You can travel all over Vietnam, and the food will be as different as the dialects in every region, from what I've heard. There's the Northern region, the Southern part, the Central, and the South Central, etc.....
I saw an episode of Chef Luke Nguyen on TV talking about the same thing. Wherever you travel in Vietnam, the food and language don't always mesh with the rest of the country. Well, in the United States, barbecue varies wherever you are, whether in Memphis, Kansas City, Texas, and South Carolina? Pho is regional, ya'll?
Noodle sizes can vary in pho throughout different regions, garnishes vary, and little things like rock sugar, star anise, cinnamon, etc. may be used or not used. My pho preference leans towards the Charles Phan chicken pho recipe. I load my bowl with fish sauce and fresh herbs. My daughter loves hers with sriracha, mint, and fresh lime juice. At one point, I thought sriracha was an Asian thing....now I think it's a hipster thing.
- 1 unpeeled white onion, halved
- Three thin slices of ginger, smashed
- 2 pounds of chicken, I prefer dark meat, bone in and skin on
- Fish sauce
- 1 package of dried pho noodles
- Thai Basil
- Green onions, chopped
- Mint, torn
- Perilla, torn
- White onion, thinly sliced
- Fresh Lime
- Roast the onion and ginger in the oven at 400 degrees for 30 minutes.
- Fill a large saucepan with water, and bring to a boil. Add the chicken, roasted onion, and ginger. You should have about an inch of water above your chicken.
- Bring back up to a boil, then reduce to a simmer, covered, for about 40 minutes.
- Strain the broth, removing the chicken to a separate plate. Reserve broth. When cooled, separate the meat from the bones and fat, shredding the meat.
- Return the bones and fat to the broth and simmer another two hours.
- Cook the noodles, about 4 - 6 minutes depending on your al dente preference of noodles, tasting as you go along. Strain and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking.
- Serve by starting a bowl with noodles, then chicken, then broth, then garnishes.
- Season to taste with some good fish sauce. Sriracha is optional.