Pho

Submitted by: Huong Nguyen, Residential Life

Ingredients

  1. (Make two bowls)
  2. - ½ package of dry Pho Noodles
  3. Shrimp: 12 shrimp or more
  4. - 2 big cans of vegetable broth + ½ can of water or a bit more.

Preparation:

Soak dry noodles in COLD water for one hour. Drain. Soak again in very WARM water for 30 minutes. Drain. Measure 1 ½ cup or a bit more. Divide soft, nearly cooked noodles equally in two bowls.
Peel shrimp, remove dark veins, butterfly. Sprinkle shrimp with ½ teaspoon salt & a dash of Baking Soda. Mix well and leave shrimp in bowl for 15 minutes. Rinse shrimps. Drain well.
Broth:
2 big cans of vegetable broth + ½ can of water or a bit more.
2 inches of ginger: Slice ginger. Soak ginger slices with 3 tablespoons cooking wine or any “spirit” water you have in hand.
3 green cardamoms + 1 cinnamon stick + 6 cloves + 1 star anise: Roast spices in a dry skillet. Break cardamoms. Wrap all in a piece of foil. Punch several holes on top so it will be easy to release aroma into your broth.
½ of yellow onion + 3 garlic cloves: Slowly “fry” with ½ teaspoon of oil.
Boil broth + water. Add all spices above. Boil again. Skim. Simmer for 30 minutes.
Assemble:
Boil water in a small saucepan. Move pan to sink first then drop your prepared shrimp into boiled water. Swirl. Drain.
You must have Pho Bowl for a restaurant Pho Quality.
Buy two white or any color of your choice for Pho trays. I bought mine at a Dollar store. Buy Two Pho Spoons and bamboo chopsticks for eating Pho, Asian style, or just using your own forks and spoons to enjoy your Pho.
Microware your measured noodles in a microwable bowl for 1 minute. Transfer cooked noodles back into your Pho Bowl.
Place 5 shrimps on top of noodles. Place the 6th shrimp in the middle.

Topping:

Slice green onion, save the white part. Bruise the white part. Chop cilantro. Add a few slices of white, yellow or purple onion on top after your bowl.
Boil broth. Ladle boiled broth on Pho Your broth must fill up to 1 inch under the bowl rim.
This is very important step and it is also one of the restaurant serving secrets! At home, we seem to “save” broth for another bowl but please do not practice this habit! You only serve two bowls of Pho So be generous with broth. Freeze the leftover broth in freezer for your next round.
Fresh vegetable plate (if you like)
Bean sprout, fresh basil, lemon slices, sliced fresh jalapeño or red bell pepper if you are not a “spice” boy or girl!

Condiments:

Fish sauce + Hot sauce: Siracha + hoisin sauce

How to eat Pho?

Add a bit of fish sauce + Siracha + hoisin sauce + bean sprout, if you like, fresh basil, and a squirt of lemon or lime on your bowl.
Important:
Mix everything first. Taste your broth. You may add extra Siracha or hoisin sauce according to your taste and that is it.
During this memorable moment, you may always add more fish sauce, hoisin sauce, bean sprout, more basil etc … to your bowl, if you like.
How to enjoy Pho?:
Scoop out the noodles to eat for one bite. Your next bite could be noodles in spoon and broth together and/or you can sip one tablespoon of broth after eating your noodles alone.
You also may add extra different spices in your broth because this is your own version: Vegetable & Shrimp Pho , a recipe that cookbooks haven’t yet figure out!