Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Vietnamese-Style Noodle Soup

Vietnamese-Style Noodle Soup

Vietnamese-Style Noodle Soup {page 151}, also known as pho, is hands down the very best thing I've made from this book so far. It is ground-breaking, earth-shattering, and definitely justifies the purchase of this book all on its own {not to mention the dozens of other incredible recipes found in this book's pages}.

I love pho, but it's really hard to find vegetarian pho in Vietnamese restaurants. Most have pho without meat, but the broth is laden with beef stock. The Ninjahusband and I both agree -- this is the best pho either of us has ever had, vegan or not, restaurant or homemade.

It is a little time-consuming, as you have to wait for the broth to simmer for 45 minutes, but once the broth is made, the rest of the soup can be ready in 10 minutes flat. The broth is so complex and completely delicious, and it will make your whole house smell like heaven.

I made 3 minor alterations to the recipe. As I began adding things to the pot, I realized that I was completely out of ginger, so I added about 3/4 tsp of powdered ginger. Seemed to work fine. I couldn't really taste the ginger specifically, so at least I didn't add too much.

My 2nd modification was regarding the seitan. I don't like seitan in soups. It gets all spongey and tastes funny. I decided to omit the seitan and add some fried tofu the last 3 minutes of cooking. It was absolutely phenomenal with the fried tofu. I would definitely recommend making it like that if you aren't a fan of seitan in soup.

Finally, I may have added a bit too many noodles to the soup. The original amount didn't feel like quite enough, so I added a bit more. Turns out that the original amount WAS quite enough. But it was still great with the extra noodles. Just made it more substantial. Yum!

Overall, this soup was just one of the very best things I've eaten in a long time. If you love pho, make it! Even if you don't love pho, make it, and you'll be a pho-lover before your bowl is empty.

-- Your Friendly Neighborhood Batgirl


  1. I should definitely try this. I liked pho for about a month, but then I got really sick of it (hard to resist -- it's so cheap!). I don't like the broths that are really heavily sweet or filled with too much star anise or whatever else. But after reading your glowing review, I will have to try it (without seitan, too). Thanks!

  2. yum. with all that fish sauce, real vegetarian vietnamese is tough to come by. i'm going to my favorite vietnamese place right now and even though i usually get a tofu dish there, I sort of don't want to know what they really put in the sauce.

  3. Its 5 am, I'm toasting a bagel and thinking about coffee. But now, for some reason, that just won't do. Can I make Pho at 5 am on Thanksgiving morning? It is a breakfast food in Vietnam after all. Thanks Batgirl. To the kitchen....

  4. fried tofu! my favorite pho resturant, pho than brothers (, serves their vegitarian pho with a vegtable broth, mushrooms and fried tofu. I haven't been able to find anything like it in the bay area. thanks for the review!


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