Another batch of pho ga emerged from my kitchen before Thanksgiving. I crave pho ga for breakfast, especially on Saturdays, and it’s a long drive from my house to the closest pho joint. With the help of Mai Pham’s Pleasures of the Vietnamese Table and Andrea Nguyen’s Into the Vietnamese Kitchen, my homemade pho is slowly improving. The key step of charring ginger & onions to a thoroughly blackened state is vital to the flavor, as is dry-toasting the coriander, star anise, and black peppercorns. Yellow rock sugar, a mixture of white sugar, brown sugar, and honey, is yet another small bit crucial to the harmonious whole.
A batch of homemade pho produces plenty of stock, and it freezes beautifully. I can’t say that it’s as good as Pho Tau Bay, Pho Dahn 7, or even Pho Bang, but it hits the spot on a cold Saturday morning. A few thai basil plants defy the cold out in my garden, so I’ll fresh herbs for tomorrow’s bowl.