It has been COLD here in our sunshine state. When it gets cold, anything under 65 Fahrenheit is considered cold by the way, I immediately feel the need to start a fire in the backyard. However it has been so cold that all I want to do is stay under the covers and drink coffee. OK, you caught me. I could do that even if it wasn't cold, but I have kids so that is out of the question.
Winter time our family turns toward comfort food, and lots of HOT meals. About four years back my wife was taken to a Vietnamese restaurant by a coworker and was instantly hooked. She wouldn't stop talking about the food, finally I caved and we went up there one evening for dinner. Fortunately for her this restaurant catered to vegans/vegetarians as Vietnamese food typically is meat based. However, her hype was spot on. The food was delicious. I agreed with her we had to put this food in our arsenal. It took a few rounds but we have successfully captured what we deemed the BEST PHO EVA, pho'real. No
pho'king around. OK, OK, all puns done.
In all seriousness this is a great quick go to for those cold dreary nights. Also a good way to incorporate more raw foods into your diet. This is a food item that is all preference based. You get to choose your vegetables and sauces. This is a way to make food "fun" for your kids or adults. We make a buffet and let everyone add their fresh vegetables and sauces to their liking. If your good at multi-tasking, then this recipe should be a walk in the park.
2 quarts water
6 tablespoons veggie base (better than bouillon)
1 tablespoon sesame oil
2-3 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
2-3 tablespoons minced garlic
2 cups of cilantro leaves
3 carrots sliced
2 cups of broccoli florets
1 jalapeno sliced
1 tablespoon of hoisin sauce
1 cup of bean sprouts
1 cup of shiitake mushrooms
1 lime cut into wedges
1 tablespoon hot chili oil
1 tablespoon garlic chili sauce
As stated all vegetables are optional, you can add more variety. Lately we have been adding Swiss Chard to ours! However, we found these are "staple pho" vegetables. We like to add all of our veggies in at the very end to obtain all the nutrients.
1) First, begin to make your veggie broth by boiling 2 quarts of water. Once the water begins to boil add veggie base and reduce to medium for 5 -7 minutes.
2) While your cooking the broth, in a separate pan, sauté the garlic and ginger in the sesame oil. Once it becomes golden brown add a cup of the veggie stock to deglaze the pan and cook on low for 2 -3 minutes.
3) Then transfer the liquid from the sauté pan back into the big pot, scraping any leftover ginger and garlic. Add the hoisin sauce and continue cooking on low.
4) In a separate pot, being to cook the rice noodles following the recipe on the package. Once cooked, run cold water and toss with oil.
5) Now, serve the Pho broth into a bowl and add desired amount of noodles. Then add your toppings of choice and enjoy!