Pho, or Vietnamese noodle soup, is a favorite dish of locals. In the country, this popular dish has adopted numerous versions. Among them is dried pho, also a specialty in Gia Lai Province in the central region.
Diners enjoyed the specialty will be served with two bowls, one for the noodles and the other for the soup. The flavor of the “two-bowl” noodle soup will be completed with hoisin sauce and herbs.
The hoisin sauce is made with fermented soybeans from the Central Highlands. Big soybeans are cooked and fermented for a long time to have a salty, slightly sweet flavor.
When enjoying the dish, diners can choose one of these toppings—such as dried beef, dried chicken flesh and dried pork—for their bowl of Gia Lai-style dried pho, or combine all of them. Other toppings that must be added to the dish are crispy shallots and fried pork fat.
The highlight of the Gia Lai-style noodle soup involves noodles made from rice flour. The chewy texture of noodles comes from the way they are made. Rice will be cleaned and soaked in water before being ground into powder which is then used to form noodles.
Broth is the most important part of the dish. The thick soup is prepared by boiling pork bones or chicken bones in water. The ingredients create the sweetness as well as the fatty taste for the broth.
Before tasting the specialty, diners should mix well noodles and toppings. Eating noodles then tasting the broth is believed to be the best way to enjoy the dish.
By Lam Nhu