Bucket List: Vietnam
Can I begin with food and end with it as well? When I think of Vietnam, my mouth salivates at the thought of Banh Mi and Spring Rolls. I think of chopsticks clicking against the plate or bowl as I pick up noodles and meat drenched into the mouth watering spicy and sweet sauce. My mouth explodes at the thought of all these. OK. I’ve digressed…sort of. I’ve wanted to visit Vietnam for a very long time now, but of course, I haven’t yet. So, it’s a Bucket List that needs to be enjoyed, explored, and checked off.
I think of Ha Long Bay and visits to the local market. I want to be captivated by the sights of Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh. I want to experience the influences of the French while sitting in a cafe or as I wander about the streets. I want to be adventurous and ride the motorbike with an expert or local driver (HA). I want to see the countryside of this beautiful country. I want to move rapidly while slowly taking in the people, the sights, and the experience. I want to get lost in Vietnam.
Is that too much to ask?
So, as I imagine Vietnam and all the “wants” I have listed above, let me entice you to this Instant Pot Beef Pho bowl I made during the first several weeks of our stay at home order. I am not new to Pho because it is frequently available to me, but just like any soup based dishes the broth makes it or breaks it. To some, this may not be the perfect version of their Pho because we all have different styles and palates to please, but for me this is a success on its own. As mentioned a few lines back, the broth is the key; therefore, the bones and the spices are essential to making the broth taste good. Think of star anise, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves and all the garnishes at the end: cilantro, basil, mint. It’s all a play of flavors in your mouth starting with the broth. If you’d like to try this recipe, check out the link below in my Instagram post.
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