The Vietnamese pho is all over the globe. From the finest dining destinations in New York, to the upcoming restaurants in Dubai, and at the hawker stalls of Hanoi. The thought of having beef noodle soup at a social soiree in Bengaluru might not exactly excite you. But if this classic stew is presented in a new avatar; with octopus, clams, lobster meat and prawns appearing in place of the beef, then every fishetarian around would scurry to grab that bowl!
And this is what actually happened at the Boiling Point 2019, when chefs from Courtyard by Marriott Bengaluru Outer Ring Road reworked the Vietnamese Pho with seafood to entice an audience that comprised veteran gourmands, globetrotters and seafood aficionados.
Sous Chef Gaurav Bansal was eager to present the Vietnamese pho at our gala seafood fiesta. He says ever since he had worked overseas, he was keen on reinventing the pho. ‘’My colleagues in Saudi Arabia where I worked for a few years were all from Vietnam. During lunch hour, as I’d open my box containing our Indian chappattis, these guys would start spooning in the pho. They would eat it every day, relish it to the core, but never share the recipe with anyone.” The worldwide popularity of this dish coaxed Chef Bansal to try it out with seafood as its mainstay when he readied himself to participate in our Seafood Battle.
‘’We used clams and stuffed them with lobster meat. The octopus was cooked using the sous vide technique as it becomes chewy if you prep it directly,” says Chef. To serve, the team arranged broccoli, noodles, prawns, mushrooms and asparagus, alongside the clams and octopus, and poured in the lip-smacking broth. Chef believes the broth, which was made by simmering spices like star anise, cloves, cardamom, cinnamon, coriander seeds and ingredients like prawns, fish, ginger, coriander, mandarin zest, lemongrass and spring onions at a controlled temperature over a few hours, was the key component of the dish. ‘’It was loved by all.’’
Can you now believe that the Vietnamese Pho can excite taste-buds even without beef or chicken?