Elixir of snow days.
I’ve had Pho a few times, and I wasn’t entirely a fan of it. After doing some research I understood why. In the US we tend to really focus on the meat and then not focus on the base of dishes. When I started making my own sushi I was shocked to find that the fish wasn’t the focal point, the rice is. And with Pho it’s not so much what you put in it, but the broth that makes it perfect. I spent about 2 hours making this, which you don’t necessarily have to, but for me I wanted the perfect broth.
Pho real ingredients:
-8 cups of better than bullion no beef base broth
-1/2 lb shiitake mushroom stems
-1 yellow onion peeled and quartered
-3 cloves of garlic sliced
-3 whole star anise
-3 whole cloves
-1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
-1/4 inch of fresh ginger sliced
-1 jalapeno, seeded and diced
-1 green onion sliced
-3-5 fresh basil leaves per dish
-1/2 lb shiitake mushroom caps
-1 block extra firm tofu medium diced
-2 tbsp. tamari
-2 tbsp. hoison sauce
-1 tbsp. sesame seed oil
-1 box of rice noodles (size is your choice)
-1 lime cut into wedges
In a large pot combine your “beef” broth with the shiitake mushroom stems, jalapeno, garlic, ginger, star anise, yellow onion, cinnamon, and cloves. Bring the pot up to a boil and then turn down to a simmer, lid on. If you want to do this fast only let it simmer for 30 minutes. I did it for about an hour + 15 minutes.
While your broth is brewing, combine the tofu with hoison sauce and tamari, allow it marinade for at least 20 minutes.
To cook the tofu I added the sesame oil to a large wok on high heat and cooked them separately for about 7 minutes, then added the shiitake mushroom caps and cooked an additional 5 minutes.
Cook your rice noodles which should only take a couple minutes. If after you drain them they start to clump together just give them a toss in some cold water. Start plating the dish by adding the noodles first.
For presentation I added the tofu & mushrooms to the noodles then spooned on the broth. You will want to sift all the ingredients out of the broth (don’t eat them). Then topped with the basil and green onion which ads a really nice, bright contrast in flavors.
When I went to actually eat it I did tear up the basil and squeezed the lime juice all over which enhances the flavors of the dish in such a lovely freaking manor.
Have a restful Sunday everyone!