The October 2009 Daring Cooks’ challenge was brought to us by Jaden of the blog Steamy Kitchen. The recipes are from her new cookbook, The Steamy Kitchen Cookbook: 101 Asian Recipes Simple Enough for Tonight's Dinner.
When I saw that this month's Daring Cook's challenge was pho, I knew immediately I had to participate. Pho is one of my favorite foods ever, but it has been a long time since I have had it. I normally crave pho in the cooler winter months, but LA has been devoid of that kind of weather...until now. This past week it has cooled down considerably from the 100+ degrees we were experiencing only a few short weeks ago. It's actually even raining here. What? It never rains in southern California! Anyway...this dish is super easy to make thanks to Jaden's helpful tips. Toasting the spices deepens the flavor and using store bought stock makes things fast.
I personally don't like my pho overloaded with noodles so I used a little bit less. Other than that, I just halved everything else in the recipe and had enough for about 3 servings. I love my pho spicy, but I didn't have any sriracha on hand and I completely forgot to pick up jalapenos at the farmers market on Sunday morning right before I made this. Nevertheless, I loved the flavor that a few spices and other seasonings added to the broth and it smelled and tasted like it had been cooking all day. For my accompaniments, I went with limes, cilantro, onions, and thai basil.
This was pho-king fantastic!
Quick Chicken Pho
2 tbsp. whole coriander seeds
4 whole cloves
2 whole star anise
2 quarts (2 liters/8 cups/64 fluid ounces) store-bought or homemade chicken stock
1 whole chicken breast (bone in or boneless)
1 3-inch (7.5 cm) chunk of ginger, sliced and smashed with side of knife
1 to 2 tbsps. sugar
1 to 2 tbsps. fish sauce
1 lb. (500 grams/16 ounces) dried rice noodles (about ¼ inch/6 mm wide)
2 cups (200 grams/7 ounces) bean sprouts, washed and tails pinched off
Fresh cilantro (coriander) tops (leaves and tender stems)
1/2 cup (50 grams/approx. 2 ounces) shaved red onions
1/2 lime, cut into 4 wedges
Sriracha chili sauce
Sliced fresh chili peppers of your choice
To make the Chicken Pho Broth: heat a frying pan over medium heat. Add the coriander seeds, cloves and star anise and toast until fragrant, about 3-4 minutes. Immediately spoon out the spices to avoid burning.
In a large pot, add all the ingredients (including the toasted spices) and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and let simmer for 20 minutes, skimming the surface frequently.
Use tongs to remove the chicken breasts and shred the meat with your fingers, discarding the bone if you have used bone-in breasts.
Taste the broth and add more fish sauce or sugar, if needed. Strain the broth and discard the solids.
Prepare the noodles as per directions on the package.
Ladle the broth into bowls. Then divide the shredded chicken breast and the soft noodles evenly into each bowl.
Have the accompaniments spread out on the table. Each person can customize their own bowl with these ingredients.
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Posted by Esi at 8:20 AM