Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Pho for Cheaters

I remember the first time I had pho. It was in law school, when I was interning for the St. Paul City Attorney's office. A few of the attorneys were going out to a pho restaurant for lunch and had invited me along. Being that I am pretty adventurous when it comes to food, I was excited to try something new. We went to a hole in the wall restaurant dedicated to pho on University Avenue in St. Paul. It was a place so small that they only accepted cash, and I'm pretty sure they don't have a website (because I looked for it on google, since I can't for the life of me remember the name). It was explained to me that pho was a Vietnamese noodle soup consisting of rice noodles, various vegetables, and VERY hot broth. So hot, in fact, the broth itself is supposed to cook the meat in the soup once it is poured over it.

I was talked into ordering the meatball pho (or bo vien). It wasn't until after I started eating it that they told me what the meatballs consisted of. Apparently the reason why the consistency is a little different than your average Italian meatball is because it contains bits of cartilage and beef tendon. Interesting. It was still very good, but after that I generally stuck with the chicken pho (or pho ga) whenever we went back to this restaurant (which was often. It is very good).

Since moving to Kansas City, I have gone through a pho drought. My husband isn't into ethnic food, so I have yet to explore what Kansas City has to offer in the pho category. As a result, I decided the only way I'm going to have pho anytime soon is if I make it myself, which is partially why I made it one of my food resolutions to make before my next birthday.

Disclaimer: the reason this post is entitled "Pho for Cheaters" is because the pho recipe that I ultimately decided on isn't made the traditional way. I was really wanting to make chicken pho, and this recipe seemed the safest. Most of the recipes I was finding that cooked pho the traditional way made beef pho, most likely because cooking steak via hot broth is much less scary than cooking chicken that way. Under cooked steak is not too big a deal. Under cooked chicken, well...

Plus, I used store bought chicken broth instead of making my own broth. Please don't judge...

Pho for Cheaters
From All Recipes

4 oz. dry Chinese egg noodles
6 cups chicken stock
2 Tbs. fish sauce
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp. ginger, minced
1 Tbs. lemon grass, minced
5 green onions, chopped
2 cups cooked chicken, cubed
1 cup bean sprouts
1 cup bok choy, chopped

To garnish:
red pepper flakes

Cook noodles according to the directions on the packaging.

In a large pot, combine the chicken stock, fish sauce, garlic, ginger, lemon grass, and green onions, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and let simmer for 10 minutes.

After the 10 minutes are through, stir in the chicken, bean sprouts, and bok choy, and let cook for another 5 minutes.

Pho is generally served in large bowls. The largest bowls we have are our pasta bowls. I guess we are going multicultural this afternoon.

Place the desired amount of noodles on the bottom of the bowl (there should be enough for two large bowls. Pour pho over the noodles.

If you like spicy, pho is often garnished with sriracha and red pepper flakes!


1 comment:

  1. Looks super yummy Ashley!! You should make that this summer at the cabin! I bet we could talk Hillary into making her yummy cream cheese wontons! And I make a mean Thai pad!! Eliza's fav!!


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