The Paleo List Answers:IS PHO PALEO?
It is often said that if you skip the rice, foods from the Eastern hemisphere are more likely to suit a Paleo diet than those from the standard American diet (SAD). With plenty of protein, lots of homemade sauces and stocks, and Paleo-friendly substitutes like cauliflower rice and coconut aminos, we can find a lot of flavorful gems from the other side of the world. Now that winter is right around the corner, let’s take a look at everyone’s favorite soup from Vietnam: Pho. Is Pho Paleo?
What is Pho?
Pho, pronounced “fuh” is a broth-based soup originating in Vietnam in the early 1900’s. Just south of Hanoi (in Northern Vietnam), vendors took to the streets at dusk to serve flavorful and filling soup to commuters. Piled high with chicken, pork, or rare beef, vegetables, sprouts, mushrooms, noodles, herbs, and spices, Pho is a super-flavorful way to stay warm. After the Vietnam War, supplies of fresh produce and meat were very limited, so they began flavoring this broth-based soup with government-provided MSG.
Is Pho Paleo?
Technically, the most traditional Pho is not Paleo, and many present-day varieties include MSG, which is also not Paleo! If you have to get your Pho fix at a restaurant, look for a place that doesn’t use MSG, and ask for your soup without noodles and you should be able to enjoy a delicious bowl of mostly Paleo Pho (the broth might still have sugar or soy). Or, if you want to do it right, you can make your own Pho at home! It takes some time and effort, but with the help of things like pressure cookers and slow cookers, you can have a steaming bowl of Paleo Vietnamese Pho in no time!
Are you struggling with which foods are Paleo? Do you need help planning some Paleo meals? Check out this great Paleo cookbook: