The more J and I cook at home, the more we find amazing recipes of meals we once thought were super complicated and therefore only available in a restaurant. Pho is one of those dishes. With the complexly deep flavors and food coma-inducing warmth, we were sure we couldn’t make it in our own kitchen. We were so wrong. J found this recipe from Sarcastic Cooking (love!) and it was dead on. We adjusted a few things to our taste and suggest you do too.
This makes a lot. Enough for three of us to have two large bowls each and quite a bit leftover. It’s in the freezer waiting for one of those cold, rainy late fall days when soup sounds best. I love this dish. I couldn’t eat it fast enough.
Homemade Beef Pho
J grew up eating the decadent hot and sour soup at King Doh, authentic Peking and Szechuan cuisine. After several years of trial and error, we finally found a recipe that is really close to the original. To celebrate the Chinese New Year last night, we made a big pot.
2 quarts chicken stock
2 ounces dried black mushrooms (we had trouble finding these and had the must success using fresh shiitake mushrooms)
1 inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated
1 tablespoon red chili paste (in a pinch, we combined Thai chili oil, Sriracha sauce and Hoisin sauce to make a paste)
1 small can bamboo shoots
1 small can water chestnuts (you can buy them already sliced)
1 small can straw mushrooms
18 ounces firm tofu, drained and cubed
three small boneless, skinless chicken breasts, sliced thin
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon sugar
4 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 cup water
2 large eggs, beaten
3 tablespoons sesame oil
green onion, chopped (to garnish)
If using dried mushrooms, reconstitute them in water according to package directions. Heat oil in wok or large pot. When the oil is hot, add ginger, chile paste and chicken, cook for about two-minute. Add bamboo shoots, water chestnuts and mushrooms, cook for about a minute. In a bowl, combine vinegar, soy sauce, salt, pepper and sugar and pour into wok. Add chicken stock, bring to a boil and simmer for about 10 minutes (don’t rush this. The simmering is what seals in the hot and sour flavors). Add tofu and cook another 3 to 5 minutes. Mix cornstarch and water and add to soup and cook until thickened (this will make the soup cloudy and thick, but don’t add too much cornstarch or it will gelatinize . Stir soup in one direction to get current going then add beaten egg, it will look feathery. Stir the soup brining the contents from the bottom to the top> Garnish soup with green onion and serve.
Make sue you leave the soup on low for seconds. The second bowl is always better than the first. The only thing we might add in the future is some shrimp or an onion. The soup is even better the next day!
Here’s a photo of the King Doh version.
We go through quite a bit of this sauce. We use it on everything from homemade potstickers (we’re still tweaking that recipe) to sushi to seared tuna and as a dipping sauce for just about everything. We used to buy several bottles of this stuff at a time when they went on sale, but we finally found the best recipe to make it ourselves. Considering how often we use it, this is definitely saving us some money!
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon sesame oil
few squirts of sriracha (Rooster or homemade) sauce
1 pinch sugar
bit of minced fresh ginger
Mix the ingredients together. We started in a mixing bowl and then transferred to an empty soy sauce bottle. Refrigerate.
I can’t live without this stuff.
If you follow me on Twitter, you may have recently noticed, I’ve given in to Pinterest. I’ve loved finding new recipes and making the ones I find work for us. We tried this dish on a whim and were very happy with it. It was amazingly flavorful, the chicken super tender and just a hint of sweet enhanced the entire dish. I’ll only make two small changes when we have this dish again.
Sticky Coconut Chicken
- 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts (the original recipe suggest thighs, but we didn’t have any).
- 1 cup canned coconut milk
- 1 Tbsp. minced fresh ginger
- 1 tsp. fresh ground pepper we used white
- 1 tsp. red pepper flakes we’ll use more next time
- Glaze Directions:
- 3/4 cup rice vinegar
- 1/2 cup sugar we actually used a bit less
- 3 Tbsp. soy sauce
- 1 tsp. red pepper flakes will need to add more next time!
Marinade chicken in coconut milk, ginger, pepper and red pepper flakes at least one hour (the longer the better! We let it marinate for about two hours, but it only gets better the longer you let it marinate). Grill (since it’s winter here, we used the George Foreman).
While the chicken is grilling, bring the glaze ingredients to a boil over medium-high heat and cook until the mixture is reduced and thickened, about 8-10 minutes (actually took us about 20, but I kept it on medium heat so the mixture didn’t burn). Once the mixture starts getting really thick, immediately take it off the heat! Glaze both sides of chicken the last few minutes of grilling and serve chicken over rice. We used the remaining glaze to dip the chicken and added it over the rice.
In addition to the pumpkin ravioli we made for Halloween, we saved enough pumpkin to also make this delicious pumpkin soup, modified from this Food.com recipe. It was easy, filling and perfect for a chilly fall evening.
2 tablespoons butter
2 celery ribs, diced
1 onion, chopped well
1 tablespoon flour1 teaspoon salt1/2 teaspoon ground ginger1/4 teaspoon nutmeg3 cups chicken stock
1 1/2 lbs diced pumpkin, roasted and peeled
1 cup half-and-halfchopped green onion
Melt butter in large saucepan over medium heat. Add celery and onion and saute until onion is browned, about 10 minutes. Stir in the flour, salt, ginger and nutmeg. Cook for 5 minutes. Stir in chicken stock and cubed pumpkin. Simmer on low for 30 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool for 10 minutes. Add to blender one cup at a time and blend until smooth. Add half and half and blend. Serve hot with green onion garnish.
Tasted closer to butternut squash soup than pumpkin, but still delicious. Next time we’ll increase the spices a bit more and use fresh ginger.