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What the Phở?

September 6, 2010

I felt compelled to write about this so-called recipe for a Vietnamese dish called phở that was posted on Rachael Ray’s website. My friend, Xuan, was kind enough to bring this “abomination” and not-to-mention “bastardized” version of a recipe to my attention, so many thanks to her.

It’s quite obvious Ms. Ray and/or her research staff didn’t really do their homework on phở. First off, it’s pronounced “fuh,” not “fo'” (as in “fo’ sure”) as Ms. Ray succinctly puts it. “Fo'” means city or town as in Thành phố Hồ Chí Minh (notice the differences in the accent mark on the o), or Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Sai Gon).

Second, as Xuan points out, who puts pasta in canned chicken broth and calls it phở?

Third, the website lists it as a Thai-based dish when in fact it’s a Vietnamese dish. If you watch the segment in the beginning, Rachael Ray actually does get that right, so I was shocked.

If you really want authentic phở, my suggestion would be to go to a Vietnamese restaurant and disregard this “recipe” for phở.

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