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Pho---can it be ordered without the noodles?

n
nissenpa Apr 29, 2008 11:11 AM

Can pho be ordered and enjoyed without the noodles? Asking for carb conscious friends.

  1. amethiste Apr 29, 2008 11:14 AM

    I have done it. Sometimes I order it with light noodles as well. To me, pho is about the broth and meat with the basil, lime, bean sprouts,hoisin and schiracha

    1. w
      wellfedred Apr 29, 2008 04:33 PM

      A place I used to order from would put the noodles separate from the broth on to go orders to keep them from getting too mushy. It was wonderful when I was sick because then I would just drink the broth and it felt so good

      1 Reply
      1. re: wellfedred
        n
        nissenpa Apr 29, 2008 04:40 PM

        Thank you both!!!

      2. JMF May 5, 2008 06:36 AM

        Sure you can order it without the noodles, but then it isn't really pho. Pho is all about the noodles to the Vietnamese. most don't even finish the broth. Maybe you might mention to your "carb conscious" friends that the low carb diet is a fad that is over.

        3 Replies
        1. re: JMF
          k
          KevinB May 5, 2008 11:49 PM

          Not if you're diabetic, my friend. A growing and reputable body of research (by which I mean studies conducted at universities, medical centres, etc., not by authors trying to sell books) shows that low carb diets are very helpful in reducing blood sugar levels. In my case, I've gone from taking six pills a day to two, and my blood sugar has dropped by about 30% to near normal levels. As an added bonus, I've lost over 20 lbs.

          But to the original poster: why not have your friends do what my wife does? Since most pho is served family style, she serves herself some meat, some broth, and some sprouts with only a smattering of noodles. In our case, when we're done, there's virtually no broth left, and a pile of noodles.

          1. re: KevinB
            a
            anna_banana May 6, 2008 12:15 AM

            Most Pho joints do not serve it family style. It's about individual portions and customizing your own bowl of noodles with the various condiments. If the place you go to serves it family style, that's an exception. I've never seen it served family style in any of the numerous vietmanese restaurants I've eaten at over the years around the US and Asia.

            Many pho restaurants will serve sides of broth and meat so you can probably combine the two to get no noodles, but really it wouldn't be pho anymore. It would be, like other posters have stated, it would be like spaghetti with meatballs without the spaghetti. Really though, most Asian restaurants in the states are out to make a profit and will make any dish as customized as you want it within their ability. You shouldn't have any real issues getting it without noodles if you manage communicate your desires to your server, but don't be surprised if you get strange looks.

            1. re: KevinB
              JMF May 6, 2008 04:51 AM

              I didn't mean diabetics, I understand that a balanced and controlled diet is necessary to stabilize it.

              But I agree with anna, pho is never served family style. You may order a large bowl, one as big as your head, but it's just for one person. It's a breakfast item in Vietnam and the carbs are meant to keep you going for awhile. The noodles are the purpose of pho.

              But that said, anyone can order what they like, and they will probably get served it.

          2. PeterL May 5, 2008 08:49 AM

            It's like asking for pasta without the noodles, just the sauce. Pho is rice noodles in broth. Sure you can ask them to serve it without the noodles. It becomes a bowl of beef broth, not pho.

            1. b
              burlgurl May 5, 2008 08:59 AM

              Pho for me is all about the broth and additions too! I could do without the noodles...I've tried ordering without the noodles, but this usually ends up mass confusion by the server and lengthy explanations!
              I now usually order with half the noodles and like to add more bean sprouts instead

              1. applehome May 5, 2008 08:17 PM

                Yes. Works equally as well with ramen without noodles, donburi without rice, spaghetti and meat sauce without spaghetti, mashed potatoes and gravy without potatoes, and of course, couscous without pasta.

                1 Reply
                1. re: applehome
                  JMF May 6, 2008 04:52 AM

                  Thank You! ;-)>

                2. j
                  justagthing May 9, 2008 07:05 AM

                  You could always ask for the noodles on the side and not eat them. Here in Long Beach, we have a Cambodian noodle house that serves their noodles in soup or dry w/soup on the side. Very good. (Cambodian noodle soup is very similar to pho.)

                  1. s
                    seedove17 May 9, 2008 09:33 AM

                    As others have said, of course you can order pho without noodles (a shame IMO). Also, some places have yam or watercrest flour noodles that have basically no cals or carbs.

                    1. p
                      paulispumonti May 10, 2008 07:15 AM

                      spare me the noodles...it's the mystery rubber meatballs that I could live without...and please hold the tendon

                      I usually ask Tank Pho here in Chicago for a bowl of seafood Pho with tofu= lots of crab and shrimp- maybe not the most authentic, but delicious

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: paulispumonti
                        j
                        justagthing May 10, 2008 09:49 AM

                        ahhh tendon, how I love thee. Maybe it's more of a cultural thing, but I love tendon in other dishes as well. Some of my friends even ask just for tendon, but then again, I also love the tripe and my rare meat on the side.

                        1. re: justagthing
                          applehome May 10, 2008 12:10 PM

                          rare? raw! I buy the tendon meatballs at the vietnamese supermarket for all my noodle soups (along with the chicken feet, tripe, all kinds of offal).

                          1. re: applehome
                            j
                            justagthing May 10, 2008 05:19 PM

                            Yes, I use various meatballs in my chinese soups too. I know the texture is difficult for some of those that have not grown up with it. But the flavors are wonderful.

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