Back when we lived in Vancouver, my father took me to my first Vietnamese Phở restaurant. I liked the stock.
This exquisite bone broth infused with spices and aromatics takes a good amount of time and effort to make from scratch so it's hard to even contemplate comparing a homemade or restaurant phở to something that you cook from a spice pack. But when the closest Vietnamese restaurant is 953 km away, there's little harm in trying. And boy are we glad that we did!
Author: Asian Home Gourmet
Serves: 2-4 Prep: 10 minutes Cook: 20 minutes
Method: ignore the recipe on the back of the package. It's rubbish. If you have the time, make a simple chicken stock. Don't add salt as you'll want to season the broth after you've added the spice paste.
Condiments: when this dish is served at a restaurant or street stall, it comes with a plate of fresh herbs, bean sprouts, chilis, wedges of lime, accompanied by bottles of sriracha and hoisin sauce. Everybody seasons to their soup to their own taste. Condiments are what really make this dish sing. So don't be shy!
1 packet rice noodles (3mm)
1 packet Asian Home Gourmet Vietnamese Pho Spice Paste
4 cups chicken soup stock (homemade or from powder)
1/2 cup shredded chicken meat (optional)
fish sauce, salt, or sugar to taste (optional)
1/2 cup bean sprouts
Garnishes: sliced chillies, spring onion, sliced lime or lemon, basil, coriander, and/or mint leaves (not optional!)
Pour boiling water over rice noodles. Soak for 10-15 minutes or until noodles have softened.
Stir packet of Asian Home Gourmet Pho spice paste into a pot of chicken stock and bring to a boil. Reduce to low heat and simmer. Add shredded chicken meat (optional). Taste. Feel free to add a bit of fish sauce, salt or sugar to bring out the flavour profile you are looking for.
Blanch bean sprouts, drain, and put on serving plate for everybody to share. Add sliced chillies, fresh herbs (basil, mint, coriander), wedges of sliced lime or lemon. Set on table alongside bottles of sriracha and hoisin sauce.
Fill each soup bowl 1/2 - 3/4 full with noodles. Pour broth over noodles. Serve hot.
Make sure everybody garnishes their soup! Leave no fresh herb behind!