Whenever we’re on the verge of catching a cold, or if we need a filling, warm meal on a cold rainy day, we brew up a big pot of Pho. This Vietnamese staple (pronounced F-AAAAH) normally starts with beef broth and has some sort of meat in it, but it’s amazing even without the meat.
We got hooked on it years ago when we lived in San Francisco.
- 1 large onion, peeled and halved
- A 2-inch piece fresh ginger root, peeled and halved lengthwise
- A stick of cinnamon
- 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
- A bunch of unsalted vegetable stock
- Soy sauce
- A bunch of carrots, peeled and chopped
- A package of dried flat rice noodles or PHO noodles (available at the Asian Grocery, or online)
- Cabbage, washed and chopped into little strips
- Dump your Onion and Ginger, Garlic, and Cinnamon into a big pot and let them cook a little on medium heat, without oil, until your kitchen starts to smell awesome.
- Add the vegetable stock, soy sauce, and carrots.
- Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer it (covered) for 30 minutes or so. Strain it, and keep it on low until you’re ready to serve your Pho.
- While your broth is simmering, place the noodles in a large bowl and cover them with hot water. Let them stand for 20-30 minutes or until they’re tender, but still a little chewy. Drain them.
- Dump the noodles into serving bowls. Ladle some broth into each bowl. Add some cabbage and sprouts.
Serve the bowls of Pho with the following garnishes on the side on small plates, so folks can customize their soup however they like:
- Some onion, very thinly sliced
- Some lime, cut into wedges
- Some bean sprouts
- A handful of cilantro and basil
- Hoisin sauce (sweet shit)
- Sriracha sauce (spicy shit)