Pho

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Aug 5, 2002
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yep my girlfreind was one of those teochow folks . that place noodle are teochow style . different from HK style. teochow was one of the poorest places in China so a lot of them went to other countries to make a new life. They are some of the smartest and hardest working folks i have seen.
My nanny (when I was a kid, not my kid's nanny) was from Teochow (or Chiuchou, Chaochow, whatever translation they use). They have a tough hard working but also "rough" reputation. You don't want to mess with them, they don't sugar coat their thought, but they are loyals and they are survivors. Many escape from China and migrate to Vietnam due to WW2, and many left Vietnam to US with other Vietnamese due to the Vietnam War.

TK's noodle, I wouldn't say they taste like Teochow food, nor HK, nor Vietnamese, they are ok IMO but not great. I think that's their problem as they aren't unique enough or specialized enough to keep their customers. They aren't bad but they aren't addictive.
 
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The magic is the MSG. And even legit spots will use it. I’ve been phasing in the use of MSG for more Asian things - “nutritionists” will call it a toxin. I haven’t made pho on my own - my parents make the pork-based Cambodian/Thai variant that’s more savory than aromatic.
MSG alone won't do the trick (I love MSG by the way), and the problem of MSG is actually the overdosing of it. It is a sodium but you can't tell it is "salty", so if you add too much of it your body gets sodium overdose without realizing it, just like dehydration induced symptom.

The "magic" of most pho beef broth, based on my own trial and error of beef soups from various places Vietnamese or not, is the use of bones and organs. Bones alone won't give you enough aroma, you need lots of organs at the minimum tripes, but if you are more adventuring you probably would also add in lungs, livers, intestines, etc.

Seasoning wise in addition to grilled star anise, peppercorns, onions, gingers, you also should use some cardamons, and I'm sure the pros have their own secret blend as well.
 
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MSG alone won't do the trick (I love MSG by the way), and the problem of MSG is actually the overdosing of it. It is a sodium but you can't tell it is "salty", so if you add too much of it your body gets sodium overdose without realizing it, just like dehydration induced symptom.

The "magic" of most pho beef broth, based on my own trial and error of beef soups from various places Vietnamese or not, is the use of bones and organs. Bones alone won't give you enough aroma, you need lots of organs at the minimum tripes, but if you are more adventuring you probably would also add in lungs, livers, intestines, etc.

Seasoning wise in addition to grilled star anise, peppercorns, onions, gingers, you also should use some cardamons, and I'm sure the pros have their own secret blend as well.

Tongue. Beef tongue is incredible, the same as anything with a lot of collagen. It used to be sold really cheap, but for some reason it's a premium cut now.
 

Pew

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Mar 12, 2018
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Tongue. Beef tongue is incredible, the same as anything with a lot of collagen. It used to be sold really cheap, but for some reason it's a premium cut now.

My mom tricked me into trying cow tongue by saying it was normal beef, but it was actually pretty good. Not something I'd eat again knowing that it's tongue, although I love tripe.
 
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Pho is just the noodle.

The most famous dish of them all is the beef, and there are distinct variations in Northern and Southern style, that gives them unique flavor profiles.

Chicken-based is also good, but a relatively simple flavor profile, that is anise-based.

Also, there is the beef stew (bo kho), that is a thinner broth than when you eat the stew with some good french baguettes, that usually has lemongrass in it also.
 
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