxury and mediocre restaurants. In addition, it’s easy to find you countless vendors and food stalls serving pho along the street and even in the commercial buildings. In big cities like Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, and Danang there are a great number of open-air storefronts along the street selling pho from the early morning until midnight. They often sell Pho to the middle night to serve some workers coming home late at night.

Vietnam is the rising star with the economy used to be described by Bloomberg as one of the fastest-growing markets in the world. As a consequence, the number of businessmen businessman and busy people increases quickly and steadily. To save time and stay healthy, those people often drop in the nearby restaurant to have lunch and many of them choose pho. This fact opens more and more opportunities for pho vendors to develop and meet the growing demand.

3. Pho is considered the culinary rhythms

It’s not a coincidence that people call Pho the culinary rhythms of Vietnam. Behind its special name is a story. In the past, in some small cities and little towns town, you also can find some people carry on their shoulders “a small restaurant” full of things to serve pho. Now, people often use vendor trolley. To notify people of their appearance, those food vendors often make the street cries and make the sound “Clang, Clang”. Such normal sounds have imprinted in the mind and soul of many people and reminded them of the home country.

4. Pho helps people warm up in the cold days

In a tropical monsoon climate like Vietnam, the best time to enjoy a hot bowl of pho is the morning or at midnight. If it happens to you to travel to Vietnam from the end of October to the beginning of April, don’t forget to visit Hanoi to enjoy the cold of this city. Then, take a seat near the warm flame and slurp the noodle which is hot, a bit chilly to warm you up. This experience will be memorable and helps you to understand more about the lifestyle of the people in Hanoi. 

5. Pho helps people feel better when they’re sick

As mentioned above, Pho is a harmonious harmony combination of many traditional and healthy ingredients. The noodle made from rice is a good source of carbohydrate. In addition, the broth made by simmering the bone of beef, chicken or pork is good for health. Especially, pho is served with many fine herbs which are proved to be able to of helping people feel better such as ginger, mint, and spring onion.

Pho is the essence of Vietnamese traditional cuisine. It not only contributes to the abundance of Vietnamese cuisine but helps many of Vietnam people to make money. Besides, Pho is also a pride of the Vietnamese people. Nowadays, the Vietnamese have introduced Pho to global friends and brought pho into the world. 


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