This pho, while not strictly traditional, has a nice taste and satisfies those mid-week noodle in broth cravings nicely.
8 c. beef broth
2 stalks celery
2 small carrots
2 cloves garlic, well and truly smashed
1 shallot, chopped
2 star anise podsa
1 Tbsp. grated ginger
1c. when chopped red yard long beans (or any other bean, really)
1/2 lb. baby pac choi
1 package per person instant noodle soup Udon noodles (I used the brand from the picture, which I picked up at Super Target)
First, make the stock. The goal here is for a flavorful stock in its own right. You want something that tastes good before you add all the fixins.
Add the stock to a medium pot over high heat. While your stock is coming up to the boil, slice your celery into thin moons, your carrots into thin rounds, and smash the garlic. Add to the pot as you go.
Once the broth and its additions come up to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer 30 minutes. You can go longer if you would like, just don’t loose too much volume. You want the flavors to marry and the stock to pick up some great fresh taste from the veggies and spices.
While your broth is working, prepare your vegetables. I went with red yard long beans and pac choi, since that’s what came in my CSA share this week. My rule of thumb for any asian soup is this: a green + a color. Any green + something from any other color. Slice the beans thin (about 1/4 inch long) and chop the pac choi into bite-sized pieces.
At the 30 minute mark, strain your broth to take out the solids. They’ve given their all at this point and you have fresh things to add to the pot.
Add the beans and simmer 5 mins.
Add the pac choi, simmer an additional 2 minutes. Kick the heat up to a boil
Add the udon and boil 3 mins or until done.
Split into 2 bowls and season with fixins to your particular taste. I used 1 tsp. ground ginger, 1 Tbsp. fish sauce, 2 Tbsp. soy sauce, 1 tsp. cilantro, 1 tsp. sriracha and 1 tsp. lime juice.
Serves 2, with enough broth left over for a third serving.