Thursday, April 9, 2009

Faux Pho Bo

I was planning on posting about the tamales I made, well, I guess like two weeks ago now, but I can't seem to find where I wrote down all the measurements (that I remember to write things down at all is amazing enough!). So I guess I'll HAVE to make some more, much to my test kitchen's dismay I'm sure! 

Instead I'll post my first batch of Pho (before I misplace that).  This is another food that I decided to make without ever having the real thing, and no one who tried any had real beef Pho either, so I can't vouch for authenticity...but it was tasty!  I was stingy with the anise since I am not a huge fan, but it was very subtle so I would even add more next time.  I also used store bought vegetarian beef bouillon.  Yeah, I cheat sometimes.

Vegetarian Pho Bo
8 cups vegetarian beef broth
1 1/2 - 2 inch section of ginger, sliced into 1/4 inch rings
3 whole star anise (or more)
2 cinnamon sticks
2 Shallots, quartered
3 - 4 Tbs soy sauce (to taste)
7 oz rice noodles 
1 recipe seitan
bean sprouts
lime wedges
fresh cilanto
fresh basil leaves
sliced scallions
sliced thai chilis

Prepare a recipe of seitan: I used the same one as the asada tacos but replaced the spices with 1 tsp garlic powder and 1 tsp pepper and used 2 Tbs soy sauce and 1 Tbs Worcestershire instead of equal amounts. 

While that bakes make the broth:  Toast the shallot, cinnamon and anise a few minutes in the bottom of a pot. Add the ginger slices and broth, bring it to a boil and let simmer for at least a half hour.  Strain the broth and return it to the pot.  Add soy sauce to taste.  

Prepare the rice noodles according to the package (mine weren't in English, but I soaked the noodles about 15 minutes in cold water and boiled a few minutes in salted water until they were tender but not mushy).  Slice up the garnish veggies and seitan, throw it all in a bowl and enjoy!

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