Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Pho Phun

In my travels, and my gastronomic quest to eat well, within multiple culinary disciplines, there is always soup. Soup is universal in its comfort and appeal. And on a cold winter day, there is nothing that can soothe the soul like soup.  As you know from my post on the wonderful Pho (Vietnamese beef noodle soup ~ pronounced "fuh") from my former workplace - I simply love the stuff.

With the bones from my holiday standing rib roast, I began the broth. There were some ingredients (like star anise and cardamom pods) that even my Pixie Pantry did not have. However, upon reading the ingredients in a jar of Chinese 5-spice powder, I discovered it contained what was needed! It's all about ingenuity here, folks. So, after broiling some onion and ginger, and beginning the broth with the beef bones, all the vegetables, and the appropriate spices, the Pho broth simmered for three long hours.  Here it is, after becoming proper stock, and being strained.

It was a long road - but the taste was amazing, and very authentic. I then pawed through the pantry, and found a packet of Japanese Somen noodles. It was not the rice noodles called for in proper Pho preparation, but it would do. I took out one bundle from the package. I like how conveniently the noodles are bundled!

I boiled them up for the eight to ten minutes required, and set them aside in a colander to await the soup...

I then placed some of the noodles in a large soup mug...awaiting further goodness....

I then loaded my cup with tiny broccoli florets, cilantro, thinly sliced red onion (I'm out of scallions!), pickled jalapenos, and thinly sliced prime rib.  I brought the broth back up to a boil, and ladled over the vegetation. How did it turn out?

I have to admit, even I was unsure that I would capture the true flavor of an authentic Pho! I was thrilled! My second mug (yes, I admit it) contained more broccoli florets, and thinly sliced green beans, and was just as wonderful.  Even Kitchen Angel was astonished at the soups' spicy kick!

She is a total weenie when it comes to spice, I tell ya!  The moral of today's culinary adventure, is just that ~ be adventurous in your cooking! Especially if you are hesitant about cooking something that you have only eaten in restaurants, or from take out! You never learn anything, if you never try.

What is your favorite ethnic cuisine? Did you replicate it at home?

Eat well and adventurously, my friends. Love and kindness to all......


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