This dish was the simplest Pho I ever made. I wanted Pho but I didn’t want it too heavy that day. Just a simple clean broth without all the extra strong taste. Tere are times I want the restaurant Pho but when I’m at home, I keep it simple. The base is still lemongrass, meat broth, herbs and spices like basil, onion (white or yellow), and any leftover veggies that are neutral in taste like this leftover cabbage I used. I will also upload my authentic pho recipe soon but of course, no MSG or anything artificial like concentrated pho pastes from the grocery to flavor the broth. The broth is just from herbs, clean lean meat, and a lot of spices and condiments. If you’re looking for a simple broth this might be for you. It is super easy and the longest time you’ll spend on making this is with boiling the turkey for its broth. If you really crave something strong tasting, get those concentrate from the grocery or buy bones from the meat of your choice. The bones and the slow process of simmering the broth are what makes pho SUPER tasty! Any Asian mom would tell you this. Some even use the entire chicken (without the head) to make the broth. Then, they slice the chicken for toppings to the soup. If you fancy beef, Asian moms use the bones as well. If it’s seafood that you fancy you can use shrimp and crab broth. I prefer shrimp. That’s the authentic pho from scratch that Asians love.
You may use mushrooms of your choice but for me, I always use Shiitake or this beautiful Enokitake mushroom. I also used cilantro, thinly sliced white onion, scallion, and cabbage. The rice noodles I used is the conventional Vietnamese rice noodles you can get from any Asian store. In my humble opinion, pho soup is one of the cleanest soups you can eat because the ingredients are very straightforward and the noodles are simply made of rice. The extra taste comes from the chili-garlic oil which we love to mix with the broth. You can also add lime wedges but for me, I am alright without it because it seems to overpower the authentic taste of the broth. Nonetheless, it is always a good option to have on your plate along with mung bean sprouts. Use whatever leftovers you have for toppings because as long as your base is the same and you have some cilantro your pho will taste great! If you don’t like cilantro you definitely make this without it. Be creative but keep it simple.
chopsticks, spoon/fork (your choice)
Broth (remove meat if vegetarian)
1/2 lb turkey/chicken thighs (any meat of your choice)
2 quarts water/organic vegetable stock
5 shiitake mushrooms, fresh or dried, chopped or whole
2 ginger knobs, 2 thumb-size
1 large onion, sliced into two
5 garlic cloves, crushed
2 whole star anise
2 whole cloves
1-2 cinnamon sticks
1-2 stalks fresh lemongrass/ 3 teaspoons if using dried
1 bunch cilantro
1 enokitake mushroom (optional)
basil (fresh or dried)
8 oz rice noodles
5 cups water
1. Put 2 quarts water or organic vegetable stock over medium-high heat. When it boils add the turkey/chicken. Immediately throw in the crushed garlic, onion, lemongrass, cinnamon, star anise, cloves, shiitake mushrooms, enokitake mushroom (optional) and ginger. Boil covered for 30 minutes. If the stock evaporates and half is left add 1 quart of water and continue boiling for 15 minutes. Remove from heat. You may use a strainer to strain out all the spices used in this recipe and discard them. If you like to eat them there is no need to strain the broth.
2. Over medium-high heat bring 5 cups of water to a boil and drop in the rice noodles. Cook for a good 3 minutes. Remove from heat and run under cold water in the sink.
3. Arrange bowls and put the rice noodles in. Get a deep soup ladle and scoop up enough broth to cover the noodles. Add the turkey or chicken slices, the neutral tasting leftover veggies like boiled cabbage, mung bean sprouts, basil, and shiitake mushrooms on top of the noodles. Serve with chopsticks or fork and a soup spoon. Enjoy!
1.You can blacken the ginger in a broiler or just stick it into the flame using steel tongs for about 5 minutes turning it over until golden brown for a more tasty broth. Otherwise, the method above will suffice.
2. You may also add some brown bits of fried garlic for more taste.
3. If you are in rush and you want to strain the broth quickly without using another bowl, you may use the strainer while pouring the broth into the bowls to make sure the broth is completely clear.
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