Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Vegetarian Pho (Vietnamese Noodle Soup)

The national soup of Vietnam is a bowl of rice noodles, fresh herbs, and bean sprouts swimming in a fragrant broth.  (My version with what we had in the house.)
Link to my scattered Vegan Blog


1. To make Broth: Place all ingredients in large pot with 8 cups water. Cover, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer, covered, 1 hour. Strain broth, and return to pot. Discard solids.
(We actually started the broth by quickly simmering a ton of ginger, garlic, daikon, lemon grass and some carrots. We never have shallots in the house. We did not discard the solids. Also baked the tofu in the oven and added it to the soup stock.) 
2. To make Pho: Cook rice noodles according to package directions. Drain, and rinse under cold water. Divide among 6 large soup bowls. Ladle Broth over noodles, and top with tofu, sprouts, watercress, and green onions. Serve cilantro, basil, and lime wedges on the side to be stirred into soup. (Nothing all that difficult here. Note I asked Riley to cut the lime and she told me she did not know how to cut a lime. Teen agers are quite original)

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ingredient list

Serves 6
  • Broth
  • 6 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 3 large shallots, sliced (1 cup)
  • 1/2 cup dried shiitake mushrooms
  • 10 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
  • 3 Tbs. low-sodium soy sauce
  • 12 1/4-inch-thick coins fresh ginger (I diced these)
  • 1 Tbs. brown sugar
  • 1 Tbs. rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 2 cinnamon sticks (I forgot this would have been a nice touch)
  • 2 star anise( I should have used Fennel)
  • 5–6 fresh basil stems, leaves reserved for soup
  • 5–6 cilantro stems, leaves reserved for soup
  • Pho
  • 1 8-oz. pkg. rice noodles
  • 1 8-oz. pkg. Asian-flavor baked tofu, thinly sliced
  • 2 cups soybean sprouts
  • 2 cups watercress
  • 4 green onions, sliced (1/2 cup)
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves
  • 1 lime, cut into wedges
Thai food sounds so complex however I find it quite simple and it all about the ingrdients.

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