Friday, March 2, 2018

Vegetarian Pho

Have you ever looked at a recipe and at first glance thought "Oh, Hell no! That's too much work!", but then actually decide to make the recipe and in the end it seems like a piece of cake? Well that was this recipe for me. What seemed like a lot of steps ended up being quite manageable, and even more manageable if you make the broth ahead of time.

I found the recipe on marthastewart.com, and set out collecting ingredients. Once I made the broth the first time, however, I realized it really wasn't difficult. There may be more steps than my cooking usually calls for, but I found myself making it again a week later on a rainy day when I was doing other things around the house. Once everything is in the pot you just leave it and go on about other housework. Now I have several containers frozen for a quick meal in the future.

All of the ingredients for the broth. I'm back and fourth on the dry shitake mushrooms. They certainly add flavor, but they are quite chewy in the finished pho.

Garlic, cilantro stems, dried shitake and fresh shitake stems start the broth base in the pot.


Toasting the spices.
And broiling the onions, shallot, and ginger.
Throw everything together and add 16 cups of water, bring to a simmer, and simmer away for about an hour.

All the good, steamy smells. After the hour you strain the broth through a double layer of cheesecloth.
As the hour is coming to an end, slice your mushroom caps and finely chop the ginger and shallot.
You can also get your rice noodles softened.
The mushroom-hoisin mix ready to go into each bowl, followed by the strained broth.

Topped with sprouts, carrots, radish, cilantro, lime and more hoisin and chili sauce. The dumplings I made looked ugly, but were pretty good as well. I'll post them separately.

So, so good. The review from Contractor was "Will eat again!" which is high praise. Next up I need to tackle my sushi rolling skills.

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