Friday, November 5, 2010

Training Superfood: Vietnamese Pho Soup

On the rare occasions when I make it to the big city, there's an opportunity to try new food and get new ideas.
Last weekend at the Tim Cartmell MMA seminar we had an hour to grab lunch. The guys jumped in our cars and we made a group trip to one of the best Vietnamese restaurants I've been to.
Sandwiched between an Aikido school on one side and a Kung Fu school on the other was a place that served Pho, or Vietnamese soup. It was one o'clock on a Sunday afternoon and the place was packed.
The trick during these training seminars is to get enough food for energy to keep going, while not getting so full that you are sluggish.
Pho is a rich broth soup, served with rice noodles and topped with a nice presentation of cilantro, Thai basil, sliced chile peppers and lime slices. From looking over recipes, it appears the key to traditional Pho ingredients is bone marrow, rich in nutrition. In the days before joint suppliments, bone marrow broth was how people supplemented joint health. The method appears to be to parboil the bones for ten minutes, then discard the initial greasy water and begin again, simmering the bones for two or three hours. There is a quickie recipe that simply uses a good natural packaged broth to save time, but I think I'm going to try the traditional method this weekend.
The meal we had came in large porcelain bowls, a huge serving for around $6.95. It was a delicious clear broth with sliced beef and rice noodles. A small plate with the bean sprouts, basil, lime, chile's etc. was served along side to use as you wish.
An incredible amount of nutrition packed in a very digestible meal, allowing us to continue training exactly an hour later.

Here's a couple of recipes:

Traditional recipe

Quickie recipe


Terry said...

Hi D.R.,
glad you liked the pho the other day, I eat there all the time. It can become quite addictive!

Anyways, I just wanted to mention that you can get Pho stock / soup base from the I.D.. If I remember before we meet up next time I'll get hold of some for you to try out.

Take it easy,

Sean C. Ledig said...

Thanks for posting this.

My JKD instructor, Anthony Chan, got me hooked on the stuff. Sadly, our best place for pho shut down. The manager, an extremely intelligent, multilingual gay man, really hated where this country was going after Bush, Jr. was elected.

He told me several weeks before he left that he and his partner were considering a move back to Japan.

Hard to blame him. Me, I keep holding out hope.

Dojo Rat said...

Take a look at the recipe's.
I kind of used some of each, definately boiled down the bones, and made a soup pot with all the garnish that lasted two days.

If anything, I would use a little less lime and more cardomen. I put a whole peeled lime in the broth, but would just use the lime for garnish next time.
Also, I just couldn't get the broth as clear as the restaurant. But it was great.
Don't over-cook the rice noodles!

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