The taste of Pho Cuon is completely different with traditional Pho. It has also rice noodle, meat, vegetables. But, it is not eaten with broth; it is served with sauce that makes the special point for this dish.
It consists of a slightly cooked rice paper shell of the same thickness as a Pho noodle. Inside this soft shell is a selection of herbs – mainly cilantro, mustard leaf, and lettuce – and thinly sliced beef that has been cooked with garlic and pepper. It is served cold with a bowl of fish sauce, garlic, carrots, radish, papaya, boiled water, chili and some sugar for dipping.
The restaurants that sell rolled Pho usually also provide some other Pho dishes for the customers such as fried Pho with beef, deep fried Pho with eggs, crispy Pho; but guests would always choose rolled Pho as their first course.
A set of Pho Chien Phong (fried Pho with beef) (Photo: amthucdongtay.com)
When talking about “Pho Cuon”, Hanoians mention Ngu Xa – a small street near Truc Bach lake in Ba Dinh District and the birthplace of this particular dish.
Ngu Xa Village is a craft village which is located beside Truc Bach, in the west of Thang Long, now is Ngu Xa Street, belonging to Ba Dinh District. It is famous for bronze casting, but the traditional craft has been narrowed, instead a new neighborhood with many well-known food service, especially Pho Cuon that has attracted many tourists come to enjoy.
There are two restaurants which are believed to have better taste in Ngu Xa. They are Quan Trang 24 Ngu Xa and Thanh Hang 29B Ngu Xa or other restaurant at 26 Nguyen Khac Hieu, Ba Dinh District.