Pho a Reason...
I lived in Hawaii for a few years, and to say my taste for Asian flavors developed would be an understatement. Our next door neighbor was Korean, the lady across the courtyard was Japanese, and the Vietnamese were featured just down the street. Not to mention the delicious "plate lunch" you could get anywhere on the island. (see my other recipe for Huli Huli Chicken)
Pho is simply a chicken noodle type soup, home made from scratch with fresh ingredients is the only way to go. I put more "stuff" in mine, .... more rice noodles, more meat, and a LOT more vegetables! There is no one recipe for Pho, it is rather individualized, much like Chicken Noodle Soup.
We are fortunate we have a great Asian grocery store not too far from us, Nguyen Loi Oriental Supermarket in Fort Worth, Texas.
Here is the recipe I created with my particular fav flavors:
1 large fresh organic chicken (whole)
1 Package Rice Noodles (dry)
4 cups of fresh Oyster Mushrooms (YUM!!!!)
1/2 Dikon Radish, with skin removed and sliced in whole slices about 1/4" thick
2 large Carrots sliced diagonally
4 Bok Choy - leaves washed and chopped
2 cloves garlic (minced)
2 Purple Oregano leaves
1/4 cup Fish Sauce (or Oyster sauce)
1/4 cup Sesame Oil
1/8 tsp onion powder
1/4 TSP kosher salt
4 cups fresh bean sprouts
4 cups water
3 celery stalks
1/8 cup fresh bread and butter pickled cucumbers and onions (red) (COLD)
1/8 cup Soy Sauce
1/8 cup Sweet Chili Sauce (Sambal)
1 Lime wedged
1/4 cup toasted sesame seeds (to taste)
Begin with a pressure cooker, coat the bottom with sesame seed oil, place whole chicken breast up sprinkle lightly with kosher salt.
1) Pressure cook until done. (On a large chicken it took 40 minutes.)
Take chicken out and put to the side to cool. You'll pull the meat off after it is cooled.
2) Pour the stock through a sieve into a large bowl, then put back into pressure cooker
3) Chop all the vegetables, add to the pressure cooker (except the Bok Choy, bean sprouts and oregano - save those for later ) Be sure and leave them a little large, as they will be cooked and we don't want them mushy
4) Add the water to the pot
5) Pressure cook until vegetables are tender and not mushy, along with the onion powder, fish sauce and garlic.
6) While your vegetables are cooking, get your rice noodles, wash them and add to boiling water ( I added a smidge of salt and a little sesame seed oil)
7) To plate, get a large bowl (small bowls are not enough for this delicious fresh dish), place the chicken and vegetables in the bowl. Add the bean sprouts and chopped Bok Choy then ladle over the fresh stock.
8) Add condiments to taste. (be careful with that Sambal - a LITTLE goes a LONG way! )
Enjoy! Let me know how you like it!