I crave pho all winter long. I've probably never had truly authentic pho, but I just love a nice big bowl of broth with rice noodles and the exploding flavors of cilantro, jalapeno, lime and ginger...whatever you wanna call that. I call it "faux pho". Top that off with the crunch of bean sprouts and the heat from a squirt of sriracha and I’m in love. I tried this soup using some boxed chicken stock but many of them are bitter tasting. My parents turned me on to Better Than Bouillon Chicken Base many years ago and it never fails me, so I decided to use it for this soup and I got a nice clean, sea-salty broth. I highly suggest you go grab some at your local grocery store, or order some online. I stock up on it in the colder months. However, don’t go for the organic or the kosher variety because they’re just not as tasty in my opinion.
Makes 2 servings
5 cups water
1 tablespoon Better Than Bouillon Chicken Base (or a smidge more, to taste)
1 1-inch chunk fresh peeled ginger
1 clove garlic, slightly smashed
2 servings dried rice noodles (I had to eyeball it...about 1/4 of a package or 2-4 ounces perhaps)
4 cremini mushrooms, thinly sliced
3/4 cup cubed firm tofu (or cooked, shredded chicken)
1 handful bean sprouts
1/4 cup fresh cilantro or basil, chopped
1/2 jalapeño, slightly seeded and thinly sliced
1 scallion, thinly sliced
2 quarters of a lime
Sriracha hot sauce (optional)
1. Add the water to a pot along with the chunk of ginger and the garlic clove.
2. Once the water starts boiling, stir in the chicken base and add the noodles, stirring gently for a few seconds. Immediately add in the mushrooms, tofu (or pre-cooked chicken). When the noodles have been cooked for the amount of time recommended on the package, probably about 3 minutes, turn off the heat.
3. Remove and discard the piece of ginger and the garlic clove. Divide the soup up into two bowls and garnish each bowl with bean sprouts, cilantro (or basil), jalapeño slices and scallions. Squeeze in some lime and maybe some sriracha if you like the heat. Eat with tissues nearby.