Okay…when compared to the wonderful pho I had in a restaurant (where pho is their stock in trade), my first attempt at making pho was pitiful. Then again, as usual the folks at work were hesitant to try something new, anyway. Two of my co-workers took the chance, and one of them thought it was good nonetheless. Still, I made one critical mistake: I boiled the rice noodles early this morning,brought them to work, and kept them in the fridge, where they congealed into a big gooey mass. Oops! (My co-worker consoled me by saying, "Think of it as a big dumpling. However, I did like the way the broth turned out. I'd used raw sliced beef for the meat, and it still cooked instantly when the hot broth was poured over it. I'd provided hoisin sauce and sriracha chile sauce (the standard condiments for adding onto pho), and at least this made it more palatable.
My next attempt to make pho…and probably my next several attempts…will all be done in the privacy of my own home. But still, it could have been worse. And as I said before, cooking consists of many learning experiences and the occasional disaster. This wasn't a disaster, so I can charitably call it a "learning experience."