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A bowl of Phở. Breathe in before you begin..
(Thursday nights in the winter at The Meat Market. Call first to confirm!)

When I was young and living near Manhattan’s Chinatown, I fell in love with cheap Asian food, devouring pork buns on my way uptown to cook elegant lunches as an executive dining room chef for the super rich.

By day, I glazed out-of-season raspberries to garnish stylized plates of mini pastries. At night, I devoured big bowls of cheap nourishing soup, loaded with rice noodles and beef, otherwise called Phở.

I ferreted out great eats in Chinatown, along with my husband, Tommy, who sometimes carried our baby, Emma, in a Snugli on his chest.  On our first visit to a superior Vietnamese joint off Elizabeth street, we pointed to what everyone else was consuming —  giant bowls of steaming soup, teaming with unknown goodies. During the meal, someone from the kitchen appeared magically with a bottle for Emma so I could keep slurping noodles uninterrupted.

But I digress. Phở  is the national soup of Vietnam. Although there are many variations, Phở should generally have a good beef stock, rice noodles, beef (you never know what kind) and fresh condiments, such as bean sprouts, cilantro. And, of course, there’s Vietnamese hot sauce.

This kind of honest international food is what I miss most up here in New England, where you can hardly grab a Bánh mì on the go. (For the uninitiated, that’s an orgasmic Vietnamese sandwich.)

But now my troubles are over. On Thursday nights Phở is available using guilt-free regional meat at my local butcher shop, The Meat Market. Join me there this Thursday night at 6:00 and share a meal with me!

6 comments to Phở

  • Mitch

    Amy . . . Pho Saigon in lee makes a mean pop as well . . . And they’re open five or six days !

  • Mitch

    That should have said “mean pho”.

  • admin

    Thanks! Here, focus is on local food, so enjoying Pho and savoring local food together is fabulous!!!

  • Looks great! TJ and I will have to try.

  • admin

    Let me know how it is. On the Asian theme, here’s a good easy soup I like, as long as you don’t overcook the chicken breast. I developed it for the Joy of Cooking long ago.

    Thai Chicken and Coconut Soup

    This Thai favorite is made with nam pla, a fish sauce, and small hot peppers known as bird chilies, but soy sauce and jalapeños may be substituted. If available, try simmering kaffir lime leaves or lemon grass in the coconut milk for a delicate citrus flavor.About 5 Cups

    3 cups chicken stock
    2-2/3 cups unsweetened coconut milk
    l teaspoon minced fresh ginger
    1/8 teaspoon salt

    Simmer gently about 10 minutes with:
    2 sliced Thai bird chilies or 3 jalapeños
    3 tablespoons Nam pla or soy sauce
    1/2 pound boneless chicken breast, thinly sliced
    2 tablespoons lime juice
    Cover and simmer until chicken is done, about 5 minutes.
    Ladle into warm bowls and garnish with:
    Chopped cilantro leaves