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Thursday, June 4, 2009

Fee Fi Pho Bo



From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite - Like it or not, ready or not, we are celebrating a birthday today, and, as has become our habit, the day will begin with a wonderfully flavored pho - pronounced fuh - containing long life noodles. Pho is a an extraordinary rice-noodle soup that has its origins in Vietnam. I've come to love it. In Asia, noodles are served for birthdays and some holidays as a symbol of longevity; it's believed that a shortened life is the fate of those who cut their noodles into more manageable lengths. I don't plan to cut mine - I've worked really hard to get to this point and there's no reason to tempt fate. While it's a Vietnamese dish, varieties of pho are served for breakfast throughout Asia. The one requirement for an outstanding soup is a really well-flavored broth. If you have that and you know how to soften rice noodles you'll forever have a simple meal at your fingertips. I'd love to tell you I simmer my broth for hours, but that would be untrue. I doctor canned broth and make a soup that is as good as some I had in Asia. So, it will be pho for breakfast, a fresh salmon burger for lunch and dinner at King Estates - a beautiful chateau-like winery that sits on a hilltop in the Lorane Valley. It's going to be a wonderful day, even if it means I'm no longer twenty-one. Let's get breakfast out of the way.

Pho Bo ... From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite

Ingredients:

2 (14.5-oz.) cans low-sodium beef broth
2 (14.5-oz.) cans low-sodium chicken broth
1 3-inch piece peeled ginger, sliced in rounds and bruised
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon sugar
3 cinnamon sticks
3 whole star anise
8 ounces medium rice noodles
1 pound tender steak, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch pieces
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
3 cups fresh bean sprouts
1 thin sliced jalapeno chile
3 scallions, white and tender green, cut crosswise on the bias
1/2 cup loosely packed basil leaves
1/2 cup loosely packed mint leaves
1/2 cup loosely packed cilantro leaves
3 tablespoons coarsely chopped peanuts
Lime wedges

Directions:
1) Place stock, garlic, ginger slices, fish sauce, sou sauce, sugar, cinnamon sticks and star anise in a 4 to 5 quart stockpot. Bring to a boil over medium heat; simmer, covered, for 20 minutes or until flavors are blended. Strain. Keep warm over very low heat.
2) Meanwhile, prepare rice noodles per package instructions. I cover mine with boiling water and allow them to sit for 20 minutes before draining. Drain and place an equal portion in each of six 2-cup soup bowls.
3) Season steak with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a large heavy-bottomed skillet. When oil is hot, add a single layer of sliced steak to pan and sear until browned, about 1 minute per side. Remove and set aside. Continue with remaining slices.
4) Place an equal portion of beansprouts sliced jalapeno, scallions and meat on top of noodles in soup bowls. Ladle broth into each bowl; top with a portion of herbs and peanuts. Serve immediately with lime wedges. Yield: 6 servings.

35 comments:

the ungourmet said...

Mary, This looks so fresh and delicious! Happy Birthday!

Selba said...

Beautiful Pho....

Happy Birthday!

The Cooking Photographer said...

Happy Birthday Mary!

Gaby said...

Mary this looks sooo yummy!

Katy ~ said...

Mary, hope you have a terrific birthday and a looong life! I love the noodle tradition.

Your recipe is packed with such wonderful fresh ingredients and flavor. Looks YUM!

Donna-FFW said...

Happy Birthday to you Mary!! This looks like a great soup to celebrate with! Have a wonderful day!!

My Carolina Kitchen said...

I love celebrating birthdays - mine and everyone else's.
Happy Birthday. Hope you have many more. Very healthy dish and gorgeous too.
Sam

Hootin' Anni said...

I love it!!! And copying this one.

Oh by the way, whether you like it or not...here it comes-------

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU
HAPPY BIRTHDAY DEAR MARY
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO.....
YOU!!!!

Susan said...

Happy Birthday, Mary! I wish you another wonderful year. And yes, I would realy enjoy this breakfast with you! Enjoy the whole day, especially dinner out. Let someone else do the cooking.

Ginger said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO MARY!! This has to be one of my "favorite" from "One Perfect Bite" I love the history behind the soup. I am not cutting my noodles either! Thanks for sharing and have a wonderful day.

Susan said...

It's me again, Mary! Researcher that I am, I just checked out your menu for tonight and it looks wonderful. Please let us know what you have for dinner.

Penny said...

Happy Birthday Mary! Enjoy your day - it sounds like a perfect way to celebrate.

Joycee said...

Happy Birthday Mary! In honor of your birthday I will slurp my noodles extra loud! Thanks for a great recipe.

girlichef said...

That is a delicious birthday meal. Hope your day is just perfect. Enjoy it (22's not so bad, lol)!!

Anonymous said...

That does look good Mary. Only one thing missing - half a lime to squeeze over.

Mary said...

Anonymous - thank you. I've corrected the omission. Friends are a good thing :-).

Pam said...

Happy, happy birthday. Your Pho looks really tasty, I never thought to make my own. I will not cut the noodles into small bites anymore!

Culinary Wannabe said...

Looks delish! And a very very happy birthday!!

Cindy Khor said...

this soup will certainly taste rich with all the sauces and the herbs inside it. i imagining it to be yummy licking good.

happy birthday to you too.

dp said...

Well happy birthday. Pho for breakfast sounds fantastic, exactly my kind of breakfast. And lucky you to be having dinner at King Estates Winery. Their pinot gris is my absolute favorite white wine (both 2005 and 2006 are excellent!).

Enjoy the day!

Amongst The Oaks said...

Happy Happy Birthday Mary!

I do remember lots of noodles being consumed by Chinese natives for breakfast as we foreigners ate our scrambled eggs...

Recently we have made a few Asian dinners. Maybe now I'll try breakfast.

Farmer Jo said...

Happy Birthday!
That soup looks wonderful. Pho is one of my favorites. The first time I tried it I roasted ox tail and onions in the oven and cooked a broth ALL day.
I now just go out to eat it, but this recipe looks much easier. I will have to try it when the weather cools off.

Chef Fresco said...

Definitely never tried making Pho. Your recipe looks so good!

Debbie said...

Well Happy Birthday!!! The soup looks so tasty!

Pam said...

I have an abundance of mint also. This looks like a wonderful way to use it!

The Blonde Duck said...

I thought you were doing "Fee, Fi, Foo, Thumb!" at first

irenet said...

What a delicious blog. Thanks for stopping by.

Ning said...

Happy Happy Birthday to you! With healthy dishes such as this, you'll surely have delicious long life! :) Hope your birthday celebrations are wonderful!

Christina Kim said...

Enjoy your birthday!!!!!!! Eat lots of pho!

Mary said...

I've had a wonderful day. Thank you all for the birthday wishes.

Karen said...

Happy Birthday Mary!

Peter M said...

Happy B-day Mary...all the best! I had my bowl of Pho yesterday for lunch...can't get enough. Thanks for the home recipe.

Natashya said...

I have never had pho before, looks like something I would love. Happy Birthday!

Jude said...

Happy Birthday! Home made pho is quite a bit much for me to handle. Your post is very inspiring :)

curtissann said...

Sounds scrumptious, and I loved learning about the lore of noodles. Happy Belated Birthday!

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