Vietnamese Pho

The informant was a woman (referred to as Sarah) at the nail salon who was Vietnamese. She was telling me she was from Vietnam and moved to the United States when she was 13. She lived in Michigan and now is a nail artist in Los Angeles. Below she describes how to make Pho, a traditional Vietnamese soup.


Sarah: “Vietnamese food is very good. Different from American food. No oil and grease.”


CI: “What is a traditional Vietnamese dish?”


Sarah: “soup, rice, noodles.. all very common.”


CI: “Do you like Pho? What type of soup is it?”


Sarah: “Yes beef pho is very good. Very common too. We use beef bones and make broth, which is very good for you. Then we put onion, ginger, water, lime, basil and bean sprout. Then add in beef into soup with rice noodle. A lot of people add chili sauce to make it spicy, but I don’t like it spicy. Sometimes we use tofu or even chicken.”


Vietnamese food I would say is pretty common in Los Angeles and I love Pho. What she described sounds pretty standard to most pho I have seen.  I am a vegan and I always find that eating Vietnamese food is a really great option, despite the fact that what she described has beef. I think it’s interesting that she immediately said American food was bad because of the oil and grease. The recipe she described seemed fairly simple and to me, that shows that Vietnamese food is clean and fresh with very little processed foods and oils.