How to Make It
At least 30 minutes and up to 2 hours before serving, refresh herbs: Trim stems. Set mint (and cilantro and regular basil, if using), stem side down in a large bowl of water. Submerge Thai basil, culantro, and rice-paddy herb (if using) fully in bowls of water. Pat herbs dry.
Leave bean sprouts raw, or soften them a little so they add just a gentle crunch to pho: When water is boiling for pho noodles (step 10 of master recipe), add bean sprouts, stir around for a minute or so, and lift out with a strainer; set on a paper towel to drain.
Put chiles in a small dish and set on a large plate or a platter. Arrange everything else on plate and serve immediately.
The Pho Cookbook (Ten Speed Press; $20).