Now that I’m one of the growing crowd of people living apart together, I find it real hard to want to put anything but pizza in my mouth. Before Scott moved, dinner was a most-nights ritual. Usually I cooked, sometimes he did, but when 6 PM rolled around we sat down for a foodie lovefest. Now it’s all I can do to eat anything not fast food-ful.
I’m trying to entice myself to eat more healthfully — and keep cooking for myself! — by taking the time to learn recipes I can be very excited about. This week? It’s pho.
Pho is different for everyone. Personally, I usually eat it without meat (though most restaurants use meaty broths), with extra bean sprouts, and a touch of hoisin sauce. It's a super simple dish to make your own. I have some ideas for pho customization below.
This is roughly enough broth to be able to make a few small batches of pho.
- 2 cups good quality low sodium vegetable broth
- 2 cups water
- 1 cup shiitake or portabella mushrooms
- 1/2 an onion, thinly sliced
- 5 cloves of garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
- 1/2″ piece of fresh ginger, thinly minced
- 3 tbsp. light soy sauce
- 1 tbsp. rice wine vinegar
- 1 star anise or coriander
- 1 green chili
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 1 small handful thai basil stems & leaves
- 1 small handful cilantro stems & leaves
- 1 8 ounce package dried rice noodles or a cup of rice
- 2 cups shredded cabbage
- 2 cups fresh mung bean or soybean sprouts
- 1/2 cup fresh chopped green onions
- 1/2 cup roughly chopped or torn Thai basil
- 1/2 cup roughly chopped cilantro
- 1 lime, cut into wedges for garnish
Optional for serving: sliced fresh jalapenos, hoisin sauce, extra soy sauce, Sriracha, hot garlic chili sauce, mint leaves, hunks of meat, shrimp, lightly shredded carrot, dark greens.
For the broth
- Place the first 13 ingredients in a large soup pot with a lid. Bring to a boil over medium high heat and then reduce temperature and simmer mostly covered for 1 1/2 hours.
- Strain through a fine mesh colander to get all the bits out. Return the broth to the pot and bring back to temp over medium heat.
To assemble the soup
- Cook rice noodles according to the package — as a default method, cook half the noodles in boiling water for 3-4 minutes until tender, drain and rinse with some cool water quickly to stop the cooking. Drain these thoroughly.
- Distribute the noodles and cabbage in a serving bowl.
- Ladle the hot broth over the noodles.
- Top your bowl with fixings: some sprouts, basil, cilantro, a sprinkle of green onions and some lime.
Exactly how I fix mine
I added a bit of salt to my bowl, and replaced rice noodles with cooked rice — no noodles in my pantry! I glob on about a teaspoon of hoisin per bowl — and I serve it as HOT as possible!
I could use some help for other easy, whole food-y, meat-lo recipes for a lazy mope. Give me what you got!