Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Pho Keeps (ha! a pun!)

Did my last post inspire you to make pho?  Or just eat pho?  No shame in the latter.  If I weren't procrastinating from writing my dissertation, I'd be leaving pho-making to the experts as well.

But on the off-chance you are procrastinating as well, I'd thought I'd follow up with some tips about pho from mom.

Tip 1: As soon as you get home from the market with the sliced sirloin, divide the sirloin up into single-serving portions (5 or 6 slices, say, for pho), wrap each portion in Saran wrap, and freeze the portions you're not immediately going to consume.  This way, not only will you not be forced to eat a whole tray of meat in one sitting, you'll also have perfectly portioned, easy-to-store and -defrost sirloin for your next pho-venture.

Tip 2: Any pho broth you have leftover can be frozen, either in ice cube trays (you can pop the cubes into a Ziploc bag once they are frozen) or in small tupperware containers that are pre-portioned for one serving of pho.

Tip 3: For even more versatility, separate out half of the beef stock before putting in the pho spice sachet.  The reserved stock can then be used in all sorts of other recipes or frozen for future consumption.  This is also an easy way of making a number of different kinds of soups in one session.  For example, you can use the reserved broth to make a separate batch of stock for bun bo hue (there are spice sachets available for this as well) or, to switch cuisines entirely, French onion soup.

Do not, however, as I did, put the stock in a pitcher while waiting for the ice cube trays to go through the dishwasher.  Because what might happen is that your husband might pour himself a nice tall glass of beef broth, thinking that it's ice tea.  There's nothing as horrible as expecting a frosty sweet beverage and getting a mouthful of savory stock instead.  Blech.

Finally, here's a tip inspired by my sister, not mom, and it's just as useful if the only thing you want to do to pho is eat it.  To keep it real, you gotta pronounce "pho" correctly.  It's pronounced "fuh" or "fer," not "fo" (rhyming with ho).  If it sounds gutteral and somewhat unappetizing when you say it, you're probably pronouncing it correctly.

For an awesomely offensive and NSFW lesson on pronouncing and making pho, check out the first episode in comedian Jimmy Chiu's animated series, Wok the Fuck:

Happy procrastinating!  Or eating!

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