I like pho. Do you like pho? I bet you do. You just don’t know it yet. Pho is Vietnamese noodle soup. I wanted to make the authentic version, but figured it would take too long (who has three hours to make stock?), so enter… Thai culinary stock. Some recipes use a chicken stock, but I figured the Thai stock would have a flavor profile closer to Vietnamese. Or something like that.
I used this recipe as a rough guideline, but as usual, I changed a few things. I specifically liked the idea of pan searing some of the elements to add more flavor; thus the mini stir fry. Enjoy!
- 1 medium onion, peeled, halved through root end
- 2 Thai chili peppers or ½ tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 2 star anise pods
- 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
- 1 1” piece ginger, peeled, chopped
- 8 cups Thai culinary stock
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 lb. of peeled and deveined shrimp
- 2 cups baby bok choy, chopped
- 1 cup beech mushrooms
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 8 ounces Thai Kitchen straight rice noodles
- Mung bean sprouts, fresh cilantro leaves with tender stems, thinly sliced scallions, chopped unsalted, roasted peanuts, and lime wedges (for serving)
Heat a dry large cast-iron skillet over medium-high. Cook onion, cut side down, until lightly charred, about 5 minutes; transfer to a plate.
Add chiles (if using crushed red pepper flakes, add with fennel seeds), garlic, cinnamon stick, and star anise to skillet and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add fennel seeds and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 20 seconds (do not burn). Quickly transfer to a large saucepan (reserve skillet) and add onion, ginger, and broth; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until broth is flavorful.
Meanwhile, heat oil in reserved skillet over medium-high heat. Season shrimp with salt and pepper, toss in the skillet with baby bok choy and beech mushrooms. Stir fry for a minute or two until shrimp is cooked through.
Cook noodles according to package directions. Divide among bowls and add stir fry. Strain broth and ladle into bowls. Top pho with bean sprouts, cilantro, scallions, and peanuts and serve with lime wedges.