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Awww dude! Wish I had been there to see this. Awesome stuff.
I've never made pho before, but the Chinese beef braised noodle soup. It's parts like beef shanks for the stock (yay for marrow), and chuck for the actual meat. Seasoning-wise, very similar. I've never tried parboiling and cleaning the bones, and the soup was so different and clear! Charring the onions and ginger added such a great rounded flavor. I tend not to use straight up fish sauce. It does interfere with the meatiness for me, but I use a cup of dashi. It's the stock made from bonito flakes and it serves the purpose of fish sauce or MSG, but lets the beef take the center stage. Also, as a substitute for rock sugar, I like 1-part honey and 1-part light brown sugar as a 1:1 substitute. This was definitely the best recipe for beef pho I've tried. Thanks for posting this and I'll be checking out your book!
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Jan 25, 2011