Pho Noodle BowlJan 28 2012 by
There’s this restaurant on the corner where I get my hair cut called Pho House. The aroma that comes from that place is killer. I feel like I am being put under a spell and drawn towards the doors to go in and eat whatever is creating that lovely smell. I mentioned this to my hair dresser and she asked me if I’ve ever had a pho noodle bowl? She said you have to try it. The broth is unlike anything else you have ever tasted. Unfortunately there wasn’t a vegan option let alone organic so, not to be denied I came home and did some research and came up with my own vegan version. While I don’t know what the authentic Pho House noodles tasted like I certainly am in love with the results of this light, delicate and very aromatic soup that I ended up with. The broth is poured over cooked rice noodles and vegetables of your choice. The heat from the broth lightly cooks the vegetables so they taste fresh and retain their texture. Traditionally Pho is served with hoisin or sriracha but I can’t imagine muddling the beautiful flavor of this broth with anything but a little squeeze of lime to brighten it all up. I had even made my own fish- less version of hoisin but didn’t use it.
I’ve heard Pho is better for curing a cold than chicken soup and I believe it. Try it out sometime and see for yourself how restorative this lovely soup is.
For the broth
- 1 large onion, quartered
- 2 inch piece fresh ginger root, sliced in half lengthwise
- 3 inch cinnamon stick * see notes regarding spices
- 2 star anise
- 3 whole cloves
- 4 cardamom seeds
- 1 tsp whole coriander seeds
- 4 cups vegetable stock
- 1 tbsp low sodium soy sauce or tamari
- 2 cloves garlic, no need to peel just smash with the side of your knife
- 2 carrots, coarsely chopped
- 1 tsp raw coconut crystals
For the filling
- 4 ounces brown rice noodles, cooked (I used brown rice spaghetti since it’s the only brown rice noodle I could find that was organic)
- 1/4 cup shiitake mushrooms, stems removed and thinly sliced (any mushroom would be good)
- 1/2 cup bok choy, thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup broccoli florets, cut into small bite sized pieces
- 1/2 cup napa cabbage, thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup edamame (if frozen thaw first)
For the garnish
- green onions, thinly sliced
- chili pepper, thinly sliced
- bean sprouts
- thai basil
- lime wedges
- hoisin sauce (this is not vegan)
- Preheat broiler to high.
- Place the onion and ginger on a baking sheet and put under the broiler until slightly charred on one side and then turn over to char on the other side.
- In a large soup pot place the cinnamon, star anise, cloves, cardamom and coriander. Dry roast over medium heat until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir constantly to prevent burning.
- Add the onion, ginger, vegetable stock, soy sauce, garlic, carrots and coconut crystals. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, covered for at least 30 minutes but longer is better to develop more flavor.
- Strain the broth, then return back to the soup pot and keep hot.
- To serve, divide the noodles evenly between 2 large soup bowls. Add the filling ingredients of your choice. Pour half the hot broth over the filling and top with garnishes of your choice.
Makes 2 servings.
Nutritional information not available as it would depend on the filling and garnishes you choose.
*I had all of these spices on hand from my Christmas Spicy Infusion Tea gift bags. If you don’t have all of these spices and don’t want to purchase them you can use Chinese 5 spice but it isn’t quite as nice.
If you don’t plan on eating all of soup right away store the broth in an airtight container in the refrigerator separately from the vegetables and only assemble when ready to eat.