Vietnamese food has been intimidating to me,
but after making Pho it doesn't seem so impossible anymore.
I went through a couple websites online and picked out a favorite,
changed a few of the toppings based on what I had in my kitchen, and
2 1/2 later I had some pretty good pho!
Like any good soup you want to start out with the broth:
-In a small pan, lightly toast 2 anise stars, 4 cloves, and 2 tbsp of
whole coriander about 2-3 or until fragrant . Set aside.
For the rest of the broth you will need:
-a little bit of olive oil
-pork butt (I used a pound and a half, but you can use more or less)
**It was also a gigantic cut, so I halved it which sped up the cooking time
-Enough chicken stock to cover the pork 8-10 cups
-small piece of ginger cut into thin strips
-3tbsp fish sauce
Add the oil to the pot, on medium heat brown each side of the pork.
Add in the rest of the ingredients, including the toasted spices. Bring to
a boil, lower heat and leave it to simmer for about 2 hours.
**The cooking time will vary on the size of the pork pieces, so if they are a bit small
start keeping an eye out around the 1:30 mark. You want the pork to be falling apart.
Near the end of the broth process you'll want to set up
the toppings for the soup. I used:
-thinly sliced poblano pepper
-thinly slices jalapeno
-a squeeze of lime
feel free to add in onions, mushrooms, or
anything that needs to be used in your fridge.
(Well, almost anything. Don't let's be silly.)
Back to the broth! Once the pork has started to
pull apart, remove it from the pot to a separate bowl.
Strain the rest of the broth and discard the solids.
Put the broth back into the pot and cook whatever noodles
you have decided to use. I went with ramen, but there is such
an array of noodles the possibilities are endless.
Once the noodles are done you can divide them into bowls,
cover with broth, and top with everything that you have set aside.
I realized a little too late that I only had small bowls,
so it doesn't look quite as pretty as other pho's do.
But it tastes great! and it's surprisingly easy.