When I went back to Michigan in July for a family wedding I stocked up on Asian ingredients at the local Asian market – one of the things we really miss living in our more rural area is proper ingredients. And they are important to our monthly menu of recipes which includes a Faux Pho. I call it faux for two reasons: 1) there is no raw meat that is cooked in the broth and 2) in all restaurants where my husband has ordered Pho the broth is always meat based. As a pescetarian that doesn’t work for at-home meals so we adapted recipes we found to our choosing.
2 tsp canola oil
1 onion (sliced)
2 TBSP ginger, minced
1 TBSP garlic, minced
5-7 star anise
6-7 whole cloves
2 TBSP fish sauce
Bok choy (3-4 baby) – separate stems from leaves, rough chop stems
2 TBSP brown sugar
1 package rice noodles (thick)
1 pound small mushrooms (button or baby bellas), chopped
2 32-ounce cartons of vegetarian stock (unsalted)
1 bag of frozen shrimp
1 bundle cilantro (chopped)
3-4 green onions (chopped)
Hot sauce (sriracha) or pickled hot peppers as desired
How sad is it that my husband just taught me the adage “Hot pain, cold oil”? I’m really almost a hopeless cook. Thankfully he usually feeds me – but I do want to take on more of the cooking so I’m not SO reliant on him.
In a stock pot saute in the canola oil, onion, and ginger, and garlic. Once the onions are nicely browned splash in a little stock to de-glaze then add the rest of the stock, peppercorns, star anise, cloves, and fish sauce, half of the mushrooms, the boy choy leaves,and brown sugar.
Bring the mix to a boil and simmer for 20 minutes.
Prep serving bowls: Squeeze juice from a half a lime into each bow and add 1-1.5 TBSP hoisin.You can add some of the bok choy stems at this point if you want the crunch. Add hot sauce or chopped picked hot peppers if desired (see left bowl).
After the broth has simmer for 20 minutes, strain to remove all flavor items and return the broth to the pot.
Reheat to a boil, then add the noodles and cook for 8-10 minutes. Pull noodles out (divide between serving bowls) and bring broth back to a boil.
Add second batch of mushrooms, and bok choy stems and simmer to soften (about 3 minutes). Remove mushrooms and boy choy and divide between serving bowls. Add shrimp to broth and cook until pink*. Ladle soup into the bowls. Garnish with green onion and cilantro.
*Under-cooking shrimp can results in a food-borne illness.