Now that the holidays are over and we have begun a new year I felt the need to make something a little bit lighter. And since it’s cold outside and I promised to share this recipe with you all more than a few weeks ago Pho seemed more than appropriate.
Since visiting Travis’ parents home earlier this year I’ve been trying to perfect my Pho concoction, experimenting every week with different ingredients and ratios and it all seems to come down to making the perfect broth.
True pho broth starts by boiling bones and marrow to make beef stock… I bought some instead ;) Short cut number one. So I started by boiling beef stock with a little ginger and onion.
Star anise, coriander seeds, cinnamon and a couple cloves into the mix followed by a little fish sauce. Let it simmer and that’s that! Not too difficult, but it can be even easier… Short cut number two: Travis’ mom gave us a handful pho bouillon cubes. Similar to the little cubes of broth you can buy at the grocery store. Just boil some water and let them dissolve and that’s it! Travis and I tried them last night for the first time and we definitely approved!
** If you’re a meet eater, slice some beef super thin and toss it into the broth while it’s still really hot just before serving. The broth is hot enough to cook the beef just right. I’ve found that beef is the most common pho meet along with a beef sausage that I haven’t quite figured out yet ;) Squid is also a common addition, too. **
Here’s a quick photo I took with my phone for reference :)
Next up, the rice noodles. Now, you’d think that an italian girl who likes to cook wouldn’t have any trouble boiling up a batch of noodles, right… WRONG. The first time I made these rice noodles it came out of the pot in one huge sticky ball. With pasta the mistake here would be that there is not enough boiling water in the pot, so I tried a batch with extra water and they still came out in a sticky mess. So after a little research and a few more tries I figured it out! First the rice noodles need to be soaked, just like how you rinse rice before making it. After soaking the noodle and boiling them they need to be rinsed off with cold water and that’s the trick.
The other component that really makes pho so yummy and health is all the ‘toppings’ if you will. Sprouts, green onions, cilantro, basil, mint and jalapeño. Mix in some hoisin sauce, sriracha and lime juice to taste.
Making pho is really just a matter of having all the ingredients and throwing them together. It’s easy and it’s good! Now that we know how simple it is to put together, Travis and I have a difficult time going a week without it. You should try it out and see what you think!