Monday, May 23, 2011

Pho' and Fried Spring Rolls

My great friend Becky taught me how to make pho' awhile ago. I've made it several times since she taught me. Each time has been a little bit different. Some better than others. This past time I made it I really liked how it turned out, so I thought I better write it down! Thank you Becky!!

1 whole chicken, thawed
Beef soup bones (preferably with some meat on them)
3 T chicken bouillon base (if you don’t have base then you need enough bouillon to make 2 quarts of broth)
Large piece of dicon radish cut in half lengthwise
2 large onions peeled and cut in half
2 big pieces of ginger (6 inch pieces) cut in half lengthwise
3 bags of pho hoa (Chinese special spice, it’s a tea bag that has all the spices in it. You can also buy the spices whole in a bag, toast them and put them in cheese cloth to put in the soup pot.)
Package of rice sticks (pho noodles, you can get them in many sizes, I like the smallest size thickness)
2 cubes of chicken (pho ga) soup seasoning (like bouillon cubes)
2 cubes of beef soup seasoning (like bouillon cubes)
1 quarter size piece of rock sugar
Thai basil
Mint (optional)
Hoisin sauce
Siracha (chili sauce)
Lime wedges
Bean sprouts

Put the chicken and beef in a very large pot (I use my canning pot). Cover them with water, bring to a boil, boil 5 minutes then remove chicken and beef from the pot and wash out the pot. This removes the impurities from the meat and bones.
Put the chicken and beef back in the pot. Fill the pot with water. Leave about 4 inches at the top of the pot. Bring the water up to a boil.
While you’re waiting for the water to boil char the 2 onions, dicon and ginger under a broiler.
Once the water is almost to a boil add the charred vegetables, the bags of special spice, the cubes of beef and chicken seasoning and the chicken bouillon base. Bring the soup up to a boil and then turn it down a little so it’s still bubbling, but not at a full boil. Let the soup cook as long as you can, 6-8 hours or more. Leave it uncovered so it can cook down and condense the flavor.
Put the rock sugar in the last 20 minutes of cooking.
Once the soup is done cooking pull the chicken and beef out. Shred the chicken and any beef there might be. Strain out all the veggies and seasoning bags and discard.
Cook the rice sticks in boiling water for 5-7 minutes depending on thickness of the noodle. Strain the noodles and immediately rinse under cold water until they’re completely cool. Set aside.
When you’re ready to serve heat the broth back to boiling.
Put the rice noodles in the bottom of your individual serving bowls. Put chicken/beef on top and pour the hot broth over.
Garnish to taste with basil, cilantro, mint, lime, bean sprouts, hoisin and siracha.

Fried Spring Rolls
1 lb ground pork
2 c diced napa cabbage
½ c grated carrots
¼ c diced green onion
3 cloves garlic minced
2 t grated ginger
I small bunch bean thread noodles, soaked in warm water for 15 minutes until soft, then chopped
6 wood ear mushrooms, rehydrated and diced
2 t fish sauce
¼ t ground pepper
1 egg
1 package of 25 spring roll wrappers
Nuoc cham sauce (recipe follows)

Mix all the ingredients except the wrappers and nuoc cham sauce in a large bowl until thoroughly combined. Roll the mixture into the wrappers and fry until golden. Serve with lettuce leaves, thai basil, cilantro, mint and nuoc cham sauce. You wrap the spring roll in a lettuce leaf, top it with the herbs and dip it into the nuoc cham sauce.

Nuco Cham Sauce
¼ c sugar
Juice of 1 lemon
1/3 c fish sauce
¼ c water
2 t chili garlic sauce
2 cloves garlic minced
Mix all ingredients and chill until ready to serve.

1 comment:

Becky Filhart said...

YUMMMMM!!! My mouth is salivating as I'm reading this!!! Although we have it all the time??!! Something is wrong with me.
Another tidbit my MIL shared when she was visiting recently...she only ever uses the chicken pho base...even for the beef pho. Who knew? She said she likes it better because it produces a "clearer, cleaner" broth. She is very particular. Haha. :)