Karen Does Pho with a Side of Puppy!
My newest soup addiction is Pho. Nikki and I have visited a number of restaurants and tried each establishments pho offering eagerly. Have you tried pho yet? It's amazing.
When we were in Las Vegas, I had the cold from hell (which is still lingering!) and all I wanted to eat was soup. I ordered Old Fashioned Chicken noodle soup from room service the first night we were there and I was so disappointed. But my quest for good chicken soup didn't end there.
After the first round of our slot tournament, we decided to try the Grand Luxe Cafe at the Palazzo for lunch. I was so excited to see Zen Noodles on the menu that I looked no further. That was my lunch. Omg it was amazing. And helped clear my nasal passages.
At that moment I decided that Pho would no longer be so elusive to find. I committed to hubby that I would find a recipe when we got home and make it for us at home, in my kitchen.
Easier said than done! I went to the Asian section of Walmart's grocery aisles and hunted down the ingredients. I needed lemongrass and ginger, rice noodles and fish sauce. (What part of the fish does the sauce come from?).
My recipe called for bean sprouts and bok choy and Walmart had neither. Nor did they have lemongrass or fish sauce. I thought maybe I could use hoisin sauce instead and snatched a bottle of that. I bought sriracha sauce, soy sauce and jalepeno peppers.
I came home disappointed that I couldn't find bean sprouts and fish sauce. Hubby volunteered to go to pick n save to find the missing ingredients for my Pho and came home empty handed.
So I turned to Peapod, my favorite way to grocery shop when the weather turns miserable in Milwaukee. Nothing beats grocery delivery in December. Especially when they carry everything I need and carry it to my kitchen counter for me!
And last night began Karens great pho adventure. I had found this five star recipe on Allrecipes.com and decided I can't go wrong with 5 stars! Of course I had to doctor the recipe and make it my own, adding the missing ingredients that I had been served in the Vietnamese restaurants we had visited: cilantro and lime for garnish.
There was no instruction for cooking the chicken, so I baked it with some seasoned salt and pepper for 30 minutes at 350.
Ok let's get down to business!
Ingredients for the Broth
6 cups chicken stock
2 tablespoons fish sauce
4 garlic cloves-minced
1 tablespoon minced lemongrass
2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
I used my microplaner to mince the garlic, lemongrass and ginger right into the pot with the chicken broth. Then added the fish sauce and brought to a slow boil, reduced the heat and let it simmer for 10 minutes.
5 fresh green onions chopped
2 cups bok choy (use the stalks and the leaves. Both are delicious and the green of the leaves adds color to the pho.)
1 cup of bean sprouts
2 cooked chicken breast halves, sliced
4 ounces rice noodles
To the simmering stock, I added the bok choy stalks, the green onions and let that simmer for 10 minutes, then I added the leaves of the bok choy, and the sliced cooked chicken and simmer for 10 more minutes.
In a separate large pot, bring water to boil and add the rice noodles. Turn off the heat once you add the noodles and let stand for ten minutes.
Now comes the fun part! Assembly! Pho is served beautifully with a plate of garnish. The garnish possibilities are endless, but here is what I served alongside the Pho.
Ingredients for Garnish
sliced jalapeño peppers
fresh basil leaves
sliced green onion
Where does the puppy fit in? Right here. For cuteness only, not eating.