Wednesday, July 29, 2009


For those of you who don't know it yet, I am a restaurant critic. I literally eat (and write about it) for a living which yes, is cool as hell. The coolest thing -other than the newspaper paying for my meals- is getting to try new cuisines and restaurants and, although Naples doesn't really offer anything too crazy, lately a bunch of ethnic restaurants have opened and most of them have become my favorites. Case in point: a little place called Noodle Saigon, responsible for introducing me to the delicious, heavenly pho.
Pho isn't just a Vietnamese soup. Pho is the national dish of Vietnam and it's such a satisfying yet simple dish I could easily eat it every day. Star anise, cinnamon, chiles... I had to have a recipe. So I bought a Vietnamese cook book and have been made my own pho ever since. I make it extremly spicy, but that's just me. If you don't want it too spicy don't marinate the meat in chili garlic sauce and go easy on the siracha.


For broth:
1 qt. water
2 beef buillion cubes
2 pho bo cubes (if you can't find them at the Asian store use one more beef cube instead)
6 pieces of star anise
2 sticks of cinnamon

Combine all ingredients and simmer for 20 minutes. When the broth is ready keep it warm but not boiling. Fish the solids out and discard them.

Other ingredients:
Rice noodles (medium size). I use 1 package (1 pound) for 4 people.
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 can of bean sprouts, drained
a bunch of basil, chopped
a bunch of cilantro, chopped
2 small Thai peppers per person, chopped (or less if they are too spicy to handle)
10 green onions, chopped
1 1/2 lbs beef tenderloin, thinly sliced

Siracha hot sauce
Soy sauce
Plum (Hoisin) sauce

After you prepare the broth, soak the noodles in it for about 10 minutes or until ready. Be careful because they overcook easily.

In the mean time, chop and prepare all the other ingredients.

When the noodles are ready place them in 4 bowls. Put the broth back on the stove and bring it to a boil. In the mean time put meat, vegetables and herbs in each bowl over the noodles. When the broth is very hot pour some into each bowl. The meat will begin to cook immediately and will be ready to eat in 2 minutes. Serve with extra sauces on the side.


  1. I might try it tonight!
    Needless to say that your indian chicken curry made from scratch quicky became one of my favourite dishes ever:)
    And this seems to be a good one too.Respect.

  2. Gio:
    I'm flattered. And I find it extremely funny that you spell "favourite" the British way.
    But what I find the funniest of all is that we sit here and write to each other in English =)
    Respect back to you!

  3. ahahaha te gh'è rasùn, aka you are right for the non native speakers!!:D

  4. (ops,non italian native speakers)

  5. Do you realize you have my dream job? How do you get a career like that?
    Oh, and I love Pho as well :) And I love mine to be as spicy as possible too. So I will have to try this recipe, thank you!

  6. Candy:
    I used to be on rotation to write about cheap restaurants once a month at the local newspaper. Slowly everyone else dropped out and I started writing a weekly column!
    As for how I got a job at the newspaper in the first place... I was an intern for them for more than 1 1/2 years!!! It took a while, but I slowly made my way into the Features department and once there I insisted in writing about the only thing I know a lot about: FOOD =)

    I really like this recipe, let me know if you like it too!

  7. would love to have your job...although we love to cook more! :)



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