Monday, November 26, 2012

Vietnamese Soup

Sorry for the lack of posts; my Thanksgiving day was more like a Thanksgiving week.  I hope you all had a fun and family-filled Thanksgiving.

I'm sure we all have a bit of a food hangover from this past week.  I know I do.  So today I thought I would post something light and full of veggies (I ate veggies last week, but when they are covered in cream cheese and Ritz crackers, I don't think they really count).

If you've never had Vietnamese soup, or Pho, you are missing out on one of the most delicious things ever.  The first time I had it was at Pho Saigon (on Poplar near the Central library if you live in Memphis).  The flavor combinations were unlike anything I had ever experienced.  Basil and cilantro together?! What?!  I was totally hooked.  If you don't try my easy at-home recipe, check out your local Vietnamese restaurant.  This stuff rocks.  

So, I kind of cheated with this recipe.  Get ready for it........ I used Ramen noodles.  Yes, it's true.  I even used the little pack of salty, beefy stuff.  This saved me about $8.  You can use Udon noodles (which are a bit on the pricy side) and you could buy beef broth (or make it yourself), but using Ramen noodles keeps this simple and cheap.

Vietnamese Soup

2 packs of beef flavored Ramen
6 cups of water
fresh ginger, grated (find a piece of ginger about 2 inches long)
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 big carrot, sliced
1 big onion, diced
1 pound ground pork
soy sauce (I use lower sodium)
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 cinnamon stick
1 bay leaf

Toppings (these are very important)

lime wedges 
fresh jalepeno
green onions 
Siracha sauce

In a big pot, saute onions and carrots on medium-high until they start to soften.  Add ginger and garlic and pork.  Cook until pork is no longer pink.  Add 6 cups of water, 2 Ramen beef flavor packs, fish sauce, cinnamon stick, and bay leaf.  Add a couple of shakes of soy sauce.  Simmer this mixture for at least 20 minutes.  Don't be alarmed if it starts to smell really cinnamon-y.  The cinnamon really deepens the flavor. 

Cook the ramen noodles.  Add desired amount of noodles to individual bowls and top with soup.  Now it is topping time!  This is my favorite part.

I generally go a bit nuts with toppings, but start small and see what you like.  I like a lot of everything.  The fresh jalepenos add a lot of heat to the soup, so be careful.  The Siracha is pretty spicy as well, but it adds so much flavor.  So there you have it: easy at-home Vietnamese soup!  These flavors together are incredible.  Have fun!  

P. S. If you are getting a cold, make this recipe.  It'll clear you right up.

1 comment:

  1. It kinda makes me want to get a cold just so I have an excuse to make it. Wow! Sounds amazing.