To tell you the truth, I have no idea how long it’s been since my last post. I don’t even have a clue what it was about. The format for creating a new post on WordPress has completely changed since I was last here. But I’m back, and have a new favorite recipe to share. A big reason I’ve been gone from the WordPress world for so long is because I’m pregnant (expecting a boy, due July 29) and haven’t been able to stay up much past 8 most days for quite a long while. This has severely cut into my cherished knitting time, and most of the free time I have after work has been spent coming up with something appetizing to have for dinner, actually making dinner, then trying to stay awake long enough to watch some TV show and knitting while lying on the couch (and failing.) It’s starting to get better, and with this being Presidents’ Weekend, I’ve had some time to catch up on getting some things done that had needed doing for a while. I’ve become pretty active on Pinterest, which has really helped with my dinner dilemmas among other things. I got most of my handmade fine silver jewelry listed on Etsy before my Ravelry ads go live on March 1. I got my pre-plantable vegetable seeds started for eventual transplanting into the raised bed. I did a lot of entertaining, and even got some knitting in. Now it’s time for blogging.
Lately I’ve been craving Pho, the Vietnamese rice noodle soup made with beef broth (or, in the case of Pho Ga, chicken broth) and topped with various meats, mung bean sprouts, and basil that is known for being tedious to make yourself. I went out to get some for the first time in about a year with my husband, and loved it. (I did have to stick to Pho Ga though, as all the other soups on the menu had an asterisk indicating that the meats might be undercooked.) I wanted more within a week, but he said that for him, Pho was something he only needed to eat once in a long while. So I went out with another pregnant friend the next week, and a different friend the following week. After that, a colleague posted on Facebook that she had made her own Pho and it was delicious. After inquiring, I found out that Pho bouillon cubes could be purchased from Asian supermarkets to emulate the taste without all the work. I went to my local Great Wall Supermarket, but they had no such cubes. They did have a product packaged in a container that looked similar to ones I had purchased containing chicken and beef stock paste / concentrate that was labeled as Beef Pho and Chicken Pho, respectively. I bought both, and it turns out they’re more of a cake of dried ingredients than a paste. The Beef Pho comes with filter bags full of the necessary spices, and are meant to be thrown into a pot with the whole Pho cake and 2 gallons of water. Since I only make a couple of bowls at a time, I just scoop out what I think I’ll need and adjust it to taste. Below is my “recipe.”
- Pho Flavoring (see picture above, or do some searching at your local Asian supermarket)
- Mung bean sprouts
- Bok Choy
- Beech Mushrooms
- Meat of choice (or not)
- Fresh Rice Noodles (in the refrigerated section near the tofu)
Add water for desired amount of soup, Pho seasoning to taste (and a sprinkle of included spices, if applicable) veggies, and Sriracha to pot. Heat, stirring occasionally, until Bok Choy is softened and soup is heated to your liking. Add meat, if using, and rice noodles (cut them up first to prevent messes while eating) and cook an additional 5 minutes or until noodles are desired softness. Serve in big bowls with those Asian ladle-type spoons and chop sticks.
Note- I added all of my veggies at the beginning because I’m pregnant and not really supposed to eat sprouts. If you would rather your sprouts stay crunchy, add them and basil just before serving.