After seventeen issues that were not about soup, Lucky Peach is back to its roots, bringing you pages and pages and pages of information about hot broth and slippery noodles.
This time around we’ve set our sights on pho, everyone’s favorite way to get their USDA- recommended allowance of star anise and bean sprouts. Andrea Nguyen explored the soup’s history and shared her research in our pages; Rachel Khong ate her way from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City and reported on the scene today. We interviewed pho shop owners from around the world and learned the often-heartbreaking stories of their journeys to success. There are non-pho recipes from Angie Hong, the first lady of Vietnamese cooking in Sydney, Australia, and pho recipes from Charles Phan, the San Francisco chef who vaulted Vietnamese cuisine to the national stage in the United States. And it wouldn’t be an issue of Lucky Peach if we didn’t dig deep, so we explored sa sung, the dried worm that’s been seasoning pho in Vietnam for decades, and assigned graphic designer and comedian Walter Green the task of taste-ranking more than a dozen packets of instant pho. Everything you need to know about pho, all between two covers, including that the first part of this sentence does not rhyme.