Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Pho - yes it can be quick and easy too - 30 minute

I admire people, like my mom and sister, who can cook everything and anything from scratch, that's the best and most original way to cooking. But cooking for two, I'll just stick to my quick and easy cooking philosophy, which involves alot of Lee Kum Kee sauces, and other alikes. What can I say, I am a fan of the ready made sauces !! Sometimes I feel so fortunate to be living in So Cal where there's an abundant supply of these, so many, and so many varieties to choose from.

So I was planning to make Pho and went grocery shopping for the ingredients. I picked up 1 lb. thinly sliced beef eye round (yup, they slice it for you at the Asian grocery store), a package of beef ball, 2 packages of fresh pho noodles, some bean sprout, green onion, basil, and sawleaf herb (ngo gai). AND the most important ingredient is the canned Pho broth :-) This saves me hours cooking the broth from bones and meats and daikon, onion, etc...

Make 6 servings (yup, that's 6 steamy slurpy bowls of pho, all made in 30 minutes! Impressed? :-)

+ 2 cans (size 28 oz.) of Pho Tau Bay beef broth
+ 1 lb. beef eye round - thinly sliced
+ 1 package of beef balls, washed and cut into halves
+ 3-4 stalks of green onions - cut 3-4 inch from the root and use the bulbs to cook. The green part is chopped.
+ 2 packages of fresh noodles (banh pho) - NOTE: this is the fresh, not the dried noodles
(each noodle package makes 3 servings)
+ 2-3 tsp salt
+ Dash of sugar
+ (Optional) 1-2 small pieces of ginger, slightly grilled for more flavor
+ Prepare other pho's essentials: bean sprouts, basils, sawleaf herbs, plum sauce, chili sauce, a few wedges of lime/lemon
Cooking instructions:
+ In a large pot, pour in 2 cans of Pho broth. Add an equivalent of 3 cans of water. Let it bring to a boil.
+ After slightly grill/burn the gingers, add them to the broth pot.
+ Add beef balls
+ Add green onion bulbs
+ Add salt and sugar, to taste

+ In another pot, boil some water to blench the noodles. Don't need to cook long, just blench for about 30sec to 1 minute should be enough. Drain and put into bowls for serving.
Serving instructions:
+ You can either place the rare beef on top of the noodles and pour hot soup over, or you can blench the beef in the Pho broth, then place onto the noodle bowl.
+ Add beansprout, herbs, some chopped green onions, squeeze 1 wedge of lemon/lime
+ In a seperate dipping dish, give yourself as little or as plenty of plum sauce and chili as you please. Use this as dipping sauce for the beef balls and beefs.

I usually mix up the plum sauce and chili sauce well together, then scoop some into my pho bowl and mix well to add to flavor to the broth base. The rest, I use as dipping sauce.


Pepsi Monster said...

Funniest thing, it usually takes me more than 30 minutes to make one of these bowl. I'm just glad you got all the steps down at making this bowl in 30 minutes!

MyCollegeKitchen said...

Pepsi Monster:
That's really good, just practice some more Pho you'll get it down to 30min or even less :-) It took me a while, but i've gotten pretty efficient at multi-tasking, getting 2 pots of water going, prep the vegie while the broth cooks, etc. heheeh

Anonymous said...

i make pho from scratch all the time and honestly i'm tired...i'd love to find an easier way for weeknights when i don't have 8 hours to dedicate...but live in LA, in west hollywood actually...and i went to my favorite asian market in echo park, which is primarily vietnamese and they looked at me like i was insane when i asked for canned pho broth. so i scoured the ENTIRE store & only found pho buillion-type cubes. where do you get your canned broth?

MyCollegeKitchen said...

letsbreakfaces: hi, isn't it nice to finally have a way for quick and easy pho? :-) You can go to the Monterey Park, Alhambra area. There's a 99Ranch off of Del Mar exit towards Alhambra, corner of Del Mar and Valley in a big plaza. Or, @ the other corner of Del Mar and Valley, there's also a Hawaii supermarket. Of if you take San Gabriel exit (towards Alhambra) @ Valley, there's also a Sun Fat supermarket. Good luck with the scouting and let me know how your pho making turns out for you.