30 January 2012

Faux Chicken Pho

Hot cold hot cold hot cold.

This has been a very odd winter. For the most part we've had above-freezing temperatures, punctuated by the occasional reminder that this is Canada, at the time of year of short days and long nights with howling winds and fluttering snowflakes.

When temps vacillate as they have, people fall ill. It seems as if every third or fourth person I speak to is sick. Snuffly, feverishly, earpluggingly, barking like a mad seal coughingly, cracked voicingly and goopily sick.

Many of us grew up with the notion that chicken soup will cure whatever ails you. I think that's doubly true with Indian, Chinese, Thai and Vietnamese soups filled with warming spices and revitalizing herbs.

Like many soups, I think a good pho can be made with what you have on hand--your choice of veggies and meats. The key, I think is in the broth--sweet, salty, hot and slightly sour. Once you get the broth tasting as you wish, the rest is up to you.

Chicken Pho
Serves 2-4

For the Broth

625ml (2.5c) chicken broth or stock
2 garlic cloves, minced
1.25cm (0.5") ginger, grated or minced
1 star anise pod
2dspn (20ml/4tsp) nam pla (fish sauce)
1tsp (5ml) brown sugar
1-2tsp (5-10ml) soy sauce, to taste

For the sustenance (suggested)
Rice noodles, cooked
Shredded chicken
Carrots, raw and thinly sliced
Deep, leafy greens, such as kale, chard or spinach, raw and chiffonaded
Mushrooms, raw and thinly sliced (or, if using enoki, broken apart)
Green onions, thinly sliced (both the green and whites
Red chilli pepper, such as bird's eye/Thai chilli, minced
Bean sprouts
Coriander leaf, chopped

Add all the broth ingredients together and bring to a gentle boil, then reduce the flame and let simmer for about 15-20 minutes

To serve
Add as much of the sustenance to each bowl and ladle stock over top

  • You can substitute turkey for chicken
  • You may want to fish out the star anise before serving, but you can leave it in the pot, so it can keep flavouring the broth

I'm a quill for hire!

1 comment:

mjskit said...

I've always wanted to make pho because I find the broth some of the best broth you can find. Thanks so much for sharing how to make pho broth! I had no idea that star anise is part of it. This entire pho recipe sounds delicious!