May the seed of your loin be fruitful in the belly of your woman
Totally forgetting having been told by my other ex-housemate Riva that this was a hard dish to attain authenticity of (and maybe she would find this attempt of Phở to perhaps be an insult), we went ahead. I made a couple of changes based on what we had around us/didn't have/it was too late to go to the asian grocer to attend to/woolworth's had run out of stuff, but damn if I didn't fool myself into wanting to dive into this beautifully subtle broth.
- 1 leek (leaves only)
- 1 brown onion
- 1 chunk of fresh ginger
- 5 star anise
- 2 Massel Chicken-style stock cubes.
- Soy sauce (Tamari for no Belly-drama!) to taste
- Sugar also to taste.
Remove the outer layer of the onion and add it whole to the broth. Leaving the skin of the ginger intact, chop off the nubs and bruise using a mortar and pestle. Add to broth. Separate the leek leaves from the stems and add them to the broth along with five star anise “fruits.” Let the soup boil on high heat for 45 minutes to an hour, or until the onion and ginger have softened.
Once the onion and ginger have softened, discard the leek leaves. Add seasonings of soy sauce and sugar to taste. Continue to cook on medium heat for an additional 15 minutes.For “meat”
- Vegetable oil
- 1 leek (stem only)
- 1 zucchini, sliced into circles
- 1 green capsicum, chopped into strips
- 8 oz. sliced mushrooms (any variety)
- Soy sauce (Tamari!)
- Black pepper
- Dried chilli flakes
Saute the leeks with vegetable oil in a medium-sized pan until golden. Add the mushrooms and zucchini to the leek and oil mixture. Season to taste with soy sauce, chilli and black pepper.
Get your lover/partner/best friend/housemate/some guy you see to pull a puss face pose and enjoy.
Grab a bowl and fill it with noodles (banh phở - fresh flat rice noodles preferable) and the “meat” mixture. Pour some hot broth on top. To garnish, add fresh or steamed bean sprouts, onions, cilantro, lime juice, herbs (basil, saw tooth herb, etc.), hoisin sauce and chili sauce.