clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

5 Satisfying Alternatives to Pho

Eclectic soup-and-noodle options for cold Seattle days

Foraging Seattle

Winter is half over, but the flu season is still hovering over the city. While pho is simple, savory, and life-giving, it’s time to switch things up. There are plenty of other satisfying, brothy dishes to warm your bones. You can go beyond Vietnam to Thailand, Korea, Mexico, maybe even Hawaii. Here, five to try:

1) Bun Bo Hue: The rice vermicelli noodles in this Vietnamese soup are thicker than pho noodles. Traditionally beef-based broth is cut with lemongrass for a sweet and sour flavor. Top it off with cilantro, green onions, cabbage, and, a beef shank. Try it at: Hoang Lan

2) Tom Ka Gai: This tangy, coconut milk-based Thai soup has more body than pho broth and tends to be spicier. Lemon grass and lime leaves add a hint of citrus, with straw mushrooms giving it a satisfying texture. Try it at: Viengthong

3) Saimin: A national dish of Hawaii, Saimin is thought to have originated post-colonization, and contains of mix of ingredients from different origins: Chinese wheat-and-egg noodles, Japanses dashi broth (think miso), often topped with green onion, bok choy, Chinese pork, and sometimes Spam. Try it at: Kauai Family Restaurant

4) Soon doo boo: This Korean entry into the soup flight uses softer, almost custard-like uncurdled tofu, cooked in its serving bowl along with various vegetables, seafood and beef or pork. Finished with raw egg and a side of rice, it's brought to the table boiling. Try it at: Korean Tofu House

5) Pozole: The heartier option from pre-Hispanic Mexico, pozole is more stew than soup. Cabbage, radishes, cilantro and raw onion in a pork and hominy broth. Often served with avocado and tortillas. Try it at: La Carta de Oaxaca

— Darren Davis