After a night of heavy drinking, one is often left with the feeling of lethargy and nausea. We roll around in bed clutching our stomachs, unable to rise from the misery. We’ve all been there before and the empty promises to “never do that again,” may last you about a week at best. Let’s face it, drinking is unavoidable especially in many Asian cultures where it is a big part of the business world and culture.



Subsequently, the “hangover” is a consequence we must all deal with. This has spawn the rise of many “hangover cures” thought to stop or at least limit the effects. Depending on where you’re at in the world, the remedies varies. In America, it’s a greasy carb-filled breakfast, in Japan there’s the hangover drink, a beverage filled with bad-tasting turmeric and the Russians believe you simply need to drink more. While there are currently no conclusive studies to give us concrete solutions or answers to this problem, a short search on the Internet will give you testimony from people who swear by Phở’s miracle. It’s been called magical, delivering water, protein and sodium essential to combating your hangover woes. Vietnam is home to “Phở,” the world's renown and unofficial national cuisine that doubles as a hangover cure.




Pronounced “fuh,” this magical bowl consist of rice noodles, beef or chicken, and the most delicious broth ever known to man. The broth is made from a simmered concoction which exact content and measurement is unknown to man. Sure you can find “recipes” online but it requires the skills and expertise of an experienced and trained Vietnamese. The basis of the broth consists of beef bones or chicken, oxtails, charred onions and ginger, cloves, black cardamom, and an assortment of spices. It is important to note that the exact ingredients and preparation vary by region as well as the individual preparing it.

The abovementioned ingredients must be allowed to simmer for a long duration, extracting and infusing its rich flavor in the broth. The minimum requirement is a few hours while most people opt for simmering overnight and others insist on letting it sit for at least 24 hours.

The broth is then added to a bowl of rice noodles, which is finally topped off with lots of green and garnishes that includes basil, cilantro, and more. Perhaps it is in these ingredients and the preparation process that creates the secret remedy for the hangover.

But then again no one can be sure as it is has yet to be scientifically studied and tested. However, the growing number of people who attest to its efficiency has called Phở magical, nothing short of a miracle. The dish is best appropriate for breakfast although because drinking occurs throughout the day in Vietnam, it is available throughout the day. Finally be sure to ask for “quay,” a bland fried long donut to dip in your broth and load up on carbs.

So the next time you’re in need of a quick solution to your previous night of drinking, google the local Vietnamese restaurant in town. Better yet, come to Vietnam where you can drink without fear as your magical hangover cure is just a bowl of Pho away.


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