Paul and Cori

Things we love: cooking, photography, crocheting, reading, math and board games.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

spicy chicken pho

I really like pho, ever since I met Nancy and she introduced me to Vietnamese food. Angela and I go to our local "noodle bar" almost every time we go to lunch- which is almost every time we see each other- which is almost once a week!  We really love the soup. And the avocado smoothies! A couple times past, I got spicy chicken with vegetables, and I thought Paul would really enjoy it, so we made some of our own.
copyright: Cori 2011
The great thing about rice noodle soup is that you don't have to heat the noodles at all, the broth does it for you. Cook them once and you're done.
We cheated a great deal by using thai stock instead of making out own broth. It has a lot of flavor, sriracha is one of the ingredients, and it's vegan (so if you wanted to make this soup with tofu it would still be delicious).
Okay, recipe time:
1 package rice noodles. I like thin ones, but all we could find at the near by grocery store were thick ones, so we gave them a try. They were better the second time, after being in the fridge for a while (in my opinion).
1 small white onion, chopped. 2-3 cloves garlic, minced. 4 dried red chilies soaked in water for 15 minutes, minced.
2-3 carrots, sliced (you could also use celery or broccoli, mushrooms or whatever veggies you have laying around). 
1 bunch green onions, sliced.
Cilantro leaves, hoisin sauce, more sriracha if you want it- hoisin and sriracha are the best sauces for pho ever, I think (you could also use bean sprouts, basil, lime wedges, jalapenos...) for topping.
1 lb(ish) chicken, sliced (or use thin thin beef, rib tips, tofu, shrimp, fish balls or other protein).
2 cartons thai stock (or stock made from meat bones, or broth of any kind really).
spices. We used about 1 teaspoon each black pepper and ginger (we didn't have any fresh ginger to add) it depends on your broth and tastes you want, very simple is the key to pho broth, the spiciness and flavors really come from the toppings, but we wanted spicy chicken pho which makes the broth more complex.
Boil rice noodles until just done, do not over cook them. Set aside. We even rinse them with cold water, though it doesn't seem to help the sticking.

We cooked our pho in the wok, because it's big and we wanted to stir fry the meat and veggies first.
Heat some oil in your wok (or pan).
If your meat has to stir fry longer than the veggies, stir fry in hot oil until almost done. Add white onions, garlic, red chilies, and veggies. Continue to stir fry for about 5 minutes. Add green onions and stir a few times.
Add broth and spices, bring to a boil. Simmer for about 10 minutes.

Add rice noodles to a bowl, then top with soup. Top with desired toppings. Enjoy!
Adding coconut milk is great way to calm down the heat if it is too spicy. Hoisin sauce is sweet and works well for this too, but coconut milk adds a nice additional light flavor as well.

When there are left overs, keep the rice noodles separate from the soup. Reheat the soup to boiling for 1 miunte(ish) and add on top of cold cooked rice noodles, stir, top and enjoy again! It works like a charm, and the noodles are no longer sticky once they are surrounded in broth. They get warm quickly weather they are thick or thin. We added coconut milk to the broth when we reheated it because we didn't need it to be quite as spicy the second time around, about 1/4 of a cup.
copyright: Cori 2011

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