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.|