vietnamese chicken noodle soup
In order to make a good pho you need a collagen-rich stock packed with umami. If you’re making a beef broth, use oxtails instead of beef shanks. If you’re doing chicken, go with chicken feet. Don’t roast the bones and use the traditional aromatics such as burnt onions & ginger, cardamom, cassia (a Vietnamese cinnamon), star anise, coriander, and cloves. To heighten the sense of umami, I also add dried porcinis, shiitakes, fish sauce, rock sugar, and clam juice (to make up for the absence of MSG).
You can tell the difference from a good pho place and a bad one by taking their broth to-go and refrigerating it. The more it looks like jello, the more collagen exists in the soup. If it doesn’t congeal at all, you know they’re using some pho bouillon shit that they purchased wholesale. I’m not saying it’s terrible, but those soups tend to lack the unctuousness of a home-made pho.