Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Faux Phở

I’m sick. Apparently my immune system is no match for the tube. Not even with the gallons of hand sanitizer I slather all over my hands all the time… I can't believe this. I haven’t had a cold in like 2 years.

I guess it’s not that dire though. I mean, I haven’t lost my appetite. (Why does that never happen to me?) And I’m still cooking. Tonight I made pretend Phở inspired by a noodle bar that serves Chinese, Vietnamese and Japanese noodles near our house.

I know my speedy noodle soup is totally not authentic. And I know the stock from the noodle shop down the street probably simmers for hours before it’s served (uh--and is made from scratch for sure). But my version tastes pretty close, and it took well under half an hour to make. This stuff really hit the spot tonight.

Here’s to hoping this cold is on its way out! I'd really like get crackin on some homemade candy and gingerbread...

Rice Noodle Soup
serves 4
I made mine clear-your-sinuses spicy with over 2 teaspoons of chili flakes. I’d recommend about a teaspoon for moderate spice, and even less if you don’t like spicy food. I chose to make my soup with seared beef, but you can also use chicken, tofu or nothing! I added a couple of generous handfuls of baby spinach because I had it in my fridge but other yummy additions might include bean sprouts, basil and onions.

• 10 ounces beef sirloin, optional
• 2 tablespoons olive oil for searing meat, optional
• Salt and pepper
• 6 cups good quality chicken, vegetable, or beef stock
• 1 teaspoon red chili flakes
• 2 tablespoons minced garlic
• 2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
• ½ lb. chopped baby bok choy
• 2 cups baby spinach
• 6 ounces shitake or oyster mushrooms, sliced
• ¼ lbs rice noodles
• Tamari soy sauce, to taste
• Cilantro for serving

Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Season beef with salt and pepper and sear about 3 minutes on each side. (The meat doesn’t need to be fully cooked—it will finish off in the stock.) Place beef on a cutting board and allow to rest for a couple minutes before thinly slicing.

In a 3 quart pot or dutch oven with lid, bring stock, chili flakes, garlic, ginger, bok choy and mushrooms to a simmer. Add sliced meat to stock, if using. Continue to simmer for a couple minutes longer, until meat is cooked through.

Add rice noodles to pot, cover and remove from heat. Allow the noodles to sit for 5 minutes in hot stock until tender. Sample soup and add tamari soy sauce to taste. (Start out with a couple of tablespoons and go from there.) Serve with cilantro.

1 comment:

kate said...

Mmm...looks yummy. And cute pic of you!

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