Nom Nom Tabemono

Winter is Coming: Vietnamese Pho

By MiNa Kim

Reality sets into Aomori as we all plug in our kotatsu, turn on the toilet seat, ask or get asked if we should bubblewrap our windows, and prepare for the battle called “winter.” Some of us may have already turned on stoves, while our braver companions might be able to hold off until December. I’ve heard rumors of a girl in the neighboring town of Sixth Door who lasted until the first moon of the new year, until her strength finally gave out and she caved in to the temptations of kerosine. Waiting so long to face the inevitable… stupid or strong? You tell me.

To face this upcoming harsh winter, we will need soup, and lots of it. This particular soup hails from a distant land that many of our grandparents once called ‘Nam. Today, I will share a recipe for a satisfying bowl of Vietnamese Phở. The steps are simple enough for even the kitchen-cursed to follow along. 

Things you will require:

  • 6-8 cups water
  • A big pot
  • 1 onion
  • Beef bouillon or consomme (enough for 6-8 cups water)
  • Ginger (whole or powdered)
  • Coriander seed (whole or powdered)
  • Star anise
  • Cloves (whole or powdered)
  • Cinnamon (whole or powdered)
  • 1 carrot (not required but if you have one, why not)
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce and soy sauce
  • Rice noodles, sprouts (moyashi), fresh coriander, and a lime or lemon


  1. Fill pot with 6-8 cups water and the appropriate amount of bouillion.
  2. Roughly chop carrot, onion, and thumb of ginger (if whole), and throw them into the stock.
  3. Add 2 or 3 star anise, fish sauce, and soy sauce into the stock.
  4. If your ingredients are whole, add 2 tablespoons coriander seed, 1 stick cinnamon, and 3 cloves. If your ingredients are powdered, add 2 tablespoons coriander seed powder, 1 teaspoon ginger, and ½ teaspoon clove and cinnamon.
  5. Heat until boiling, then set the fire onto low and let it simmer for about an hour. Add salt to taste.
  6. While soup is cooking, read the back of the package of your rice noodles and prepare them. Chop up the lime and clean your moyashi.
  7. Dump everything into a big bowl and consume like the animal you are.

    You can’t mess up the “Dump everything into pot” method. You just can’t.


    It’s just like before, but brown and delicious.

To achieve that authentic taste, you must secure a bag of bones and sacrifice too much of your time. Instead, use this recipe and save the extra bunkasai daikyu hours for binge watching Once Upon a Time on Netflix like I have. Hence, the weird tone of this article in the beginning. Happy eatings!

Do you have any delicious dishes or local eateries you want to share? Send us an e-mail at


One thought on “Winter is Coming: Vietnamese Pho

  1. Pingback: November 2015, Vol. 1 | Good Morning Aomori produced by Aomori AJET

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