Missing The Garnishes...

On a recent trip to the Bay Area, my friend Curtis suggested that I try this pho place. Pho is a Vietnamese rice noodle soup, with either beef or chicken, and served with garnishes and a variety of sauces.

Curtis mentioned that the place he wanted me to try is a Northern Vietnamese style pho place in San Francisco called Turtle Tower, which really intrigued me. I was wondering what the difference was between this Northern style and the style that I was familiar with? I asked around and not many knew the difference, hence this blog entry.

Southern Vietnamese Style with Garnishes

The style of pho that I'm most familiar with is the Saigon style (Southern Vietnam). This style uses a noodle similar to the size of linguine and served with a variety of garnishes: bean sprouts, cilantro, Thai basil, sliced jalapenos, limes, chili sauce, hoisin sauce, etc.

Northern Vietnamese Style with Garnishes

The style that I tried at Turtle Tower is Hanoi style (Northern Vietnam) which uses a lighter soup base with a wider noodle and topped with just green onions. The garnishes include limes and slice jalapenos. These jalapenos are seeded and the ribs removed, used more for texture than as a spicy flavor enhancer.

I did notice that the Hanoi style broth has more of a citrus flavor to it, maybe its because I love citrus and that's why I enjoyed it so much. But, I have to admit that I missed the garnishes.

I hope you learned something from my pho experience, please share your experience with us.

I'm not the pho expert, but I know someone who is... Checkout http://www.lovingpho.com/

Thank you for stopping by...

Pass the Siracha!

Photos by Jay Terauchi
(c) Kahuna of the Kitchen


Unknown said…
looks so good! i think i'll have to go to Lahaina Cafe to get their midnight Ox Tail Pho!
Unknown said…
Love pho and now I want to try the Northern style. Thank you for another great topic.
chuynh said…
Nice post on pho Chef Jay! You got it right. I can see many people missing the culantro, Thai basil and sprouts. My personal opinion is if the restaurant makes a sincere effort on the broth then I can eat Pho Bac (northern style) any day!
xtina said…
Great Post! I love pho but never know there was a different style (Northern. I can't wait to try it...looks delicious!
abby said…
hi chef jay -- i've heard northerners complain that southerners sweeten dishes too much, including pho. did u notice if the northern-style broth was less sweet?

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