End The Lunar New Year With a Visit To Kim’s Asian Market and a Bowl of Phở

by Sandra Foyt on March 1, 2010

in Food Adventures

pho Phở, the Vietnamese beef and noodle soup, isn’t just for breakfast anymore.

Back in 2004, when my family toured Vietnam, we powered up for daily excursions with a morning bowl of soup.

At the breakfast bar, I would fill a bowl with rice noodles and thin sliced beef before adding condiments such as basil, bean sprouts, lime, cilantro, hoisin, and chili sauce.  Then, I’d ladle in the steaming broth to flash cook the concoction.

A bowl of phở is a tasty way to start the day in sweltering southern Vietnam, but it’s an even better way to end the day on a snowy New York evening.

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On the first day of the Year of the Tiger  Lunar New Year, I was fortunate to have a Vietnamese friend visiting for the weekend who was eager to teach me how to make phở. While our families hit the ski slopes, we headed to Kim’s Asian Market to pick up the rice noodles, thin sliced beef, fish sauce, and other items you can’t find in Price Chopper.  I also stocked up on essentials to get us through the two week Lunar New Year: sticky rice, cinnamon drink, frozen dumplings, kimchi, roasted seaweed snacks, and mochi ice cream. 

Back home, Lan demonstrated the ancient secrets of authentic phở.  Who knew that holding ginger and cinnamon bark over a flame with tongs releases the flavor?  Or, that after you strain the fat from the broth, you keep it in a bowl and add some back to add flavor?

Meanwhile, word spread that phở was simmering on my stove.  Before I knew what was happening, we ended up with a spontaneous dinner party.  Nothing fancy.  No decorations, and I’m sorry to say, just paper towel napkins and a mish-mash of chipped crockery.  Just good friends and a delicious pot of soup was all that was needed for a spectacular celebration.

Phở  Recipe – Steamy Kitchen’s Vietnamese Pho: Beef Noodle Soup

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Kim’s Asian Market
1649 Central Ave
Albany, NY 12205
(518) 869-9981

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Sandra Foyt is a storyteller, photographer, and road trip junkie.

A veteran of six cross-country road trips, she drove Route 66, the Lincoln Highway, the fossil freeway, the extraterrestrial highway, and even “the loneliest road in America.”

Find her on GetawayMavens.com, an award-winning destination guide to extraordinary travel in and from Northeast USA, on her portfolio site at SandraFoyt.com, and in freelance gigs on Family Travel 411, Minitime, Huffington Post, and Matador Network.

Email: sandrafoyt@albanykid.com, Twitter @SandraFoyt.

Dawn Riccardi Morris March 2, 2010 at 3:27 am

What an authentic way to celebrate Chinese New Year. It all sounds like a lot of fun!
Thank you so much for sharing such a great story, and for linking to not one, but two of my posts!
.-= Dawn Riccardi Morris´s last blog ..Literacy Lava 4 is Available Now! =-.

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