The PhoPho restaurant on Place St. Boniface has been on our
“to do” “to eat”-list for a long time; so naturally we were quite excited when they invited us, in cooperation with our friends at Cheeseweb, to a little workshop to make our own spring rolls and pho and also to learn a bit (a lot, actually) more about Vietnamese food.
I am not going to give you a detailed instruction on how to make spring rolls; it’s actually not that difficult, once you have the right ingredients. Three things to consider: Don’t take too much filling; make sure to keep the filling tightly together as one; fold the rice paper in order, i.e. fold the sides to the middle before you roll it all up.
The pictures below should give you a good idea of how it’s done. First up, we made a non-fried spring roll …
… which was followed by – you guessed it! – a fried one:
If you know what you’re doing, then making one of these should look a lot like this:
Finally – and for me, this was the most fun – we were allowed into the kitchen to make our own pho. Again, it’s rather simple, provided you have someone who has prepared everything for you: Take the soya sprouts and put them into the water with a sieve for a few seconds; do the same with the noodles; add the cooked and the raw meat; add the beef broth (which will cook the raw meat); sprinkle over spring onions, coriander, etc.
We were told that at PhoPho they don’t use glutamat anymore; instead, they put onions, anis, cinammon etc in a metal container into the broth – which is cooked for 6 to 10 hours – to get the flavouring right. The container, which apparently you can’t buy in Belgium so far, looks like this:
Since you’re asking: Yes, the pho was very good – even though it was our first try at it!
PhoPho, Boulevard du Jardin Botanique 6, Brussels // Facebook-Page