The October 2009 Daring Cooks’ challenge was brought to us by Jaden of the blog Steamy Kitchen. The recipes are from her new cookbook, The Steamy Kitchen Cookbook. Her picks were this Vietnamese Chicken Pho and Fried Dessert Wontons!
First off let me shout from the rooftops, I LOVE THIS SOUP!! If the North American version of Chicken Noodle Soup had a pretty, tasty, asian cousin, this would be it. This soup is wholesome, comforting and exotic. The asian flavours are unmistakable, and I feel right at home sipping the broth and slurping up the noodles. I was a little afraid I would not be able to find all of the ingredients, but they were actually quite easy to come by. I really think you should go out and get everything to make this soup right now. You will not regret it!
I made Caramel Peanut Wontons for the dessert portion. Check out the post here.
Vietnamese Chicken Pho
- 2 Tbsp. whole coriander seeds
- 4 whole cloves
- 2 whole star anise
- 8 cups chicken stock
- 1 chicken breast (bone in or boneless)
- ½ onion
- 1 3-inch chunk of ginger, sliced and smashed with side of knife
- 1 to 2 Tbsp. sugar
- 1 to 2 Tbsp. fish sauce
- 1 lb. (500g) dried rice noodles (¼ inch wide)
- To make the Chicken Pho Broth: heat a frying pan over medium heat. Add the coriander seeds, cloves and star anise and toast until fragrant, about 3-4 minutes. Immediately spoon out the spices to avoid burning.
- In a large pot, add all the ingredients (including the toasted spices), except noodles, and bring to a boil.
- Reduce the heat to medium-low and let simmer for 20 minutes, skimming the surface frequently.
- Use tongs to remove the chicken breast and shred the meat with a fork, discarding the bone if you have used bone-in breasts.
- Taste the broth and add more fish sauce or sugar, if needed. Strain the broth and discard the solids.
- Prepare the noodles as per directions on the package.
- Ladle the broth into bowls. Then divide the shredded chicken breast and the soft noodles evenly into each bowl.
- Have the accompaniments spread out on the table. Each person can customize their own bowl with these ingredients.
*all toppings are optional
- 2 cups bean sprouts, washed and tails pinched off
- fresh cilantro (coriander) tops (leaves and tender stems)
- ½ cup shaved red onions
- ½ lime, cut into 4 wedges
- Sriracha chili sauce
- Hoisin sauce
- Sliced fresh chili peppers of your choice