Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Recipe - Fast Pho (Vietnamese Noodle Soup)

It has been a while since we've posted a recipe here. Honestly, I haven't created any new dishes as of late. Lots of kid activities have been happening on the home front. So I go into survival mode of cooking things I know how to whip up at times like this. This is the most popular recipe I've shared on my personal blog. It's also one of my family's favorites.

Originally posted on MAY 04, 2010

Fast Pho Recipe

I am a huge (mega HUGE) fan of Pho.  
It is an uber tasty Vietnamese noodle soup dish.  My friend Jackie introduced me to Pho about 10 years ago on one of our lunch excursions. The tiny bistro was in the Seattle International District - we only worked a couple blocks away from there. I remember that the bistro from the outside smelled of coriander and other wonderful smells. I'm a total dork and I remember every detail of places I've eaten that I ate something wonderful at...anywho-

Traditionally the broth for Pho takes hours to make. Beef or Chicken bones are simmered with whole onions and other spices to achieve that rich flavorful soup base.

I wanted to create a faster version of this soup for me and this is what I came up with.

~Pho Bo~ (Beef)

Things you'll need:
Fresh ginger root - 1 inch chunk peeled
1 32oz carton of beef broth (Chicken or Veggie broth could also be used instead)
4 cups of water
1 large yellow onion finely sliced
3-4 tablespoons of Chinese Five Spice Blend
1 bay leaf
1 small bundle of fresh cilantro tied together
3 tablespoons of Fish Sauce (I use Filipino Fish Sauce but Thai Fish Sauce is readily available in regular grocery stores.)
1 lb of beef finely sliced (chicken can be used instead for Pho Ga)
Lime juice
Salt & pepper to taste
1 package of Rice noodles (Bahn Pho)

Fresh cilantro (chopped)
Sliced radishes
Lime wedges
Mung bean sprouts
Sriracha Sauce aka "Rooster Sauce"
Red onion finely sliced (I actually used chopped green onions because I like them better)

What to do:
In a large pot warm up your sliced onions. Just get them "sweating".
Then add your water, broth, ginger root, bay leaf, cilantro bundle and fish sauce. Cover & simmer for at least 15 minutes on medium heat.

Fresh ginger root.  You'll need to peel it for this recipe.

Simmering ^_^

Two different styles of fish sauce- Filipino style on the left. Thai style on the right.

After about 15 minutes add your Chinese Five Spice blend to the broth and a healthy squeeze of lime juice. Give it a good mixing and do a taste test. If its on the bland side add a bit of salt and pepper to it or add a bit more Five Spice if you like the taste. (I do!) Turn your heat down to medium low and cover and simmer again for about 10 minutes. 

Meanwhile- you can prep your toppings:

I always soak my bean sprouts in very cold water. (Mung Bean Sprouts are the best!) Soaking them in the cold water makes them crunchy. My kids like to snack on them plain :)

Slice your radishes and onions. Wedge your lime (but its okay to use presqueezed lime juice too)

Back to the soup:

This recipe was originally posted on May 24th, 2010 - please disregard the date on the packaging above.
My Asian grocery store has thinly sliced meats readily available so I totally cheat on this step. Maybe you can too? Lots of grocery stores offer thinly sliced meats for stir fry. 

Add your meat to your broth and cover yet again for about 5 minutes.

Prepare your noodles by washing them in cold water. 

Add your washed noodles to the soup 5 minutes after you add your meat.
Give things a good stir and cover one last time and cook till the noodles are soft. (About 5-10 minutes - I didn't time this step very well- sorry!) 

Your toppings!

Don't forget the hot sauce- c'mon be brave.

After the noodles and meat are cooked its time to eat! Be careful not serve your family or yourself that bay leaf and bundle of cilantro.

~Pho Ga (Chicken)~


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