If you are an early-riser and live in Vietnam, then a bowl of Pho with coffee is your way to start the day. In Vietnam, Pho is the typical breakfast, it is like our Frenchy bread with Nutella, English oatmeal or German sausages. Pho - pronounced Fuh, which refers to the noodles - is the morning ritual of many Vietnamese who also like to add meat - Pho bo - or chicken - Pho ga - and it is most of the time a meal that is taken on the go just before going to work in some of the many street-food stalls.
Pho is all about the broth, which is made for a minimum of 3 hours composed by many fresh herbs, spices and aromatics such as anise, cinnamon, garlic, onion, ginger, coriander, lemongrass, thai basil and cardamom, the bones of the meat or the entire chicken, rice noodles and many fresh vegetables such as bean spouts, spinach, mushrooms and pepper. The aim is to submerge the broth by adding on the top all these fresh ingredients.
It has been quite a long time since I've been willing to eat a big bowl of Pho but as I don't have 3 hours ahead to cook it, I've decided to make a doable pho that could allow me to eat it for diner. Therefore, I simplified the broth by making one with ginger and soya sauce that only takes 30 minutes to make and choose to make a vegetarian one. This version is easier and allow you to add pretty much anything into the bowl according to the season and your desires.
Recipe for 2 bowls - Preparation 30 minutes
For the broth:
- 1 big garlic clove, chopped
- 1 green onion, chopped
- 1,5 cm of ginger, chopped
- 1 stick of lemon grass, cut in half
- 6 brunches of coriander, chopped
- 3 tablespoons of soya sauce
- 80 cl of water
- Put the water and all the ingredients in a pan, close with a lid and cook it on low heat for 30 minutes.
- 90 grams of rice noodles
- 12 shiitake (japanese mushrooms)
- 2 handfuls of spinach
- 2 handfuls of bean sprouts
- 10 coriander leaves
- 2 tablespoons of soya sauce
- 1 tablespoon of sesame oil
- 1 clove of garlic, chopped
- 2 shallots, chopped
While the broth is cooking, in a small pan over medium heat, drizzle with a tablespoon of sesame oil and add the garlic and shallots. Cook it for about 2 minutes.
Then add the shiitake mushrooms and the 2 tablespoons of soya sauce and sauté for about 6 minutes.
Meanwhile on another pan, bring water to a boil and cook the rice noodles according to the instructions, which should be around 2 minutes.
Divide the rice noodles in two bowls, then fill each bowl with the broth.
Add your handful of bean sprouts, spinach, shiitake mushrooms and the sauce, fresh basil and coriander into the bowl and diner is served!