I would never have thought that Pho and Tum Mak Houng (spicy papaya salad) would go well together. We ate at one of my sisters’ house on New Year’s Day. She made Pho and my GI Joe sister made Tum Mak Houng. Below is my oldest sister helping preparing the meat balls for Pho, she is visiting from NYC.
My sister used celery and green onion leaf for garnish.
Lime for taste
And grilled garlic in hot oil for garnish.
Thai basil for garnish.
Her Pho stock is different from mine. She used a whole garlic bulb, onion, celery stalks, star anise, salt, 3 types of soy sauce including black soy sauce, oyster sauce, and beef spareribs. She boiled her Pho stock for 1 – 2 hours.
These are the spareribs from her Pho stock and she served as a side dish.
She used dried noodle and soaked in cold water for 1 hour. Then dipped in hot boiling water for a few second to let it cook.
The black soy sauce gives it a dark color and sweet flavor.
My GI Joe sister made Tum Mak Houng, she is also visiting from NYC. Her dish has a sweet, sour, and spicy flavors. I never knew to add salt to my Tum Mak Houng and is a little heavy to the shrimp paste and fish sauce flavor, which has a strong pungent odor.
We only have frozen chili peppers this time of the year, these are from my dad’s garden. They do sell fresh chili peppers at the Asian store but she didn’t buy any.
My GI Joe smashed and mixed well the following Ingredients in a mortar and pestle.
1 table spoon shrimp paste
1 table spoon fish sauce
1 and 1/2 table spoon of sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon MSG (optional)
4-6 chili peppers
1 garlic cove
Then add 3 thin slices of lime
1 cup cherry tomatoes
Smashed and mixed well with the rest of the ingredients.
Add about 2 handfuls shredded papaya or approximately 3 cups, smashed and mixed well with the ingredients.
Tum Mak Houng tastes good with Pho as a side dish when it is extra spicy. I shot a video at my dad’s house today and it’s too funny, not sure if I will post or re-shoot the video. It seems that everyone wants to be in the video.