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What's in your pho?

I like brisket and well done flank, sometimes with some tendon. I add some basil leaves, bean sprout and Siracha. Nothing too fancy. I I've seen people squirt all kinds of stuff in a soup spoon and then dip their meats in the sauce. What do you do with all the garnish and condiments?

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  1. I like the one with everything (rare eye of round, well done flank, fatty brisket, tendon, tripe), and add in the bean sprouts and basil, saw tooth herb if they have them, with a squeeze of lime. Add in the Sriracha and fish sauce and I'm done.

    7 Replies
    1. re: dpan

      Eating pho can be dangerous if you order certain meats because some of the meats are placed rare into the broth just before serving.

      By no means is the broth coming out boiling hot like in a korean dolsot.

      Unfortunately, I suffered big time a long time ago at Pho 75 in Rosslyn.

      I'm surprised there aren't more incidences of e-coli and salmonella (raw veggies).

      1. re: Chownut

        I suffered the same fate at Pho 75 a few months ago. My boyfriend -- who did not have any of the raw stuff -- was fine. I learned my lesson...

        1. re: hamster

          Interesting info here. Thanks for the tip.

        2. re: Chownut

          Hmmm, I suffered a terrible - uh - "gastro-enterolgical upheaval" the night after I had Pho at a local Pho house - Vietopia. I thought it was just a bug but maybe not?

          1. re: cuccubear

            Seems like a scary pattern for pho joints.

          2. re: Chownut

            that's scary - Pho Tai (rare beef) is my favorite.....should I be concerned?

            Incidentally, Pho 75 was the first place I ever had pho years and years ago

            1. re: chicaraleigh

              You take your life in your own hands when you eat in a dining establishment that serves raw beef as part of the $5 cost for the product. Don't expect the freshest and best cut of meat.

        3. I like my pho chock full of savory goodness. Give me everything - but I'll have the raw meat on the side.

          Meatballs, tripe, tendon, brisket - whatever they're offering, I'm gonna try it. Squeeze of lime, lots of sprouts, break up the cilantro and whatever bitter greens they're offering, break up a couple of jalapeno slices, a small dollop of hot chile sauce and mix it all together.

          I prefer though to take several sips of the broth before adding to determine how much to add.

          And I like the raw beef on the side, dressed with lime juice, salt, pepper, sriracha, and soy sauce. I let it marinade while I eat the pho and then enjoy it with a side of hot steamed rice.

          6 Replies
          1. re: onocoffee

            So, you're eating the beef raw? I know the lime juice and salt and sriracha might kill some of the bacteria like in a ceviche, but still....

            1. re: Chownut

              My understanding was that in many cases the problem with raw beef was with raw *ground* beef. Does anyone know whether this was the case?

              1. re: Louise

                Gosh no.

                My experience was from those Steak-Ummm style slices, not ground beef.

                1. re: Louise

                  most of the bad stuff only thrives in the presence of oxygen, that is the big problem with ground beef, almost all of the meat is exposed to the air. With the thin sliced rare/raw beef in pho, ASSUMING it has been sliced immediately before being served, then it should be reasonably safe. If it has been pre sliced and is sitting around somewhere waiting to be plated, then you are more likely to have food poisoning issues.

                  1. re: KaimukiMan

                    Yeah, I was looking into this a while ago; basically the bacteria live on the surface of the meat, and are unable to penetrate into the centre because of the density of fibres. With ground beef, the outside itsn't really the outside anymore - the bacteria spreads throughout, and it absolutely must be cooked through.

                    1. re: Soop

                      I seriously doubt if the meat at pho joints is sliced per order.

                      You don't get high end steak tartare quality meat at a $5/bowl pho joint.

                      Be realistic.

            2. Like onocoffee, I take sips as I go - especially the first one to see how it came out straight from the kitchen.

              I add black pepper, sriracha, basil (or sawtooth), bean sprouts, jalapenos.

              Note - basil should be added a bit at a time as you go. There was a great writeup in a SF paper a few years ago that gave a lot of detail about history, regional differences, common approaches, etc.

              1. I like flank, tendon (but only if sliced thinly), and tripe. Generally I'm too lazy to do the refined thing of dipping my meat into a spoon full of condiments, so I squirt sriracha and add the basil or sawtooth plus the jalapenos directly into the broth.

                1. Raw whatever it is, plus tripe. The raw stuff gets dipped in hoisin sauce.

                  I like my broth unadulterated. Tried the tendon a few times, liked it at first then eh. Brisket is ok, maybe if I'm feeling like a change. A little fickleness is good in the kitchen, or the pho bowl.