Tuesday, February 5, 2013

You asked Pho it!

Ok, technically no one asked for it except me. I just enjoy a little pun. I went to Jungle Jim's huge international food market this past weekend and felt inspired. I've made pho a bunch and I've eaten my fair share of vegetarian pho at restaurants. Usually (actually almost always) the restaurant ones disappoint me greatly.  Eric even told me that my pho is much more flavorful than the meaty versions he's had, so I thought I would share. 

Vegetarian Faux Pho

1 medium onion
an inch and a half of ginger (I didn't have ginger so I used galangal root this time)
1 stick of cinnamon
5 whole cloves
3 cloves of garlic, crushed or minced
1-2 star anise
2 cubes of Not-beef bouillon (mushroom or other veggie stock would work)
a bunch of thin rice noodles
a handful of mung bean sprouts
thai chilis to taste (or serrano or other hot peppers)
half a block of tofu cut into small cubes
lime juice to taste
soy sauce to taste
cilantro for garnish
any other veggies you have around and want in the soup (I used a baby bok choy, bamboo shoots, enoki and shitake mushrooms this time)

Brown the onion and garlic in a small amount of oil. Place all of the spices in and let them get aromatic. Then put 1.5 liters (approximately 6 cups) of water in. Add bouillon and allow to come to a boil. Then turn down the heat cover and allow the mixture to simmer. The longer it goes, the more flavorful the broth. Now at this point you can strain the mixture or alternatively just pick out the cinnamon etc. or eat around it. Then return the broth to your pan. Add the noodles and bring them to a boil. Add whatever other vegetables you like. At the very end add your lime juice, soy sauce, cilantro and mung beans. Or you can serve these things on the side and let 
everyone do their own to taste. 

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