Vietnam's Beef Noodle Soup Again Earns Praise from CNN Travel

“Pho” (Vietnamese beef noodle soup) is rich in Vietnamese flavor and has already conquered the most demanding of diners.
January 13, 2024 | 13:26

CNN Travel has freshly listed Pho bo (beef noodle soup) of Vietnam among its nominations for 20 of the best soups around the world.

About the Vietnamese culinary delight, the top-20 list article published on the news site on January 8 quoted Andrea Nguyen, author of “The Pho Cookbook”, saying Pho is among Vietnam’s most recognized culinary exports.

And while today’s Pho restaurants serve a wide range of flavors, beef is the original. By 1930, Nguyen explained, the soup was served with slices of raw beef cooked gently in the broth.

A bowl of noodles with beef. (Photo: Leisa Tyler/LightRocket/Getty Images)
A bowl of noodles with beef. Photo: Leisa Tyler/LightRocket/Getty Images

According to the article, the broth is simmered for hours with cinnamon, star anise, and other warm spices to create a wonderfully aromatic base for this rice noodle soup. Today, beef pho remains the most beloved version in Vietnam, with options that include the original raw beef, a mix of raw and cooked beef, brisket, and tendon.

Other dishes in the list include Banga of Nigeria, Borscht of Ukraine, Bouillabaisse of France, Caldo verde of Portugal, and Chorba frik of Algeria, Libya, and Tunisia.

It's not the first time, CNN favors Vietnamese dishes. The US-based multinational news channel has included banh mi (Vietnamese baguettes) among its top 24 sandwiches in the world in 2023.

The criteria for CNN’s list are being a famous sandwich that represents a country, having a delicious taste and being loved by locals.

CNN said the classic version is pork-based, starring cha lua (Vietnamese-style pork roll), shredded pickled carrots, pickled daikon, cilantro leaves, mayonnaise, and other ingredients. Depending on the region, travelers can taste different kinds of banh mi with various fillings. "The taste is crunchy, fresh, savory, and utterly delicious," CNN said.

On the same year, CNN also put Vietnam’s grilled bananas on its list of best desserts in the world, calling it a “must-try”.

Culinary Journeys, a food program that airs monthly on CNN International, compiled the list. It described the sweet course as crispy, smoky, and fragrant, and best enjoyed with a lightly sweetened creamy coconut milk and roasted peanuts.

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Hannah Nguyen
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