Vietnamese inspired quick soup for the busy person.
I LOVE LOVE LOVE asian soups! This hot goodness is inspired by the traditional vietnamese Pho soup. I used ingredients I had on hand so feel free to substitute the ingredients to suit your leftover situation and tastes.
I have been eating Asian food since I can remember, which was essentially Chinese Buffet with my parents. Recently I have been inspired by Luke Nguyen, both by his Vietnamese Cooking Show and his French Cooking Show. If you missed it on TV you can still watch them on YouTube. (Disclaimer: Unfortunately, nobody has paid me to use their products or links on this page, yet.) For your pleasure there is nerdy content about Luke at the end of this post, his personal story is amazing!
I first had Pho (pronounced ‘Fu’ as in fun but without the n) in Austin, TX, home of the never-ending choice of restaurants, especially Vietnamese. It turns out the broth, which is the backbone of the soup, takes hours to make. In Vietnam they infuse the broth overnight over a low fire. I can’t call this soup Pho because the main shortcut I made was with the broth. In fact, I use a fresh soup base in a jar that has to refrigerated. It is a really good quality soup base that’s very handy to have as a staple. You can use any quality soup base, you can even use bouillon cubes but you will take a hit on the flavor. Pho broth is clean, light, fully infused with deep flavor from the several steps it takes to make. So, to be fair and true to the Vietnamese, I am calling this Pho inspired Quicky Soup. I actually made this cheater version with what I had on hand. It turned out really good and was super fast so it made it on the blog.
Besides a good soup base it is helpful to have jarred ginger and garlic in your fridge as a staple. Both can be easily found in the produce section of major supermarkets. Fish sauce may also be found in major supermarkets. If you can’t find rice stick noodles in either your grocery store or don’t have an Asian store near you, use any long noodle you have on hand, even angel hair pasta or spaghetti can work. Rice stick noodles have a chewy texture you will miss out on but the flavor will be the same. Also, long noodles mean long life, if you cut them for convenient noshing, you take your chances…
I used cucumber because that is what I had on but feel free to experiment with any vege you have on hand. Original Pho usually has bean sprouts and pork slices. I used ham that I already had in the fridge. This was truly a recipe made of leftovers.
I make a lot of soupy things so I had this huge bag of leftover fresh, refrigerated rice stick noodle. They usually come dried, I just happened to find this at Chaos Asian Supermarket in Orem. I wonder if the owner knows the meaning of the English word chaos. I’m sure it’s pronounced ‘Chows’. Although, trying to figure out what all the food is can be quite chaotic.
For the julienned cucumber I used a julienne peeler which
are quite popular and easy to find. If you don’t have one, just julienne with a knife and all will be good.
For my original Pho recipe, which is still easier than most, enjoy the following:Print
For leftovers, store the broth and the veges, meat separately. Reheat the broth when ready and assemble as before. Enjoy!
- 2 lbs beef knuckles/leg bones
- 16 cups or 1 gallon water
- 4 inches fresh ginger
- 2 onions quartered
- 1 tablespoon Corriander seeds
- 1 tablespoon Fennel seeds
- 6 Cloves
- 6 Star Anise
- 2 Cinnamon sticks
- 1 Black cardamom
- 1/4 cup fish sauce
- 1 1/2 tablespoon salt
- 1 inch yellow rock candy (or sugar)
- 1 lb very thinly sliced pork raw (ask your butcher to slice thin for you;)
- 1 package of rice stick noodles
- 6 cups bean sprouts
- 6 limes
- 1 bunch green onions sliced thinly
- Sriracha or favorite chili sauce
- Boil bones 2 hours in 16 cups or 1 gallon of water. Drain through fine mesh strainer reserving liquid. Discard bones.
- Roast ginger & onions under broiler until charred.
- Dry roast the 6 spices until fragrant in a medium hot, dry skillet, don’t let smoke.
- Place spices in a sachet of cheese cloth and tie tight.
- In a small bowl mix the fish sauce, salt and rock candy/sugar.
- In stock pot add reserved liquid, ginger, onions, spices, sachet, bowl mixture and simmer 3 hours over low heat.
- Plate out in 6 large bowls:
- Evenly divide raw pork slices, noodles, bean sprouts. The hot soup will cook the pork in the bowl.
- Garnish with lime wedges, thinly sliced green onions
For Luke’s amazing story, click here!