I'm cleaning up the blog a bit, so more on the cultural history of pho over here and my phở -natic confessions.
Real Phở Ga
Vietnamese chicken noodle soup
Use organic, sustainably-raised ingredients when possible. Grass-fed or pastured beef/chicken really taste soooo much better. At the very least, get halal chicken which is raised humanely and without antibiotics. Next up, try organic, free range. And the top tier is organic, pasture-raised, grain-free chicken which has incredible flavor.
- 1 whole organic chicken, unwashed
- 1 organic sweet onion or 3-4 shallots, carmelized
- 1 whole fresh ginger
- spice: 10 star anise
- small handful of cloves
- two 3-in stick of cassia (saigon cinnamon)
- handful thảo qua/smoked cardamom (can find in an Indian or Southeast Asian grocery)
- handful of coriander seed (aka cilantro seed)
- sea salt to taste
- 1/4 cup Red Boat fish sauce (do not mess with any other fish sauce)
- raw organic apple cider vinegar (with the mother)
- 2 bags of med-large size bánh phở/thick rice noodles/pad thai noodles. (I use dried gluten- & preservative-free noodles. I like the Ba Cô Gái|Three Ladies brand).
- shredded chicken meat & offal
- mung bean sprouts
- thai basil
- ngò gai/rice paddy herb (optional)
- fresh chile or chile paste (I get mine from my mother-in-law)
- Red Boat fish sauce
If you are using mainly bones from 1-2 whole chickens, roast them for 15 min. Low boil for at least 1 hour with a spoonful of apple cider vinegar to allow the bones to release the minerals. You’ll still want to add some raw chicken pieces (neck, backbones, leg quarters) to enrich the broth flavor. (Remove the leg quarters when cooked if you plan on eating it, otherwise all the flavor will get extracted.)
Ăn Ngon Lành|Eat Delectably!