Friday, January 21, 2011

Pho sho'

Via Wikipedia:

Phở (Vietnamese pronunciation: [fə̃ː]  ( listen)) is a Vietnamese noodle soup, usually served with beef (phở bò) or chicken (phở gà).[1] The soup includes noodles made from rice and is often served with basil, lime, bean sprouts, and peppers that are added to the soup by the consumer.

I love Pho. I can't do the noodles. What's a girl to do?? Enter shirataki noodles. These babies are made from a root called konjac, and the result has almost no carbs or calories. Unfortunately, I've found few instances where they are an acceptable substitute for pasta. They have a distinct aroma and a slippery texture. However, they are perfect in pho. Being in a soup disguises the texture, and the strong flavors like fish sauce and star anise cover any shirataki funkiness. 

I took some shortcuts for this soup. Rather than making my own broth, I simmered pre-made broth with seasonings and then strained it. I also stuck to sliced beef rather than scavenging the more exotic but authentic add-ins such as tendon and tripe. That being said, my husband (who is extraordinarily picky about Vietnamese food) said that if he was served this in a restaurant, he'd be perfectly happy. Case closed.

Serves 2-4

  • 1 8oz package shirataki noodles
  • 2.5 cups chicken broth
  • 2.5 cups beef broth
  • 4 cloves garlic, smashed and peeled
  • 2" piece of ginger, peeled, sliced, and slices smashed with a knife
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 3 star anise
  • 3 Tbs fish sauce (I like Three Crabs brand)
  • 1 Tbs palm sugar or a packet of Splenda (optional; I did not add this but it would be more authentic)
  • 1 lb steak (I used petite sirloin), sliced across the grain as thinly as possible
  • Mung bean sprouts (I used 2 handfuls, I guess about 2 cups?)
  • One fourth of a red onion, sliced very thin
  • Thai basil (also known as cinnamon basil), loosely torn into pieces
  • Mint leaves, loosely torn into pieces
  • Cilantro leaves, lightly chopped
  • Lime wedges, hoisin sauce, thin-sliced jalapeno peppers or bird chiles, and Sriracha sauce for serving
  1. Rinse the noodles, pat dry, and set aside.
  2. Bring broths, garlic, ginger, cinnamon sticks, anise, and fish sauce to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes. Keep warm on low heat until ready to serve.
  3. Meanwhile, in a separate skillet, saute the beef in a little bit of oil over medium-high until brown.
  4. Divide the noodles and sprouts among your bowls. Add the beef, then ladle in the broth (you might want to strain it first, otherwise just try to avoid ladling in the solid items). Cover with lots of herbs and pass lime wedges, hoisin sauce, Sriracha sauce, and sliced chiles at the table. Serve in huge soup bowls with chopsticks and spoons.


Patty said...

I've never tried the shirataki noodles, but this recipe makes me want to now!Really nice picture too!

Erica said...

Patty, this recipe is the perfect introduction to shirataki noodles! Any kind of strong-tasting soup, really. I know that you are primal/paleo so if you have an Oriental market nearby, you might want to look for a brand that has no added soy. House Foods (the Americanized brand) adds tofu but the others tend to be 100% konjac :) Do let me know if you try it!!

christina said...

I've heard such mixed reviews on these noodles, i'm glad you found a way to enjoy them!!

christina said...


primallykosher said...

Have you ever made a chicken soup version of this with chicken instead of beef? I had a chicken pho soup at a Vietnamese restaurant two days ago and it was incredible.We can handle the rice noodles fine.

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Facebook Pinterest RSS email More

Design by Free WordPress Themes | Bloggerized by Lasantha - Premium Blogger Themes | JCpenney Printable Coupons