Saigon hot soup bowls

If there is one thing that is so widely popular and readily available at restaurants all over Vietnam to satisfy hungry stomachs, turn your attention to the Pho, or those hot bowls of noodle soup or Vietnamese soup.

Pho is a very common word in the Vietnamese culinary language. You can grab a hot bowl from the most prestigious restaurants all the way down to the open air, street side food stalls and even food carts. Pho comes in different variations including the most popular pho bo or beef and Pho Ga which is chicken pho. You can also look for pho with meatballs, shrimp, crab and more.

Pho is actually a combination of soft rice noodles in a simple and flavorful soup broth and served with a wide selection of herbs and vegetables. I tried both the pho bo and pho ga from various food stalls at Ho Chi Minh City, or Saigon.

Watching your pho being prepared adds to the anticipation of sipping spoonfuls of the hot soup. Pho is flavored with different fresh herbs and sprinkles of sweet onions and green onions. A jar of home-made chili sauce is also available on the tables to add flavor if you go for spicy flavors.

If you are not a vegetable-eater, don’t be scared of the raw vegetables that are displayed in open tables or on shelves. Give them a try and you might be pleasantly surprised by the flavors when they are mixed with the hot soup.

A bowl of pho costs from 40,000 VND and up, depending on where you order it from.

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