Faux Pho

At this point you may have noticed that I enjoy Asian noodle dishes. I have a noodle tag, a full forty percent of my posts are about Asian noodles, and so forth. The fact of the matter is that I enjoy noodles of all stripes, and am bent on finding new ways to dress them up in saucy goodness and consume them. I’m not picky – I go for Italian (but I’m far outshined by hubby’s grandma in that department), or the German Spaetzel (pronounced with extra spit), but just as often I opt for one of the endless combinations of noodly love that can be built with a few simple core ingredients: Flat rice noodles, garlic, soy, sesame oil, Sriracha and lime juice. With these in your cabinet, plus a few supplementals, and willingness to experiment, a whole world of pan-Asian goodness opens up to you.

This time around, I was craving some noodle soup, and torn between the Japanese Ramen, with it’s meaty, eggy goodness, and the Vietnamese Pho, with it’s spicy broth and big basil leaves. Hubs and I were downtown and opted to walk to what is known as the Soviet Safeway, a rare place whose name does it justice. Rather than make a decision, the slim pickings left us with no choice but to construct a half-ramen, half-pho hybrid using Korean noodles, that shall henceforth be known as Faux Pho.

Inspiration: Noodle love/H-Mart

Vibe: Spicy and adventurous

Time Commitment: T minus 1 hr 30 mins

The Essentials:

  1. 8 oz package of flat rice noodles
  2. 1 quart beef stock
  3. 2 cloves garlic
  4. 1/2 cup soy sauce
  5. 1 6 oz package thinly sliced or shaved beef
  6. 1 small yellow onion
  7. Sriracha sauce
  8. Basil leaves
  9. 2 eggs
  10. 1 1/2 tablespoons of sesame oil
  11. Lime slices
  12. Hot peppers

Optional Vegification: Julienne carrots, broccoli, peppers, and mushrooms work well here.

Optional Awesomization: If you happen to have any pork fat (bacon, ham, trimmings) lying around, and don’t care about the condition of your heart or the size of your bottom, add it to step one.

The Process:

  • Chop garlic coarsely
  • Slice onions long and thin, and prep other vegetables, cutting into similar size pieces

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  • Heat up a large sauce pan or small stock pot over medium heat
  • Add sesame oil and garlic. Engage optional awesomization now. Brown for 5 minutes.

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  • If you added pork fat, deglaze the pan using 1/4 cup beef stock. Scrape up all the brown bits and evaporate broth.

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  • Add onions and vegetables, and brown another 5 minutes, or until they begin to soften.
  • Add 2/3 of the beef broth and soy sauce, bring to a slow, bubbling simmer and cover.
  • Add a squeeze of hot sauce, according to your preferences.

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  • Boil rice noodles for 5 minutes, remove from heat, and strain. If onions are not yet translucent in broth, rinse noodles with cold water and set aside.
  • When onions become translucent, add raw beef to simmering broth.
  • Immediately crack both eggs into the broth and turn off heat.
  • Add noodles, replace cover.
  • Scoop your finished noodle soup into bowls. Garnish with lime, soy, hot sauce, peppers, and basil leaves. Enjoy!

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