so after months of thinking about it, this is where it begins: on a cold and rainy Sunday morning in Portland, OR sitting at the kitchen table with my computer and a bowl of homemade Pho Ga (Vietnamese chicken noodle soup). Like this blog, the Pho is something I have been contemplating for a while. It is the food I crave now when I am sick or tired or just really cold and though I have never cooked Vietnamese food before it seemed a shame that I hadn’t even tried to make this ultimate comfort food. So i googled and searched until I came across a recipe from Jaden Hair at her website steamykitchen.com. To my normal Saturday shopping I added a trip to the neighborhood Asian market to take advantage of their huge selection of inexpensive rice noodles and fish sauce and then I was off.
the key to this recipe is the light but incredibly flavorful homemade broth. The broth is made star anise, coriander seeds, cilantro, roasted ginger, onion and a whole chicken which has to be hacked apart for flavor. I discovered, that for this process you really want to have a cleaver. I am sadly lacking this basic implement, so I muscled my way through the bones with my large carving knife and added a cleaver to my Christmas list.
From start to finish the Pho took roughly two hours to complete and when it was all said and done it was worth the effort. The aromatic broth offered flavors unreplicable through package food and with addition of a bevy of possible additional ingredients (including Sriracha hot sauce, bean sprouts and lime) this dish offered up variations of texture and flavor the belied the humble nature of chicken noodle soup.