What did I do wrong…

Well, firstly, I did not pronounce it right.

I always called it “pho” as in Phong Hong…or when somebody throws a tile in mahjong and you have two identical ones in your hand, and you shout, “Phong!!!” and quickly grab that tile to form a set of three.

Then my girl told me it should have the f-sound as in philosophy…and I guess she knew better as she had a Vietnamese friend in Wellington with a Filipino wife and nothing beats getting it from the horse’s mouth, so to speak. In fact, it is not even pronounced something like for – if you click this link to go to the website and click the listen link there, you will find that it sounds something like far, the intonation going a little upwards at the end. Ah well!!! Guess one is never too old to learn new things, right? LOL!!!

Now, some of you may recall that I did buy a packet of the dried flat rice noodles – the one in a green packet and I cooked that not too long ago. It turned out all right, not quite there but it was good enough. I did mention in that post that there is another brand being sold in town, in a red packet and I would want to buy that to try as well, and I did…

bánh phở 1

…and it’s a product of Vietnam…

product of Vietnam

…true and true. Of course, we do have dried versions of our own noodles at the shops too but some people would insist they would not be as nice as the fresh ones but when it comes to this bánh phở, we do not have any fresh ones so this will have to do.

I had a glimpse at the instructions at the back and it said to boil for 6 to 8 minutes. Boil! 6 to 8 minutes? Oh me! Oh my! No wonder the ones I bought and cooked before were not all that satisfactory, not really fine and smooth. I would just soak in hot water like what people usually do to soften bihun (rice vermicelli) prior to cooking. No wonder I thought it was not quite like hor fun or kway teow (flat rice noodles) and more like bihun.

So this time around, I did as instructed and after boiling, I rinsed in “fresh water” as stated in the instructions and loosened the strands before draining them well. Then, I added a bit of soy sauce, not too much as I did not want it too dark, a sprinkling of sugar (a teaspoon) and pepper…

With soy sauce, sugar and pepper

…and I mixed them altogether well.

These were the ingredients I prepared to fry the bánh phở


– sliced shallots and chili, chopped garlic and spring onions. sliced sausages and some fishballs.

I fried the shallots and garlic in a bit of oil till golden brown, added the chili and the sausages and fishballs and when they were good and ready, I put in the pre-seasoned bánh phở. Finally, I broke two eggs and mixed them well with everything in the wok before adding the spring onions and dishing everything out…

Fried bánh phở 1

There you are! It sure doesn’t look too bad, does it? Well, I would say it tasted very good too – maybe not all that salty enough but no, I would not want to add more soy sauce and get it all black. Perhaps a little salt would be fine but it was all right the way it was – I could enjoy the taste and fragrance of all the ingredients that went into the cooking and with my missus’ extra-hot blended chili dip, that sure gave it an extra kick.

I only cooked half of what was in the packet…

Fried bánh phở 2

…but when I get round to cooking the rest of it, I think I would check one of those pad thai recipes and get all the ingredients ready to cook it that way – hopefully, it will be just as nice as some that I’ve enjoyed so much at some Thai restaurants here and there.

Author: suituapui

Ancient relic but very young at heart. Enjoys food and cooking...and travelling and being with friends.

16 thoughts on “What did I do wrong…”

  1. Very interesting post, dear friend. I find that I cannot eat noodles very much because they are heavy and affect my digestive system….but when I do eat noodles I like either the angel hair pasta or spaghettini, as it is quite thin and easier for me to take. My father used to tease me when I was a little girl because I loved rice so much. I still do! 🙂

    You’re just like my father – he must eat rice and that is why he was never happy when overseas until he got to see a Chinese takeaway – fried rice!!! Pasta may be thin but it is firmer than our noodles here, that is why my girl prefers pasta – but being firmer, I wonder if they are harder to digest…like the way bihun (rice vermicelli) is. They’re all carbs though – that is why when I cook my own, I would like to fry an egg to go with it, at least and have a bit of veg by the side.

  2. The beauty of language (or less of it)! English is enough to confuse me; dont talk about other languages. I wouldnt mind pronoun the word wrongly since it isnt my Mother’s tongue.

    Your homecooked pho sure looks delicious to me.

    Yes, it was nice. I would still want to try and fry my own pad thai though even though it is probably just the prawns – can;t go wrong with those, anything.

    Indeed, sometimes if we pronounce or speak correctly, people may fail to understand – have to speak like them, the way they speak. That was why when I was working at a hotel here in the early 70’s, part time while waiting for my exam results, the lady receptionists had a problem communicating with the American tourists. They would always push me forward – you go and deal with them. Tsk! Tsk!

  3. I used to pronounce as Fo n was told should be Fir I supposed like some people said Meelo or Mailo in Milo

    Yalor! Last time, got O-ba-tin some more, not so popular now. LOL!!! 😀

  4. I would not know how to pronounce the Vietnamese word either. Just have to let the youngsters taught us. Your fried pho looks great.

    Yes, they know better especially the new stuff, stuff not found around here during our time. Yes, my fried pho was as good as it looked.

  5. I like those ingredients that you have prepared… hehe…

    Not bad, eh? Can go into business liao. Hehehehehe!!!!

  6. The pho looks like fettucine.. Looks so nice after you cook it.. I’d cook the same way too. With sausages and fishballs and all (I have a lot of sausages at home, kids love it, and I know too much is no good)..

    My girl loves sausages too! And ham and bacon. These made-in-Kuching ones are very nice, more like freshly-made sausages…not like the regular brands sold at the supermarkets. I bought a pack for her to enjoy but I also used some for my cooking, so she will not be eating so many at one go. Once in a while is ok.

  7. Your homemade on the pho or “fur” looks very nice and appealing! Yes, at first I thought it was pronounced as “for” but while I was in US, my sister corrected me, it is “fur”… hahahaha… ok, now we know!

    Yes, I clicked the link (many times) to listen so now I know how it is actually pronounced. Been saying it wrong all these years.

  8. Ooo, that does look like an interesting hybrid of pho and pad Thai … Between pho and pad Thai, I generally prefer pad Thai, cos I like my noodles fried instead of soupy 😉

    Me too, usually. Not crazy about hot soups, not in our hot weather though I may go for it once in a while for a change.

  9. Despite knowing the correct pronunciation, I often find myself still saying “foe”. Maybe they should change the spelling!!!

    I would agree, like the Malay language – pronounced as spelt, language can be so complicated at times.

  10. Charged to experience. 🙂
    You live, you learn. Especially when it comes to cooking. I should know. I can so relate to that story.

    Yes, older and wiser… 😉

  11. Eh, must boil kah? No wonder lah. I also did the same as you, just soak in hot water and then complain the texture not nice hah..hah… OK, will have to give another try because what you did with it looks so delicious!

    I finally had a look at the instructions. That is our problem, I guess – always take things for granted, one size fits all. Hehehehehe!!!!

  12. It does look great. I love to add lots of fresh herbs – it’s something I enjoy most about Vietnamese dishes.

    Yes, they’re like the Thais too – use a lot of those natural delights. I would want to try cooking Vietnamese pho, I’ve lots of those herbs in my garden but we cannot get fresh beef here. Frozen imported ones not as nice, and tough as leather.

  13. Pho is so hard to pronounce. I think its better to be eaten than be spoken. 😉

    That’s all that matters, eh? Like visiting a place where one can’t speak the language, just point! 😀

  14. You made it look like so easy, I am tempted to try too. I bought a packet of yellow noodles the other day and fried it. Hubby and the boys said they did not like the texture of the noodles. Maybe too alkaline. They said to use pasta to fry next time. Maybe I can try this instead 😀

    I’ve fried pasta before, nice also but my girl did not like – she’s a purist. Pasta must be served like pasta, bolognese or whatever, those kinds of sauces. I do enjoy it though – fry macaroni like char kway teow style. Yes, the yellow noodles over at your side has a strong alkaline smell, very yellow. I don’t mind but I know many people do not like it.

All opinions expressed in my blog are solely my own, that is my prerogative - you may or may not agree, that is yours. To each his/her own. For food and other reviews, you may email me at sibutuapui@yahoo.com

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