This soup will knock your socks off and make you feel like you could run a mile!
I've made the classic Vietnamese Pho in the long version before. The soup itself comes together quickly but the broth takes several hours. I make Pho a lot and most days I make this quick version. There's a smaller difference between this dish and the time-consuming soup than you would imagine.
Pho - typically pronounced "fuh" though in Duluth we tend to pronounce it "foe" - is a combination of rice noodles with thinly sliced meat, cilantro or Asian basil, bean sprouts, lime and a heavily seasoned broth. It's wonderful.
I make mine with bean thread noodles, flank steak and Napa cabbage. The rest I keep fairly traditional.
15 minute Pho
Makes 4 servings
Bring to a boil in a soup pan:
5 cups beef or chicken stock
4 whole cloves
1 teaspoon Asian fish sauce
3/4 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon anise seed
1/2 teaspoon fennel seed
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
One pinch red pepper flakes
One pinch ground black pepper
1 inch section of ginger, peeled, minced and smashed a bit
Simmer for 15 minutes while you prep your ingredients.
Bring a pot of water to boil (enough to soak 4 servings of bean threads).
When the water comes to a boil, remove it from the heat and add the noddles. Let sit uncovered for the remainder of the 15 minutes, or until tender.
3 whole green onions
1/2 head Napa cabbage
1/3 cup cilantro leaves
3/4 pound flank steak (against the grain into 1 to 2 inch pieces)
Over the sliced meat, drizzle 1 teaspoon tamari (or good soy) sauce plus 1/2 teaspoon toasted sesame oil and mix.
Section a lime into 8 wedges.
When broth has completed simmering and noodles are tender, begin assembly:
In a deep bowl, in order, with the amount to taste:
Whole jalapeno slices (1-3), noodles, sliced meat, cabbage, onion, cilantro and 2 wedges of lime juice.
Pour boiling broth over the top and let it rest for 1 minute. Give it a gentle stir with chopsticks and let it rest 1 minute more. Season to taste if needed.