Chicken Pho (Pho Ga), Turtle Tower Way!

I frequently claim I don’t like pho- which is true most of the time. When I am forced to go, I usually order chicken pho because I like the broth slightly better than the beef one. However, one of the main reasons I don’t like it is pho noodles. I just don’t like the texture or the weird after taste of them. But when I had Turtle Tower for the first time, it changed my life! Apparently they are more of a Northern style pho, with fresh flat noodles instead of the dried skinny ones. Fresh flat noodles are similar to Chinese chow fun noodles, which I grew up eating anyway. And Turtle Tower’s broth is similar to plain chicken soup, which is perfect for the soul. So when I became sick, I immediately craved the TT chicken pho, but obviously I can’t get it here because no Viet place in SD serves it like TT does. So I set out to make my own. I have heard stories about the broth being cooked for hours, sometimes even all day to achieve that delicious broth. And believe me, after making it, that’s very much true! Time is essential in creating this broth. I suggest making it at night, and letting the chicken simmer for hours into the night, when you sleep. Therefore, the next day at lunch, you can have a hot bowl of pho! 🙂 I have to say that this recipe’s broth actually comes pretty close to the taste of TT. You can always adjust the salt (or msg) if you want :). Happy eating!

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Caramelized Pork Belly Banh Mi!

The other Vietnamese thing I like is Banh Mi! However, I only like it when the bread is soft and it doesnt cut the roof of your mouth…lol and only when pork or beef is inside. I have been meaning to make some sort of pork belly for some time now [I usually love getting it at restaurants and my dad makes mean Chinese versions]! Since I am on this Viet snack making spree, I figured I would give this Vietnamese version a try. The meat turned out very flavorful and soft and made the homemade sandwiches extra delicious. I will definitely make it again!

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My Take on Spring Rolls!

Fresh Spring Rolls! For those who know me, know that Vietnamese food is my least fav asian food. Nothing against it, but it always meshes interestingly in my taste buds- sometimes good, sometimes bad. I think its all the different fresh herbs and flavors and when I am not in the mood for it, I just dont want it. BUT lately I’ve had a craving for spring rolls! I think I’ve been craving simple tastes with strong dipping sauces. Actually, I don’t really know. My cravings are super random….Anyway, I bought all the ingredients and rolled them up, but BOY were they difficult to roll up!!! Vietnamese people make it look so effortless; I was totally struggling, and had to throw away a few rice wrappers. Sigh… practice makes perfect? I also bought the wrong vermicelli- theres like 5 different kinds at the store -_-. But thank god I had some left from my Thai food making obsession. [more on that some other day]

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